Friday, May 14, 2021

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

Tags Bushfire

Tag: bushfire

Government fails to protect major tourism asset

p1938-Larapinta-Trail-Peter SM

 

 

The West MacDonnell Ranges have now been ravaged by fire for the third time in two decades: Fire scientist Peter Latz (pictured) says the NT Government isn't spending enough money on precautionary burns during the winter, leaving a catastrophic fuel load for the hot months. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

Bushfires an even bigger heartache when they are started by fools

The big country we live in turns into a monster when it burns, thumbing its nose at our feeble efforts to regain the upper hand.
It's the more agonising when the cause is human stupidity, carelessness or malice, as appears to have been the case a few days ago when part of the West MacDonnell National park, our greatest tourism asset, was turned into cinder.
An area of about 40 square kilometers was burned.
One blaze was started by the roadside near Redbank Gorge.
Another, ignited in dozens of spots for some 30 kilometers on the Glen Helen to Alice Springs road, was lit by sparks from a car driven on its rims. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.

ABOVE: The Finke River (foreground) stopped the bushfire just short of a popular bush camp, and the Glen Helen Resort. Mount Sonder is in the background, charred bushland in the middle ground. LEFT: A curry wattle re-grows after a bushfire in the MacDonnell Ranges, near Ormiston.

Mayor, Chief Minister tackled over fires

 

Mayor Damien Ryan and Chief Minister Paul Henderson got it very wrong when they claimed in media statements that the fires this week on Bond Springs and Undoolya cattle stations caused slight damage only.
Station people were "out there constantly" during daylight hours fighting the blaze, says Jan Heaslip, of Bond Springs.
She described the fires as horrendous, destroying feed, fences and water pipes worth $10,000.
There were also costs for a bulldozer and a helicopter.
Her husband, Grant, kept an aerial survey on the blaze in the station's Cessna, directing firefighters.
The station crews were joined by Bushfires Council crews.
Mrs Heaslip says she's not asking for sympathy, but Mr Ryan and Mr Henderson should acknowledge the extent of the drama and the effort of the firefighters.
Had it not been for them the blaze could well have spread into the Telegraph Station reserve or the town itself.

At right: Bushfire front approaches fire break.

More bushfire "vollies" – and we'll need them!

There has been a massive increase in the number of volunteer bushfire fighters in Alice Springs.

"Vollies" captain Shawn O'Toole says until earlier this year there
were about five or six volunteers. Now there are about 40, taking part
in training.

Meanwhile warmer weather and winds are creating dangerous fire
conditions although Grant Allan, of Bushfires NT, says close to three
quarters of the town's periphery are secure now because recent blazes
have already consumed the extraordinarily high fuel load there.

And the Department of Lands and Planning says it will not prosecute for a loading infringement of a truck driver taking a grader to a blaze north of town to stop a fire advancing towards buildings in a quarry.

The department has not yet responded to questions from Alice Springs News Online about
any liability the government may have for fires starting along roads it
has responsibility for, and that may enter pastoral land, causing
losses of fodder, man-hours fighting the fires and expenses for the use
of graders and possible damage to them.

Members of the Hayes pastoral family say of the multitude of fires
they had to fight this year, all but one had come from public
roads. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. Pictured getting
the low-down from Shawn O'Toole (second from left) on the pump mounted
on an "operational vehicle" are "vollies" (from left) Diane Chanut,
Wayne Phillips, Alan Leahy, Katherine Hastie and Nikolas Sestokas.

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