Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Black Saturday 2009

By now the world knows about the bushfires that ripped Victoria's middle to pieces last weekend. The death toll is rising rapidly now that the fire has passed and teams are able to access townships and homes destroyed.

An opinion piece has been posted in The Age by a former fire-based magazine editor. He makes several valid points, although perhaps some people wont want to read to them right now. Points raised could have saved many lives.

I have never been close a large bushfire. I have seen what the end result is though, and through the internet I think a whole lot more people are seeing the destruction caused. Although Saturday was such a unique set of circumstances, as the author points out, they were no worse than previous fires that resulted in significantly less lives lost. Granted, people dont want someone to tell them to evacuate their home if they cant see a threat, but Saturday's fire turned and swallowed several towns that could have been emptied hours earlier.

The one point that I would distinctly agree with, no question, is the mandatory bushfire shelter or fire proof structure in fire-prone areas. There exist building standards for fire-prone areas now, and an expansion would be simple. More cost to the home-builder? Certainly.

But what's your life worth?

I sincerely hope you haven't lost any friends or family in these fires.

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