The sky’s falling in, no it’s not

The fire season, called summer in Australia, is here. Last year Associate Professor Alan March advised that building should be banned in bush fire zones. Other, calmer experts in the field of sustainable building disagreed, and rightly so. New fire safety building rules ensure survival of both dwellings and occupants. As the Guardian states replacement dwellings will not look like those destroyed by bush fire but they will allow owners to live in beautiful coastal areas surrounded by our wonderful eucalyptus forests which for millennia have burst into flame burning the majority of under-story, canopy and wild life residents in the forest. Fortuitously months after these events regrowth happens, native animals adapted to eucalyptus forest wild fire have sheltered in holes in the ground, on the south side of gradients, and in streams. They then start to breed up and repopulate, well supported by a flush of new growth on indigenous plant species well adapted to fire storms. A process of rebirth and regeneration, long before the fire event. Long ago our land had populations of giant marsupials, soft leaf forests and wetland environments. Climate change altered all that, and many animals became nocturnal possibly to beat the heat. Soft and wet disappeared, land dried out and vegetation became prone to burning, probably caused by lightning strike before human colonists ran burn regimes. Soft was replaced by hard, resilient fire resistant species. If we want to colonise eucalyptus forests we have to construct dwellings that offer robust fire resistance and havens for residents. Additionally fit for purpose access must be provided for fire control activity with secure water storage dedicated to fire control purposes, and accessible to water bombing aircraft. Those like Prof March need to take a deep breath and loosen up a bit to consider common sense solutions.

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/dec/30/great-ocean-road-bushfire-put-safety-before-rebuilding-says-expert

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