Sunday, February 8, 2009

fires

after my innocent post yesterday, I am in shock as is the whole state, over the toll of the fires on Friday. This evening we are hearing 66 confirmed dead, 640 houses lost. 2 incidents where whole families were incinerated in their cars as they tried to flee. I thought yesterday as I watched the wind destroying my garden, that it was an evil wind and I knew even then that it would be an horrendous day for fires.
Many of these areas burnt have, since my childhood, grown from `bush' towns to `tree change' towns. Whether this has a bearing on on people's preparedness, I don't know. I heard one man on the radio this morning, saying, "They should have told us, they should have let us know about the fear, nothing has prepared us for the fear as it approaches." I look at my own situation, a nice little suburban house that backs onto a creek reserve, mainly grass, with its few scrappy gums, and inside my fenceline, deep leaf litter mulch... and a howling northwesterly wind, so dry that it burns the leaves off plants in the shade of the verandah, and burns the tips of the tomatos in the vegetable patch. It could happen here, leaf litter in the gutters, embers blowing up to 20 k ahead of the fire front. I have made my mind up already, I would go, but how do you know when the fire front is still 20k away?

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