Bushfires 2014 – Are you ready Warrandyte?

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.

Meeks

 

 

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

16 responses to “Bushfires 2014 – Are you ready Warrandyte?

  • Jason Reeser

    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.

    Like

    • acflory

      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. 🙂

      Like

  • anne54

    Stay safe as well as as cool as possible. 🙂

    Like

    • acflory

      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.

      Like

      • anne54

        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 🙂

        Like

        • acflory

          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-

          Like

  • Catherine

    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.

    Like

  • David Prosser (@davidmfprosser)

    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

    Like

    • acflory

      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.

      Like

  • EllaDee

    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 😉

    Like

    • acflory

      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. 🙂

      Like

  • metan

    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!

    Like

    • acflory

      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!

      Like

  • jenniferscoullar

    Wow! You are well prepared. I have a firefighting pump and sprinklers on the roofline, but that’s it. Well done.

    Like

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