14 October 2006

Firewise

Today our local volunteer bush fire brigade gave a series of talks around the vllage informing residents of the facts about bush fires. The Captain of the brigade (pictured) explained that every resident needs to be fire wise and have a fire and evacuation plan.
Do you stay and protect your property or do you leave? The key is preparation and your personal health.
We will stay and protect our home. We have prepared the property by clearing out all the gutters, ensuring everything flammable is away from the house, we have proper clothing, water storage, and some fire fighting equipment. The main danger is "Ember Attack". The winds both before and after the fire send up clouds of burning embers which land all over the place starting many new spot fires.
When the village was severely damaged by fire in 1965, houses began burning while the fire was still over 15km (10 miles) away and moving towards the village.
As we haven't had a bushfire here since then and Australia is now officially in the worst drought in our nation's history, everyone is very concerned. There are currently major fires raging in various parts of the country, even the Snowy Mountains. The Fire Captain said that this is very unusual, as the Snowy doesn't normally get fires until around January and later. But the land is so dry and the weather is hot earlier than usual, so we are getting ready.
There is a "Drought Index" which measures the severity of the drought. Currently the deficit in New South Wales is 140. This means that the moisture in the soil needs 140mm of rain (around 6 inches) to penetrate into the earth to get where we are supposed to be at this time of year. All that rain in one go wouldn't help as it would just run off. This is equivalent to a good soaking rain over a very long period. Yikes! That is some rain deficit to overcome.

2 comments:

Alice said...

Saying a prayer for your family and your home.

patternnuts said...

Prayers for you all and for your neighbors as well.