By Stan Stewart.
Fire, fire everywhere but not in lush green Hawaii! Many of us thought that way. But the times are changing and in many parts of the world undergrowth is more brittle and leaf litter drying. Coromandel bush fires can happen. We can’t shrug it off, but we can be prepared.
Australian eastern states are currently being warned that a sizzling summer is on the way.
Our forecasters tell us that temperatures are most likely to be above average (55%). Marine heatwave conditions remain present in coastal waters.
John Freer of CFM recently sounded a timely wakeup call on the possibility of fires on the Coromandel. Recently he talked with Rob Golding, Community Risk Manager for Fire and Emergency New Zealand. This interview is still on the CFM archive. Rob urged listeners to look up the highly recommended Fire Emergency website ‘Check It’s Alright’.
Of particular relevance to home and batch owners is the section ‘Protecting your Property’.
The way your garden is laid out can mean the difference between saving your house or total destruction, life or death when a bush fire sweeps in. This has to do with the flammability of the plants that are near to your house. This can vary greatly. In an inferno, all plants and trees will burn. But judicious planting of bushes and trees that are slow burning can slow the encroaching fire down. This gives time. In some cases, this will mean the house can be saved. In other cases, this slowing of the fire allows time for the fire fighters to rescue the home owners and their pets. Look carefully at the illustration provided by the Fire and Emergency website.
Home and batch owners are urged to take action NOW. Thin out the planting near the residence and remove flammable trees and shrubs. If you do replace them, replace with slow burning shrubs and trees. In the event of a fire catastrophe, such action could save your buildings, and/or save your life.
Caption: This image was taken with a phone as the person fled from the recent fire in Lahaina, Hawaii.