October 1 marks the beginning of the bushfire season – strictly speaking it continues until 31 March . . .
Households in wooded areas and those surrounded by dry grassland are clearing around their homes, cleaning their gutters and ensuring they have extra hoses connected to the swimming pool, just in case.
This is serious folks. We are in our 10th year of drought and the warmer than usual winter means that little back burning has been achieved by the rural fire service. To compound things, September and October are notoriously windy months . . . and we’ve just come out of our driest September in 20 years.
Only four years ago, BabySis had Elvis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_(helicopter) dipping into the dam at the end of the street, packed up the kids and a few belongings and moved in with us for two days for fear their house would burn. Nothing could stop the ravaging monster climbing the ravine and indeed, that year, many homes were lost in the local area.
Needless to say, the long weekend was plagued by the outbreak of fire. It’s like someone announces the fire bans and the arsehole arsonists come out of the woodwork to declare open season. . yes . . Every single major fire in NSW (there are now three large fronts burning) was deliberately lit. Whether it’s some fool actually trying to be destructive or an inconsiderate motorist tossing a cigarette but from a car . . . in these hot winds, it can be devastating . . . even glass litter can start a fire . . . One thing for sure, it wasn’t lightening activity. . the storm season has not started.
We even had our own little drama on an overgrown block about 500 metres from our place. It’s never mown or maintained and as Adam and the Fringelet drove down the street from the bottle shop on Monday . . plumes of smoke were rising from the grassland. He called the fire brigade and within half an hour the whole corner was ablaze. For us, a bit of easily controlled excitement (again we suspect it was deliberately lit as this block goes up once or twice a year and nobody lives on it) but for people living in heavily wooded areas, it’s devastating. Gum trees are flammable . . more so than any other thanks to the high alcohol content in their leaves, they also constantly shed twigs, leaves, branches so a hazard reduction policy is essential . . the ground litter is dry as a bone and yet there is always a wanker who thinks it’s fun to ignite.
I’m really sick of this. It’s not just the houses involved, the people, the lost lives and memorabilia, it’s the livestock, the water pollution, the air pollution and the sheer irresponsibility of some people when it comes to lighting fires. I know this sounds rich coming from someone who was recently shut down for not having a permit but that was a pre-season burn and it was contained and safe. All precautions had been met, there was no wind and it was a cool, damp night
. . . 14 years jail isn’t good enough for these dickheads and as we approach another summer with predicted high temperatures, north easterly winds and an 11th successive year of low rainfall . . they should be burned on their own pyres!Now crank this up . . .(I just like it!)