If anyone has been listening to the news lately, the similarities between the Perth Hills and Warrandyte would have been chilling – city fringe, hilly terrain, heavily wooded. That’s us people, to a T.
Have you left home yet? Trust me, you do NOT want to wait until a fire starts somewhere nearby. If you do, you will be stuck in an almighty traffic jam, and that will make you a sitting duck if the fire sweeps over the road.
I understand the reluctance to leave the comfort of an air-conditioned home for a day spent wandering around a shopping centre. Those are exactly the sentiments of my daughter. That’s why she’s still here, at home, with me. But…
1. I have dedicated firefighting pumps in a concrete pump housing protected by an earth berm,
2. I have a big underground concrete water tank used ONLY for firefighting,
3. I have galvanised roof sprinklers [that won’t melt!] covering the ridge line and all around the eaves,
4. I have fire-resistant shutters around all doors, windows and my front verandah,
5. I have landscaped the area around the house not to burn. That includes no flammable vegetation AND pebbles as mulch,
6. Finally, as a line of absolute last resort, I have my wine cellar. It’s dug into the hillside, just a few metres from the emergency exit from my house.
So, there are no guarantees in this life, especially when we’re talking about bushfires, but this property is as safe as human effort can make it. That’s why I’m letting my daughter stay.
Can you say the same?
Do you really want to place your life, and the lives of your children at the mercy of luck? Because if you stay, that is exactly what you’re doing – you’re gambling on wishful thinking.
Fire will sweep through Warrandyte again, and this week could be it. Think about it, please.
Good luck to us all.
January 16th, 2014 at 3:28 pm
From the other side of the world, let me say this reminds me of our Hurricane dangers. We prepare as well, and have to decide if and when to leave our homes. We’ve left it several times, and once, we did so with the belief we would probably lose our home completely. We were blessed the damage was not as bad as it could have been. Lately I’ve become determined to stay for the next big one. My wife feels the same.
Keep safe, and may the fire never come. Better to be prepared and not need it than to be unprepared when you do.
January 16th, 2014 at 5:13 pm
We don’t get cyclones [our version of hurricanes] down in the south but the northern states suffer them regularly. Whatever you decide to do, be careful as well as prepared.
Tomorrow will be the worst day for us as the wind change will exacerbate any fires that are already going. I’m fairly confident for someone who’s never had to face a real bushfire, but by god I’ll be glad when it’s over.
Thanks for dropping in. 🙂
January 15th, 2014 at 5:29 pm
Stay safe as well as as cool as possible. 🙂
January 15th, 2014 at 11:44 pm
Today was much more relaxed, but the heat is wearing me down a bit. Very little sleep last night and probably the same tonight. Oh well, at least I haven’t had to play tennis! I’m really not a sporty person but having to listen to the tennis all day on the radio [in between alerts] I have great sympathy for those poor bastards. They really are incredibly fit.
January 16th, 2014 at 11:44 am
I don’t understand why they don’t start the matches earlier. At school we knew that between 11;00 and 3;00 were the danger times for the kids to be out in the sun. Why play tennis during that period?
But I am like you and am grateful that I don’t have to be out in it, running around after a ball. And there you have another reason why I am not a professional tennis player — talent may be another 🙂
January 16th, 2014 at 6:17 pm
I think there’s an element of ‘oh, the Australian Open is an endurance test…blah blah’. I think it’s utterly stupid, but like you I’d never make a professional tennis player. What am I saying? I took lessons as a kid and was so bad I was an embarrassment to myself. -rolls eyes-
January 14th, 2014 at 5:15 pm
It’s 45deg here in South Australia today and storms, thunder and lightening have set off fires all over. Hopefully our courageous CFS volunteers can get it under control and homeowners in “bush fire prone” areas are well prepared.
January 14th, 2014 at 8:23 pm
Yeah, the temperatures are insane. I hope you’ve got some way of getting relief. Heat can be deadly. I think all the volunteer fire fighters deserve bloody medals!
January 14th, 2014 at 4:42 pm
I have my fingers crossed that none of your excellent preparedness will be needed and that Warrandyte remains unscathed.
I’m wondering if the wine cellar is part of the fire-avoidance system for you and Katie or just a place you can go to remain hydrated if a fire comes. That leads me to wonder how many practice sessions you take?
Good luck to you all there.
The Hugest of Hugs
January 14th, 2014 at 8:21 pm
The wine cellar is last resort, desperation plan only. It means there’s somewhere to go if everything else goes horribly wrong. I don’t want to lose any days, but I’d happily lose the next three. Roll on the weekend and the cool change.
January 14th, 2014 at 12:45 pm
THIS is what you should be doing to excerise your training abilities… community courses in dealing with bushfires… they should be mandatory in susceptible postcodes. Good luck. I hope your preparedness is not required 😉
January 14th, 2014 at 8:19 pm
Was a bit hairy, and the fires in Kangaroo Ground are only contained, not controlled, so can’t relax completely yet, but as far as I’m concerned it was a good dress rehearsal. Just wish it was all over already. 🙂
January 14th, 2014 at 12:33 pm
I’ve noticed that there is a shiny new fire station up the road and the council have been doing a lot of roadside mowing of late. Not enough of course, but it is nice to see them doing it before the event rather than after as usual.
I was out testing my galvanised roof sprinkler this morning but I wish I had the budget for all the firefighting equipment I could desire, including a wine cellar!
January 14th, 2014 at 12:43 pm
At least you do have the roof sprinklers. So many people, certainly around here, have nothing at all. Their plan is to leave, but of course they won’t leave until they really have to… 😦 Stay safe!
January 14th, 2014 at 11:33 am
Wow! You are well prepared. I have a firefighting pump and sprinklers on the roofline, but that’s it. Well done.
January 14th, 2014 at 12:40 pm
-smiles- I’m paranoid. Stay safe!