Well, Summer is here and so is Fire Season – and it started with a bang, with major fires first in WA on the 17th and then here in SA on the 25-26th. Several people lost their lives in the WA fire and three here, as well as more than a dozen hospitalised here.
The fire which swept through the plains and valleys just north of Adelaide last week covered an area of about 1500km2, from what I can work out, burning towns including Marrabel, Mallala, Kapunda, Eudunda, Wasleys and Dutton. For Americans, that’s an area roughly the size of Rhode Island. For British readers, that’s about the size of Hertfordshire.
There was another fire north of there, in Mintaro (which is near Burra), but that was quickly contained.
While these fires didn’t affect me, they are a sobering reminder that yes, Summer is here. Units were called in from my area to help fight the fires up north and I watched several tankers from the towns around me heading down the freeway – the procedure is that no more than two thirds are taken from any area, but on a Catastrophic Fire Ban Day, I couldn’t help but worry that we’d be caught out with only one-third of our fighters.
All CFS firefighters are volunteers from the local community, of all ages and both genders, but many retired men and teenage boys (CFS Cadets is a popular alternative/supplement to Scouting) and I know several CFS fireys my own age. In fact, one friend from the Hills, aged 17, was among those called out to deal with the fires up north.
While these fires didn’t affect me, I know people in that area who were affected. The wonderful Hugh and Janet Gordon, who have taught at Spring Fiddle Camp for the past three years, lost their home and all their possessions last week.
We can also remember Rev’d Bart O’Donovan (Mallala and Two Wells) and Rev’d Barbara Messner (Kapunda), as well as everyone else who is involved in helping people rebuild.
Check your Fire Ban and Fire Danger.
Check your Current Incidences.
Check your property is Bushfire Ready.
Check your Survival Plan is ready to go.