Safe and sound, wish I could say the same for everyone.
I for one am safe and sound at the moment, between the fires 1,100 miles or so to the South and the floods 1,000 or so miles to the North.
People are starting to blame the arsonists for starting the fires and I have to agree with them. There has not been nearly enough work done in the past to profile arsonists to be able to assess who might be likely to offend. That needs to change. Maybe even call in intensive satellite surveillance in high-risk fire weather to catch the mongrels in the act.
How-wever, where I personally think far more of the blame has to be sheeted home is with the 'greenies' and tree-huggers who advocate no clearing and no hazard reduction, the local and state government authorities who listen too much to them and the people who draw up the building codes for these areas.
I don't know for sure about these days but back in the late 1980's-early 90's when I was involved with the Volunteer Bushfire Brigades in Central Coast New South Wales, the greenies and environmentalists had all but stopped hazard reduction in the cooler winter months to reduce fuel loads on the ground. That in itself is a recipe for disaster.
Bruce oz, you would probably have a far better idea than I about this down your way these days. How is this situation in your area?
Then these same people live in the bush with forest, scrub and undergrowth almost right up to their doors "because they love the bush" and then scream blue murder when they get burnt out and lose everything. I admit that not everybody who gets burnt out is in this category but there are enough who are for it to be significant. And the authorities let them build in those places and not do any or enough hazard reduction.
I had to clear and level a house site in the hills behind the Gold Coast several years ago. The house was on top of a rise that faced North and West, the two main danger directions for much of the East coast of Australia. Before the local council would issue a building permit, they had to clear ALL natural vegetation within 60 metres - 200 feet - of the house site on the Northern and Western sides and bench roads into the sides of the hill every 20 metres away from the house site on those two sides to allow maintenance of fire resistant grasses like kikuyu and to allow access to fire vehicles. The bottom one of these benches had to provide clear access to an existing dam down the hill from the house site to provide a water supply for any fire-fighting needs in the future.
ONLY when all of the above was DONE would the council issue a building permit for the house.
The building codes for these areas ought to specify either cast-in-situ concrete dwellings - roof and all, concrete tilt panel dwellings, same deal or earth-covered dwellings, again all in conrete. Tight-sealing steel shutters over windows and doors ought to be mandatory. Lack of sufficient hazard reduction ought to be a HUGELY fineable offence. Reasonable roof water storage facilities should be a must-have, preferably in underground storage. No trees over-hanging driveways or houses and clear access to the street or main road. You want to live in these areas, you pay to be safe.
Just my 0.02. (Well-trained little soapbox gets up and puts itself away in the corner - until next time.)
Last edited by Deas Plant.; 02-09-2009 at 04:06 AM.
Reason: Additional information
You have a wonderful day. Best wishes.