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.