It’s now the beginning of Winter and the cold weather has kicked in with a vengeance. After quite a mild spell during the last days of Autumn, the first days of Winter have been bitterly cold, with mornings in our yard down to 2C and elsewhere below zero. Having all these gum trees in our yard gives us a small amount of protection from the clear cold nights and mornings, but a few degrees difference is neither here nor there, it’s still damn cold. It especially feels so much colder because of the warm(ish) weather we’ve experienced over Autumn and less than a week or so ago. So much for global warming, we seem to be missing out on it big time and even our wood-fired heater seems to be feeling the cold, requiring a lot more nurturing to bring out the heat and warm the house.
…and everywhere else for that matter. Just as the 2017 Easter school holidays began, DELWP decided it was a good time to start preventative burns in Gippsland, amongst other areas. Proper preventative burns have been long overdue, so I hope that this isn’t just a bit of tokenism, but the beginning of a serious attempt to address years of neglected bushfire prevention measures. What’s ironic is that these fires have now created a massive smoke haze across southern Victoria, stretching from Melbourne to at least Wilsons Promontory. Smoke health alerts were issued amongst other warnings and my wife mentioned this to me the other day, but I hadn’t noticed anything locally. It wasn’t until I took our hounds for a run at Mossvale Park early the next morning that it struck me as to how extensive the smoke was across the entire area, as far as you could see.
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) was established in the 1850s, with the first brigades formed in Geelong, Castlemaine and Sandhurst (now Bendigo). Today it consists of over 59,000 volunteers, and others, in 20 districts and eight regions across Victoria. Pretty much every community in Victoria has a CFA fire brigade that provides a host of fire, rescue and other services to their community. For a city dweller, the CFA is often thought of (if thought about at all) as just an arm of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), it’s not; however, it is an essential part of rural communities and also supports the MFB. Most importantly, the people that live in those rural communities are the local fire brigade.