Nuff Nuff

Friday, February 12, 2010

The threat of Fire in the Dandenongs, following Black Saturday Bushfires.

The media today has come out and said that Mt Dandenong and surrounding villages have three times the tree canopy that Marysville had prior to the Black Saturday Fires in February 2009.

Without a doubt, I personally believe this to be right – The problem is that you can’t go chopping every tree down in the Dandenongs. The Dandenongs are renowned for their trees, beauty and tranquility.

The government has decreed that on high risk fire days that people evacuate. The problem is where to? No viable solutions have been offered. For anyone, anywhere.

It is claimed that for the Dandenongs alone, it could take 6-12 hours for an evacuation to be completed. These are dreadful figures, and if I lived in the Dandenongs; I would be scared for my life. The problem stems back to what to do with your animals, your birds, your horses, your dogs. Where can you take them? What do you do with them?

Do you evacuate under the assumption there will be a fire and leave the animals, or do you stay and worry about it when the fire is almost at your doorstep? Neither is a satisfactory solution. But what can you do?

I know for a fact, that I could afford to lose my house, my car, my earthly possessions, but not my dog. My dog on a normal day keeps me sane and I’m sure for others they feel the same way. Mentally I think if I was to lose my dog, I would lose the plot.

Monday night the 9th February 2009, I was at the evacuation centre in Whittlesea and the number of people clinging to the only thing they had left was devastating, yet that thing was their dog. People had done their upmost to ensure the safety of their dog/s. These dogs knew that they had their owners to thank for living and they behaved accordingly.

The question still stands, where are people meant to evacuate to on days of high fire danger? What happens to the animals?

I’ve covered various scenarios within this blog, of both the human evacuation and the problem of animals and yet NOT one person, government body or agency has offered any answers/solutions.

I would like your thoughts as to what you think might be a solution to this problem.


Fen said...

There are no solutions to the problem. My Dad lives in the Dandenongs and is well aware of this problem, but has no solution either. It's the risk you take to live in such idyllic surrounds.

It ain't so (most of the time) said...

Hi Fen, thanks again!
If there are no solutions, then why has the Government determined that there is a solution?
I agree with you - there is no 'ideal' solution, but what about a solution that will pass for the majority? - A solution that would work for a majority?

It concerns me that people WILL wait until the last minute and that minute could kill them.

I too live in idyllic surroundings and woudn't swap it for the world, as I've discussed previously I chose to live where I did, and I knocked back 2 other houses in areas, that I DEEMED to be too high a risk to live in for various reasons.
That thinking possibly saved my life in one instance in 2009.

Thank-you for the comments

Andrew said...

We have friends at The Patch and they evacuated three times last year with their dogs. Not everyone will head in the same direction if told to leave. I believe it would be possible for people to leave within a reasonable time and take household pets. As to where? Looks like people are on their own there.

It ain't so (most of the time) said...

I beleive there are only 3 ways off the mountain - if one or two of those access points were shut due to the threat of fire - what then?
Your friends at The Patch evacuated as they were advised to do but......... and we can't deny it - some people WILL NOT leave until they can see the flames through the smoke. I know there is probably nothing that can be done in this instance, but those that DO leave as advised by people in authority - do so, often in the knowledge they do have somewhere else to go.
What about those people that don;t have anywhere else to go, have horses, birds or cats? What will they do?
Will that 'encourage' them for want of a better word to stay until the last possible minute?

I honestly don't know and like Fen says - I am beginning to believe that there is solution. Certainly none put forward anywhere that I have seen that will work for the majority.
Once again Andrew thanks for your comments.

Andrew said...

While I am sure you have said similar already, people need to trust their instincts. They ought not lock themselves inside and remain unaware of what is happening on one of the stinking hot north wind days. Am I being an armchair critic if I suggest that people might look and see smoke and it is not far away, and so time to leave. This rather goes against official advice.

It ain't so (most of the time) said...

YOu are right Andrew - I have said it before - DO NOT lock yourself inside and rely on others - YOU CAN ONLY RELY ON YOURSELF - no-one else.
I don't think you are being an armchair critic - I agree with you. just don't wait for the flames, use common sense and if you see smoke - investigate and then move, not wait for the flames