August 02, 2002
Most of eastern New South Wales, Australia had what was known as a "Black Christmas" in 2001. Bushfires raged up and down the coast, burning down dozens of houses, and causing hundreds of people to be evacuated.
We were staying on the South Coast, at Jervis Bay (a little more than 60 miles or 100 km south of Sydney), and we too were forced evacuated on Christmas Day! As the day came to an end, the setting Sun was an absolutely awesome sight - engulfed in flames and smoke, setting amongst the silouhetted gum trees.
See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for January 4, 2002.