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Bush fires « Previous | |Next »
January 12, 2005

It was between 40-44 degrees in South Australia yesterday with raging, hot north winds and dry air. Bush fire weather.The extreme conditions meant that yesterday was a total fire ban day across the state. Bushfires are the quintessential Australian disaster

BushFires3.jpg And it happened in the Adelaide Hills, around Adelaide and on Eyre Peninsula.

The firestorm on the lower Eyre Peninsula moved with incredible speed, up to 70km/h, fanned by winds approaching 100kmh. The 20-kilometre wall of flame jumped the containment lines, injuring many people and destroying homes, vehicles and stock.

It is the deadliest bush fire Australia has seen since Ash Wednesday 22 years ago.The death toll from the firestorm currently stands at nine, with many people burnt whilst trying to flee the fire in their cars.14 people are still missing.

At North Shields, a tiny settlement north of Port Lincoln, many people jumped off cliffs into the nearby sea to escape the flames and smoke sweeping down to the coast.What saved the towns was the wind turning. The fire is still burning in the scrubland.

The worst possible situation in a bushfire is to be caught in the open on foot. The second worst is to be in a vehicle as it offers only limited protection from radiant heat.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:29 PM | | Comments (1)


" It's a dreadful situation, Gary. The thought of the horror of those deaths...

I live in the Blue Mountains, another major fire danger area, where the temperature reached the mid-30s yesterday with similar ones forecast today and tomorrow.

All one can do is keep hoping for bushfire-free season but, unfortunately, the fires have to come eventually.

The thing that REALLY pisses me off is that so many fires are started by arsonists. No punishment is too severe."