Fires in Victoria Australia

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by bertoli55, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. bertoli55

    bertoli55 Active Member 10 Years

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    Deepest sympathy to all who have lost family, friends and their homes in the horrific bushfires burning in Victoria -the garden state of Australia. It is believed that around 300 people have died and 750+ homes lost in dreadful fires in what was a beautiful part of Australia.

    The fires are still burning and many agencies and volunteers are continuing to fight fires and support the affected communities. When rebuilding, replanting time comes, maybe we can help with plants, expertise etc.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, very sad. But I fear not entirely unpredictable: simple answer, don't build houses in the middle of Eucalyptus forests. They have evolved to promote fire (by producing highly inflammable eucalyptus oil), being able to survive it themselves but eliminating most competing vegetation.

    All those photos of black, charred Eucalyptus trunks one sees at the moment, in a year from now, they'll all be sprouting new greenery along the length of the trunks and major branches. Exactly the same happened after the disastrous Ash Wednesday fires in 1983.
     
  3. bertoli55

    bertoli55 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Michael
    Yep, know all about that but really your & my ancestors are the villains in sending people to Australia to inhabit one giant eucalypt forest which the Aboriginal people were managing nicely. The bush that encircles all of our cities, is part of green belts which thread through our metropolitan regions and which is in many of our parks, has many species of eucalypts. Many of our street trees are eucalypts as they are drought resistant.
    There are a whole pile of issues to deal with.
    We also have to get the management of understory fuel right.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Guess that's part of the problem - quite rightly, one wants to grow and encourage local native flora, rather than replacing it all with non-native species that burn less easily. Whether the Aboriginal people always managed 'nicely', is more difficult to know, they may have been caught by fires too at times in the past. But there's no record of course.
     
  5. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    I see the pictures and sometimes think that maybe they were just a little too close to the bush, but then at the same time, if there were more access routes in and out maybe more lives may have been saved. From what I can tell they are working on an early warning system but from the speed the fires move and the isolated areas there are I don't know if it will make that much difference. It's true we get bad fires nearly every year and each year (as population spreads) it gets worse :{
    My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones, it seems the Aussie spirit is still there and, with time, they will recover and rebuild. Yet it can never be forgotten, and hopefully some things have been learned that can help prevent or reduce such disasters in future. Bush fires are something that we will never be able to stop but the loss of life is something that, I think, can be worked at avoiding and reducing in the future.
     

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