Saturday, April 18

Danger, Fire!!!

One of the risks that I didn't seriously consider when I planned my 'round Aussie drive was the chance of being caught up in bush fires.  As we all know, there is much bush in the Australian landscape, much of it can be tinder dry and bush fires as we know them can be extremely dangerous.

Unlike living in the city or near bush towns, way out in the outback the fires can run pretty much unchecked, though these days there are country firies, and of course helicopters and other fire emergency aircraft.

I did as I have mentioned in a previous post have a fire extinguisher, but it would have not been wise to tackling a bush fire with a piddling little fire extinguisher.  

I came across quite a few areas where bush fires had been - leaving acres of blackened trees and grass, and sometimes smoke from smouldering fires filled the air.  On several occasions, I had to drive close by fires.  Mostly these were not being fought by any fire fighters - they just burned without "supervision". 

On one occasion, I was able to take a few photos, without putting myself in danger.  I slowed down, prepared my camera, and took the photos through my car window, and then quickly moved past the fire area.  There were some spectacular sights, but as usual I considered my safety the priority, so have limited images.  Even as I opened the car window to shoot the vision, I could feel the awesome heat the fire created.




I remember reading something at New Norcia in Western Australia, how the aboriginals regularly created fires as part of their culture. They were "in control" of burn offs and would select areas on a regular basis to burn off - which got rid of the dead undergrowth and regenerated the grass and plants.

(This fire was in the Northern Territory - on my way from Lake Argyle to Katherine).


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