On the night of September 1, 2015, a fire raged through the bushfire-ravaged area of Hobart’s east coast.
A road was left open to motorists.
For a few hours, it was a paradise.
But then, the blaze spread quickly.
As roads were burned, there was a whole lot of traffic.
People drove around the fire in the open, sometimes taking their eyes off the road and letting the smoke do the talking.
The roads were dangerous.
People were hurt.
There were fatalities.
The highway reopened a week later.
But not for long.
In the weeks after the fire, the road remained open.
A number of motorists, mostly from the western suburbs, tried to travel the new highway in a series of hauls to and from their homes.
In some cases, the hauls ended up in bushfires.
On the morning of September 2, a small fire broke out on a small patch of road just south of Hobarts city centre.
Traffic was still moving, and some people tried to take the newly opened road to their homes, but a fire engine was there and a number of vehicles were forced to pull over.
A truck driver in his 30s, who had been hauling tyres up from the west of Hobarra for about 20 years, pulled over to the side of the road.
“I’ve never been in one of those situations before,” he said.
“We were trying to clear the road out and then a bush fire suddenly started and we had to pull out and put everything on fire.”
The blaze broke out in a small area of the Hobart City Highway, on a patch of land owned by the State Government.
The fire quickly spread through the area and caused a big hole to form in the road, which eventually led to a blaze on the highway.
The fire destroyed two homes and caused about $20,000 in damage to a nearby property.
The driver said he was lucky not to be killed.
“It’s like a house being burned down,” he told the ABC.
“A big hole was made and a lot of smoke and flames.”
He said there was “no time to panic”.
“There was so much smoke coming in, so I couldn’t see very far.”
The driver’s family and friends had already lost their home, and they were trying not to worry about the road being closed because of the bush fire.
But, he said, “there’s nothing to worry for”.
He also remembered how the road was a major source of pollution.
It was also a source of safety and comfort.
“You can’t see anything except the road,” he recalled.
“And you know that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
The road was open for a number other purposes as well.
For several months, the driver used the road to travel to work and school, as well as to get to and fro from his house to work.
As the fire raged out, the highway was a busy destination for motorists.
Some of the hauling was for bushfire relief.
On the evening of September 3, a truck driver pulled over at a junction on the Hobarrah Road.
His wife had been working for the day and was waiting for a lift to her home in Hobart when she noticed smoke billowing out of the chimney.
She drove back to her house to find her husband was dead.
When the driver was brought to the hospital, he told his wife that his car had been caught in the fire.
He said he had been driving to work that day and the fire had taken his car.
He had lost both his legs.
After his death, his wife asked if he would like to donate his car to the fire relief fund.
This was his final donation to the NSW Government, the man said.
He gave it to the Salvation Army.
A few days later, his son came back from a trip to Tasmania.
That evening, his mother-in-law came home to find him dead in the kitchen.
Her brother-in‑law came to pick him up, but he had to be brought by ambulance to hospital.
Two weeks later, the motorist died.
Then, in November, a group of volunteers from the community took over the hauler job.
They put out a call to help rebuild the road because it was in disrepair.
At that time, the Hobarth City Highway was closed to all but emergency vehicles and motor vehicles.
About a week after that, the council reopened the road for two weeks to allow people to travel.
There are a lot more people than there used to be because of this fire, Mr Sallie said.
“There were about 70,000 people on the road