Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sorry for the Hiatus

I've been unwell and now I'm struggling with time management as I try to catch up. The fact that we've been dealing with extremely hot weather since Christmas -  over 40° C not being uncommon - and that our air conditioner died immediately after Christmas hasn't helped.

Really though I have little to complain about when I look at what has been happening in the south west of the state where bushfires have been and still are ravaging the countryside.The fire season had already started badly when in November lightning strikes ignited bush in the Esperance area on the south coast causing four deaths and destroying buildings and crops. It just went on from there. At one point fires were burning at various points all around the city of Perth. Things settled again with only minor fires breaking out - some caused by stupidity and a few due to fire bugs (there are always a handful of these, sadly).

Then on 8 January a huge fire (started again by lightning in a reserve) roared through a vast area south of Perth, killing two men, destroying the small historic town of Yarloop and leaving a huge clean up bill with fencing and crops wiped out and animals injured. The fire was so immense that at one stage it created its own weather system. The fire is now contained but some major roads are still closed due to fire damage.

There are still smaller fires happening all the time, of course - this is Australia in summer after all - but now Nature has compounded the problem with a violent storm causing flash flooding and wreaking havoc with crops in the lower south west. 

So a dramatic start to the year and one that is going to have serious on-going effects because the south west is where most of our fruit, vegetables and dairy comes from and it's going to take a long time for the region to recover.

My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones or had their livelihoods destroyed and if anyone is so inclined you can make a donation here to help those affected.


Graham Clements said...

The destruction of Yarloop was terrible, but at least only a few lives were lost (from memory). It could have been a lot worse. Hope you get to feeling better. I suggest a holiday. Our air-conditioning broke down in November last year. We had to endure two days in the high thirties without it. But 40 degrees would have been tough. Good thing though, our new air conditioner does a lot better job of cooling the house, and is costing less to run.

Helen V. said...

It could have been much worse - that there were only two deaths is a tribute to the action taken by the authorities - but it is still devastating. Much of Perth's fruit, vegetables and milk supplies come from the fire and flood hit areas so it will have quite an impact on food prices.