Living here in the beautiful Blue Mountains in a house surrounded by bush we are very aware of the dangers of bush fires. Today the threat is listed as EXTREME. The wind is already picking up which just adds to the danger.
Unfortunately governments, councils and the general public many times have very short memories of past bushfire disasters. There are always discussions, plans and promises shortly after but many times nothing is done. I am afraid that the same applies to major floods.
Before white settlement the bush here in Australia would burn off, sometimes for months on end, on a regular basis.This had the effect of reducing the fuel load so that most fires were not catastrophic. Today we do only a minute amount of burning off to reduce that fuel load and make every attempt to put out fires as soon as they start. This later may seem a good thing but the end result is that the available fuel on the ground for a fire just builds up and builds up until there is no way of stopping a raging fire once it starts.
There are many things that we can do to limit the danger from bush fires. Burning off in the winter. Better fire breaks around towns. Constructing houses in fire zones that have a greater degree of defence against fires. These are just a few and I am sure that most of us are aware of many more. The great question though is, what do we do about implementing these things?