It was enough to have lived in that moment when everything seemed dire.
It was that moment when just one thing seemed possible, that one moment when it all seemed lost.
Ron Aarons didn't think he would come back to anything, that the two fire fronts converging on his small home town would wipe the place clean.
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Nothing could survive such an onslaught, so they evacuated and then waited to return to whatever was left.
It was no small mercy then that Khancoban did escape the flames where others did not fare so incredibly well.
But while homes and businesses were spared, the challenges were still to come.
And of course as 2020 panned out, it was far more than the 2019-20 summer bushfire disaster - one that reached into so many communities across south-eastern Australia - that would wreak so much havoc.
A place such as Khancoban has long reveled in its relative isolation, nestled as it is in what is one of the most beautiful places in Australia.
It's townsfolk's best-kept secret, though not too much of a secret. Lovers of the outdoors from all over seek out its unique charms throughout the year, providing a nice little earner for locals.
But the extra serve of isolation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic wasn't needed.
This has created all sorts of difficulties for communities right along each side of the Murray River, and Khancoban has been no exception.
The year has been difficult, residents will admit, but it is clear they are anything but defeated.
Rather, a strong vein of optimism runs through the place, as
businesses ready themselves for a hopeful return to better times.
With the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out set to begin next month and continuing good news on the effectiveness of lockdowns where break-outs have cropped up, that should be no surprise.
Long-time Khancoban resident Louise Werrett sums-up what 2021 promises most succinctly with her call of "bring it on!".
Indeed, we're all ready for better times.