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Posts Tagged ‘bush fire prevention’

This is one of my favourite songs. I found the clip with the fire fighters and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to begin this. It encapsulates the heroism, the heartache, danger and loss that fire fighting and bush fires can mean. Bushfire season is now with us, as potent as Summer Love.

Every day now I hear the reports of how wonderful it is that Summer is coming… even though we are only in the early part of Spring, the temperatures are already fluctuating wildly. Yes it is wonderful and I adore the beautiful spring and summer flowers we have. The beautiful display of Jacarandas are amazing this year.

A jacaranda lined road.

After a relatively dry winter throughout most of the country, and some idiotic bureaucratic interference that has prohibited back burning and fire breaks by property holders to prevent their homes being caught up in bushfire situations, we have masses of tinder dry, bushfire fuel loads surrounding homes and properties.

The insanity of land management being taken away from property owners, which is so closely aligned to the land care Aborigines have used for hundreds of years, is not simply ludicrous, it is criminally insane.  I am all for Greening Australia, protecting our heritage and doing the right things now, but we cannot and must not put our heads in the sand and have puerile decisions made based on land management that dates back into the last century and before.

This is typical of what farmers and landholders, rural and regional, have to sit back and accept. The fuel load here is enormous. As the foliage falls and builds under the canopy at ground level, and the dried grasses mound up, the gases from the eucalyptus trees can reach combustible proportions. Flash fires can occur, lightning can strike, but you cannot prevent the thoughtlessness of people throwing lit matches or cigarettes out of car windows. More despicable are those who delight in deliberately setting fires once the conditions are at their worst.

As the temperature rises and the winds come across the super heated land, conditions for spontaneous bush fires escalate.  Add to this the intense fuel loads you see above and this is what can and does happen…..

We are very fortunate that we live in Byron Bay, in a beautiful green area, but we are still prone to the influence and devastation of bushfire. Just not to the same extent. Since last weekend there have been over thirty bush fires raging in the Blue Mountains area in New South Wales and over a hundred throughout the state. Thousands of hectares destroyed. Over a hundred homes lost, and this is just so far. There are fires raging in the deep gorges and valleys that cannot be fought. They have to burn themselves, and all the wildlife, out.

image from waterworksvalley.com – Waterworks Valley in the Blue Mountains

This is what the rural fire brigade and their cousins in the city fire departments and local volunteers have been fighting. Until the last fires are extinguished, the final devastating total will not be known. This is not the first bush fire this season.  It will not be the last.

The crime is – much of this could be avoided with common sense.

Yes, I am angry. Our fire fighters, volunteers, home and land owners, our domestic animals and wildlife, none of them should be placed in harm’s way because a small minority of bureaucratic Green terrorists think removal of fuel load is not good for the land. Perhaps THEY should be in the front line fighting the fires.

Off my Soap Box, just for a while.

Blessings to all our fire fighters, home and land owners, our animals caught in the fires unable to escape, the injured wildlife, and all those left behind to try to put everything back together again.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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