Things have calmed down to some degree, we're only claasing one of the big fires as still going, the others are all contained. For now. I've had a look to see how much land was burnt, a quick tally gives 403,000 hectares (about 995,800 acres) . Nowhere near as large an area as some of the seasons we've had over the years, but the most tragic season ever in terms of loss of life.

The weather has been great; cool, light rain, little wind. Just what we needed. Though complaicent is not what we're being. The season hasn't finished yet, the weather is warming up a bit in the next week so we still have to be ready. I hope the readiness is for nothing. We're over this past summer season.

I received a letter yesterday asking me for a small written statement for the Police about my involvement in the fires. It's a voluntary thing, I don't mind sending one in. I'm one of the lucky ones who didn't see anything particularly nasty, unlike some of my Brigade. The letter gave in interesting statisitic for those (like me) who like such things. On Saturday the 7th Feb 2009, now known as Black Saturday, 520 wildfires started. To give some idea, Victoria is almost the same size as Kansas.

I sincerely hope that the summer fire seasons for the rest of the world are quiet.

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Tony, We have been talking about the fires in your country at our meetings, we have a wildland interface issue. People like the country so they have brush or dense woods with in a meter of thier homes and if thats not enough there are a half meter of leaves on thier roof.
The State and Fed Goverment Quit having control burns because people kept complaining about smoke. so we are about to be in a tinder box.

The largest fire we have had in our area was 25,000 acres with no injuries or homes lost, but things have changed so its a matter of time.

I hope you get a break, and the weather changes in your favor. You are in our prayers.

Be Safe!
My heart went out to all you guys during those times.. Our grass fire starts in a few months..Still got snow. never looking forward to it... FortDrum had a huge fire on post and the people was having a fit for days it burned... Local gov got involved and went to the federal something and Drum had to put it out... For mile s you could see the smoke for days....
Half a metre of leaves on the roof. I can relate to that - there are houses in our bad areas that looked the same before the fires. I wonder if the owners will wake up now? Many people here also complain about smoke from fuel reduction burns, perhaps they won't complain as much for a while now?

What are some of the things that have people contributing to tinder-box conditions. Ignorance? Laziness? Wrong-mindedness?

Ignorance. People not educating themselves to risks and how to mitigate them. We certainly try hard enough to provide information, many simply fail to take any notice.

Laziness. People who do know of the risks but refuse to exert themselves in any way.

Wrong-mindedness. By which I mean the rabid environmentalists. We have the evidence, all they have is shining idealism. 'They' fight against fuel reduction burns, they often succeed. No fuel reduction burns means that when a fire does occur (when, not if) then the intensity will be far greater, so great that fires simply cannot be fought. I will not go anywhere near a fire with 30 metre flames, would you? When you consider that many Australian plant species require the heat of a fire for their seeds to germinate, but that high intensity fires sterilise the seeds, these people are not doing the land any favours at all. You may be getting the idea that I don't like the rabid environmentalist - correct. I've fought fires in the bush, I've seen what the results are of low intensity burns, the damage of high intensity fires.
We hope and pray that all settles down and is quite for you all.

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