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Australian bush fires

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ChrisM

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In 1871, Alfred Jacob Myers, son of Jacob and Juliana, (a family with connections to Charlotte Street, Edgbaston Street, Dale End, Steelhouse Lane and Smallbrook Street) upped sticks and set off for Australia.

Yesterday morning, his great-grandson, Richard (a cousin of mine, thanks to Jacob and Juliana, and living in Victoria, about 40 miles east of Melbourne) wrote to me to describe some of the travails being experienced on his side of the world.

(That is my excuse for posting this in a Forum dedicated to Birmingham history! But a few members may find his words of interest as well)

As Fraser says in Dad's Army......"We're DOOMED, aye......"

It is all getting a bit beyond a joke, is it not? And we are only half way through the allotted three months of summer. No wonder some are saying that we need to rename the seasons - so we should say six months of fire time, and so on.
The big fire zones are at least 250 kms to the east of us, but we have been shrouded in smoke for days now. I feel it in my throat, which is unusual. An expert speaking on TV explained that the reason it doesn’t have the usual pleasant scent of burning wood is that the ferocity of the fires is such that the searing temperatures push it straight up as high as the stratosphere, causing thunderclouds and lightning as it goes. The tremendous updraught hoovers up vast amounts of dust and any other particles around, and that admixture of smoke and rubbish is why the smoke is so choking.
The plume has now done one lap of the globe, having gone east over New Zealand staining the snows a yucky yellow, then on across the Pacific, across South America and home again.
Our P.M. is getting some of the abuse he deserves for his antediluvian views - early last year the nation’s fire chiefs sought a meeting with him to inform him of their deep concern of what they were convinced lay ahead - and he refused to see them!
And behold, it has come to pass. Verily.
He is the same person who, when Treasurer, walked into Parliament with a great lump of coal then sang its praises. No one lets him forget that.
Mercifully, some of the states' Premiers have spent the decade since the last catastrophe responding to the recommendations of the Royal Commission that was held here in Victoria following that horrific event. In 2009 there were 175 people killed in the Victorian Black Saturday fires, this year five so far in the state of Victoria and similar numbers in New South Wales, and most were not killed directly by fire, but were crushed by falling trees, a surprising but significant problem. It is believed that the change in advice to people now has led to this welcome reduction in the number of deaths.
Now the emphasis is on “Leave early!” whereas the old mantra used to be, “People save houses; Houses save people."
In 2009 the houses exploded with the people in them. Ugh.
You perhaps saw news of the Navy rescuing a couple of thousand people from a beach, a mini-Dunkirk. At present the Army is using armoured vehicles to get supplies through to the distant town, Mallacoota. The road in is so choked with fallen trees that the public is not allowed to use it until the fallen trees are removed and the dangerous ones cut down. The closed section of road is miles long. People wishing to leave the town were taken out in a convoy north to New South Wales. Those going to Melbourne had a two day trip.
It has been interesting to note how the cartoonists are reacting. Below are three different approaches.
The words that Leunig places above the gum leaf in the third cartoon are from a poem, My Country, that we all learned to recite at school. It contrasts England’s ‘green and shady lanes’ with our ‘stark white ring-barked forests’ and ‘droughts and flooding rains’. Someone wrote to the paper praising Leunig for getting it so right again.
........Enjoy those green and shady lanes!……

R

Chris
(Acknowledgement for cartoons: The Age newspaper, Melbourne)
!cid_FA7FEDD1-88C2-4985-90C6-51C4DAE9350C@lan.jpg ASH.jpg

!cid_703AF322-0167-441C-A926-1B332499AFEC@lan.jpgTREE.jpg

!cid_8D19CFE7-9114-400F-A121-C9BECC147D7C@lan.jpgLEUNIG.jpg
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
Thanks for this Thread. Here in the green and pleasant land, and over 2 years from the Grenfell tragedy, we still have over 300 buildings with the same type of cladding.
 

wendylee

master brummie
In 1871, Alfred Jacob Myers, son of Jacob and Juliana, (a family with connections to Charlotte Street, Edgbaston Street, Dale End, Steelhouse Lane and Smallbrook Street) upped sticks and set off for Australia.

Yesterday morning, his great-grandson, Richard (a cousin of mine, thanks to Jacob and Juliana, and living in Victoria, about 40 miles east of Melbourne) wrote to me to describe some of the travails being experienced on his side of the world.

(That is my excuse for posting this in a Forum dedicated to Birmingham history! But a few members may find his words of interest as well)

As Fraser says in Dad's Army......"We're DOOMED, aye......"

It is all getting a bit beyond a joke, is it not? And we are only half way through the allotted three months of summer. No wonder some are saying that we need to rename the seasons - so we should say six months of fire time, and so on.
The big fire zones are at least 250 kms to the east of us, but we have been shrouded in smoke for days now. I feel it in my throat, which is unusual. An expert speaking on TV explained that the reason it doesn’t have the usual pleasant scent of burning wood is that the ferocity of the fires is such that the searing temperatures push it straight up as high as the stratosphere, causing thunderclouds and lightning as it goes. The tremendous updraught hoovers up vast amounts of dust and any other particles around, and that admixture of smoke and rubbish is why the smoke is so choking.
The plume has now done one lap of the globe, having gone east over New Zealand staining the snows a yucky yellow, then on across the Pacific, across South America and home again.
Our P.M. is getting some of the abuse he deserves for his antediluvian views - early last year the nation’s fire chiefs sought a meeting with him to inform him of their deep concern of what they were convinced lay ahead - and he refused to see them!
And behold, it has come to pass. Verily.
He is the same person who, when Treasurer, walked into Parliament with a great lump of coal then sang its praises. No one lets him forget that.
Mercifully, some of the states' Premiers have spent the decade since the last catastrophe responding to the recommendations of the Royal Commission that was held here in Victoria following that horrific event. In 2009 there were 175 people killed in the Victorian Black Saturday fires, this year five so far in the state of Victoria and similar numbers in New South Wales, and most were not killed directly by fire, but were crushed by falling trees, a surprising but significant problem. It is believed that the change in advice to people now has led to this welcome reduction in the number of deaths.
Now the emphasis is on “Leave early!” whereas the old mantra used to be, “People save houses; Houses save people."
In 2009 the houses exploded with the people in them. Ugh.
You perhaps saw news of the Navy rescuing a couple of thousand people from a beach, a mini-Dunkirk. At present the Army is using armoured vehicles to get supplies through to the distant town, Mallacoota. The road in is so choked with fallen trees that the public is not allowed to use it until the fallen trees are removed and the dangerous ones cut down. The closed section of road is miles long. People wishing to leave the town were taken out in a convoy north to New South Wales. Those going to Melbourne had a two day trip.
It has been interesting to note how the cartoonists are reacting. Below are three different approaches.
The words that Leunig places above the gum leaf in the third cartoon are from a poem, My Country, that we all learned to recite at school. It contrasts England’s ‘green and shady lanes’ with our ‘stark white ring-barked forests’ and ‘droughts and flooding rains’. Someone wrote to the paper praising Leunig for getting it so right again.
........Enjoy those green and shady lanes!……

R

Chris
(Acknowledgement for cartoons: The Age newspaper, Melbourne)
View attachment 140703

View attachment 140704

View attachment 140705
Wow , ChrisM , thanks for posting that it says just about everything about what is happening in Australia at the moment. These fires are the worst we have ever had, the intensity of the fires is unbelievable because of the fuel load allowed to grow without fuel reduction being carried out!! The length of the fires surpasses any I have known. When the fires are eventually extinguished Australia will take a very long time to recover.
Wendy
 

ChrisM

Super Moderator
Staff member
Bob,

“vesuvian. A slow-burning match formerly used for lighting cigars; a fusee”.

Chris
 
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