Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Fire of Holiday Places

The recent fires on the Victorian coast burnt much wildlife. It demonstrates again that humans always think it won't happen to them, again.

The pictures tell the story of the fire coming into the yards of houses and the fire increasing in strength height and ferocity as the house is burnt. The trees stand stalwart, and are also burnt. But were they alone there without houses, which are after all just fire fuel, the fire would not have been as intense. Though they will probably now be cut down because it will be proclaimed, they are dead

The way the houses were set out seems to be in a line along the contour of the hill, and the houses that were not touched mostly away, out of that line, placed further back or just a bit more out of the way. The flames would have lapped each house, where these were built close together, or the wind sent the flames along the ground to the next house in line, where they would have increase in height and burnt many koalas.

Sadly it's never recorded that the worst fire hazard are houses. They are full of, and quite often built from combustible material. It can only be a subject of wonder what was lying round the houses that should have been cleaned up before summer but not being done so only added to the ease of travelling the line the fire took.

Only time will tell if the local government will make it a requirement to rebuild houses along that shoreline with steel frames and fire retardant cladding or if they will be happy not to do so again. If the latter, probably allowing another holiday resort fire to come through and burn almost every house as it did 32 years ago.

Wildlife in areas where house are built close together have very little reasonable chance of survival. A fire becomes particularly powerful where houses are close together.