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Fires in Australia
Thank you to friends who have asked about my situation with respect to the terrible fires which my country is presently experiencing. In Australia, fires...or as we say "bushfires" are a part of life in our warmer seasons.
Australia is the driest continent on earth....a giant desert with a ribbon of fertile land along the coastal strip. Our native plants are tough and hardy. Fire is needed to break their seeds to enable propagation, and historically fire has been part of the landscape...initially instigated by nature, through lightning strikes on desiccated foliage, thus releasing the precious seeds.
Indigenous Australians use deliberately lit fire to revegetate their territories

At present the country is roasting in above average temperatures...yesterday the average maximum temperature for Australia...taken by using temperature data from every weather station in the country, was in excess of 40C. Here where I live we have had no rain for 10 weeks and have experienced temperatures above 37 for 10 days...including one day of 45 degrees.

It only takes a hot vehicle exhaust, a careless cigarette thrown aside, a piece of broken glass catching the sun, and like a magnifying glass, starting a fire...for huge infernos to break out in the parched grass, especially if there are hot, gusty winds.
This has been the situation over the country of late. The worst affected has been the southermost island of Tasmania, ususally around mid 20C in summer....where it has been 40C+ with hot winds...and huge fires. Whole towns have disappeared, animals killed, people missing...
All the firefighters in these blazes are volunteers...the only salaried firefighters are in the capital cities. The major fires occur in rural areas.. Every smaller town has a firefighting unit, We live 15 km from the capital city...and we have a volunteer unit as we are in a high fire risk area, which in fact was totally devastated by a huge blaze in 1985.
My huband is a volunteer firefighter, as is my son, who lives in Canberra, which is also in a critical fire risk zone.
Fortunately, after 10 days of what is a "Catastrophic" fire alert level here, today the temperature is a mild 25C. My garden looks half dead (limited water usage and capacity)...but we are fine...

PS: There are even large numbers of people who are arsonists and deliberately light bushfires...often resulting in death and devastation...on high risk days, police have to monitor them. ...I find this fact almost unbelievable!!!!
Diana

The link below it to the meteo...which has had to add two more colours to its temperature charts to take account of increased maximum temperatures to 54C

www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-09/australia-heatwave-forecast-one-animated-gif-map/4458006

13 comments

ypell said:

Thanks for this info Diana, keep safe.
9 years ago

Diana Australis replied to ypell:

Thank you very much ypell.....we work hard on staying safe!
Your wishes are appreciated.
9 years ago

dominique said:

Merci Diana pour toutes ces explications fort intéressantes.....bon courage pour les jours à venir...mais il à l'air de faire moins chaud, donc cela ira mieux pour tout le monde...bonne soirée et bises.
9 years ago ( translate )

Diana Australis replied to dominique:

Merci a toi, Nadine..pour tes pensees. Nous avons passe la moitie de l'ete. mais fevrier est generalement plus chaud que janvier!!!! Bises a toi!
9 years ago ( translate )

Diana Australis said:

Il y toujours beacoup de gens qui pensent que leur profite vaut mieux que l'état de la planète....
they do not care! Especially here in Australia where the climate is becoming visibly more extreme...
It makes me very angry, and very sad....
But yes, we have to live with it...yet still try to make efforts to change behavious...amities, Philippe et merci.
9 years ago

'ºLº' said:

Just wanted to add if I may, that fires are an ongoing threat in France too ( where they use canadairs
aminus3.s3.amazonaws.com/image/g0022/u00021305/i01391992/1cba3ef71a12663a1c24fab73a8d1e4a_giant.jpg )
and many many fires make the headlines every year..

As an example of the scale of the problem
www.europe-en-france.gouv.fr/Focus-sur-des-projets-exemplaires/Prevenir-les-incendies-dans-le-sud

(and many are indeed started by arsonists..)

As for saving the Planet ..politics and ecology do not seem to go together too well alas (sigh)

Take care !
9 years ago

Diana Australis replied to 'ºLº':

Thank you for these links....very relevant...and similar.
This season we have already had 350,000 hectares decimated....many in unpopulated areas ... Thankfully so....but many with terrible loss of property in areas of population.
You are so correct in the remark that politics and ecology are not a matching equation....
We are the driest place on earth, and successive governments have done nothing to address this obvious geographical fact.....
Xxxxxxxxx.
9 years ago

Simone Maurel said:

Je suis désolée que vous ayez traversé des moments si difficile ,mais je pense que nous connaitrons des catastrophes semblables; l'homme n'a pas encore saisi la gravité du dérèglement climatique; je t'envoies toutes mes amitiés.
9 years ago ( translate )

Diana Australis said:

Je te remercie de tes pensées et tes amitiés, Simone.
Vraiment toute la planète souffre à cause de ce dérèglement climatique....
Les gouvernements sont fous de ne pas prendre les étapes nécessaires.....
9 years ago ( translate )

Georges. said:

Oui c'est une catastrophe véritablement
9 years ago ( translate )

Diana Australis replied to Georges.:

D'accord, Georges....merci..
9 years ago ( translate )

just"jj" said:

WE have had a couple of small fires in the Adelaide Hills already this season; one of them a significant one between Diana's place and my own, courtesy of someone trying to "do a burn" which got out of control.
Because it was not a designated "TOTAL FIRE BAN DAY", there were no charges laid, but it was a hot windy day and you'd have thought that alone would have been sufficient warning.
More info here (the link will become out of date by next week's edition).
www.courier.net.au/wp
8 years ago

Diana Australis replied to just"jj":

Hi there Judith....that was a bad burn! Just before we came away, John who is In the Summertown CFS was busy with the team doing (safe) controlled burn offs.....
8 years ago