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    Posted January 17, 2013 by
    Grant85
    Location
    Wollongong, NSW, Australia
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Wildfires blazing near you

    More from Grant85

    Fiery optimism..

     
    Bushfires in Australia are nothing out of the ordinary, especially when the temperature soars through out our hottest part of summer, being late December and January. Born and bread Australians can cope with the heat, usually it just means that more buckets of ice are needed for the esky, more “shrimp for the barby” and instead of the usual 3 trips down to the beach, a fourth one may be in order. After all, summer is the favourite time for year for the majority of us Australians. The last 3 weeks has been an exception. The highest recorded temperature in Australia, according to the bureau of Meteorology, was recorded in a small South Australian town of Oodnadatta, where the temperature reached a scorching 50.3 degrees. Oodnadatta is situated approx 1034kms north of Adelaide, so it’s no surprise that out in the middle of no-where, that the temperature could reach this high. 1 week ago, residents of the Illawarra and Shoalhaven area were sent an alarming SMS text and 1030pm at night, notifying us of “catastrophic” temperatures that we were about to face. The next day, Wollongong (part of the Illawarra, on the NSW east coat) reached 43 degrees – 7 degrees less than the hottest day recorded ever in Australian history. This kind of heat is a perfect incubator for the disastrous bushfires that are currently plaguing NSW.
    Since the end of December 2012 until present, wildfires have destroyed thousands of acres of land both in Tasmania and Central New South Wales. In Tasmania, homes have been destroyed and there are still over 100 people that remain unaccounted for. On the national news last night, I heard that the bushfires in New South Wales (NSW) have destroyed over 43’000ha of land, and the smoke from the fire, not only is it visible from outer space, it’s so big, that its creating its own electrical storm within it. I have seen volcanos erupt around the world when the magnificent spectacle of an electrical storm thunders through the smoke, but never before have had I heard of such a thing happening within a bushfire smoke storm.
    It’s in horrific situations like this that Australia’s true colours are show. Our fire fighters have worked around the clock to save the properties and lives of other. Some fire fighters have sacrificed their own homes to save the lives of others. We also must look at the farmers. Farmers are the most optimistic people in the country; and yet we city folk still wonder why on earth you would want to live in the Australian outback. They should all be praised for their efforts in battling these ferocious fires.
    It also leaves me with a final thought; what can be done to prevent these fires? Apart from the cowardly arsonists that are responsible for a few of the fires, there must be something that can be done to limit the severity of the fires. A lot of people are blaming climate change and believe that nothing can be done. New South Wales is 801’000 square kilometres, and the majority of that is dense bushland so it does sound like an impossible task of preventing the fires. More safe guards need to be implemented in this country to avoid such disasters like this getting out of hand. If anyone has any good ideas as to preventative measures, please forward them to me or our fiery (pardon the pun) red headed PM.

    Grant

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