Tagged with bushfires

Victorian government publishes list of towns that won’t be there next year

…or something like that.

There are 52 towns in Victoria which are at high risk for the 2009-10 fire season, according to a list issued by the state government today. Here is a map (click to enlarge) showing the towns listed:


The Victorian Government says the nominated centres will be its priorities for developing township protection plans.

“The work that we’ve been doing over recent months has identified a number of areas … 52 towns, which for a variety of reasons are more at risk or more vulnerable to fire, should it occur in the next fire season,” Mr Brumby said.

“These could be towns that are built in the middle of bushland, they could be towns that are on the coast that have a huge holiday population and only one road in, and one road out.”

“We’ve got a fire season coming up, that on all the evidence we’ve got… is going to be worse than the one we’ve just experienced.” — ABC

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In response to many emails

Nothing but rubble ... more than 500 homes were lost at Kinglake. (AAP: Andrew Brownbill)

We are quite safe from the current bushfires. Our home is not in one of the areas affected by the big fires which have made worldwide news. The nearest fire to us was 30 or 40 km away and that fire has now been contained.

Naturally we, like all Australians, are shocked and saddened by the events of the last few days. With all the death and destruction, I haven’t been in the mood to write, so sorry to all of you who took this silence as a sign that we might have been affected.

I’m gratified that so many people in such distant places thought of us. If you are able and inclined, you can make a donation to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.

Image: Nothing but rubble … more than 500 homes were lost at Kinglake. (ABC/AAP: Andrew Brownbill)


Bushfire tweets

A selection of my Twitter messages about the Victorian bushfires as they unfolded. Continue reading

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She’s dry alright

I think I’m starting to get the hang of this living-in-a-bushfire-prone-area thing. In the last week we’ve put the fire plan into action three times – that means preparing to defend the house against a fire reported in the area. The latest of these is currently burning 2 kilometres away, and as I write this the house is locked up, the hoses are at the ready, the gutters are blocked up and full of water, and I’m watching the planes and helicopters buzzing back and forth as the CFA deals with the fire.

All of this is happening in utterly dreadful weather – it’s 45ºC outside, there’s a vile wind blowing, and the air smells of smoke.

While all of that is hard, I think the hardest part is the constant apprehension of impending disaster. Even when there’s no fire reported in the area, on days like this you find yourself sniffing the air for smoke, watching the skies, listening to the radio, and always expecting that something bad is about to happen.

Today is the 29th of January, and so far this year we have had not one drop of rain, and there is no prospect of rain in the next week, probably more. I do not remember ever in my life going through a whole month – any month of the year – without any rain at all. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the last time there was no rain in January in this part of the world was 1930. We depend on rainfall in this house because the only water we have – for drinking, cooking, showering and gardening – comes from rainfall harvesting. We’re doing OK for water at the moment but it won’t last forever without some rain.

Honestly I wonder where this all will end.


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