All the energy of the fire-fighters is concentrated on protecting life, of course it is.
But aficionados of Canberra's culture look south at the billowing, approaching smoke, and fear for some of the great historic treasures of Canberra and the surrounding bush.
Apart from important historic sites, the threatened area is also a place of leisure, or was in what used to be thought of as fire-free normal times.
The Namadgi National Park is a place of memories for those who sought refuge from the city.
"It's that breath of fresh air - usually - where people can go up in the mountains," Canberra enthusiast and chronicler, Tim the Yowie Man, said.
He called the area "this jewel in the crown of the ACT" and he fears that the Orroral Valley Fire could obliterate much that is loved.
In fact, there are many jewels.
The area is rich in rock paintings. Aboriginal people have lived in the Canberra region for at least 25,000 years.
The Yankee Hat rock shelter has probably been used for 800 years, according to the carbon dating of debris found there.
Some of the painted figures represent animals while others seem human, some of them in groups. There is a picture which seems to depict a kangaroo, a turtle and two dingoes.
There's evidence that people were camping in the area 3700 years ago. Visitors are warned not to touch the rock paintings because oil on human hands might destroy them. But what would fire do?
There are natural treasures like the Bendora Arboretum, established in 1940 because the deep soil and rainfall there was such good territory for northern hemisphere conifers.
Namadgi is an oasis away from the city. It's where, here in the Bush Capital, Canberrans head up.Tim the Yowie Man
And further north, there is the site of the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station from which the Apollo space missions were tracked.
"For many Canberrans, Namadgi is just the big hills to the south of Canberra but it's so much more than that.
"It makes up almost more than half of the ACT and there are so many layers of it," Tim the Yowie Man said.
"You've got layers of indigenous history going back more than 20,000 years, with rock art like at Yankee Hat, also under threat from the fires.
"Then you come forward to the European settlement time. Pastoralists came.
"Then you come further forward to the space age. We've got Honeysuckle Creek, Rural Valley, the Geodesic Dome.
"And even with time apparatus, Australia's four main atomic clocks were in Namadgi once.
"And then you come further forward to today where Namadgi is an oasis away from the city.
"It's where, here in the Bush Capital, Canberrans head up, whether to go bush walking, cycling or rock climbing."
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