When did we stop
Learning from our previous mistakes?
Having read a number of posts in the daily prompt and countless websites and books dedicated to the Victorian bush fires of 2009 and still living in an area that is recovering from those bush fires, I regularly find myself asking the above question.
Sure there has been a Royal Commission that was suppose to find out what went wrong and what could be done to prevent it happening again. But Royal Commissions rarely do much other than cost the state or country a bucket load of money.
In some areas local government has decided to learn by stopping people from building near trees, trees that can’t be cut down in case the forest is not thick enough. Some of the more forward thinking local governments and the wonderfully progressive state governments have even decided to learn by only doing burn offs and clearing the undergrowth on days where the temperature exceeds 35 degrees, has high winds and leads up to a long weekend when all the staff take at least 3 days off.
But perhaps some of the most concerning acts of not learning from past mistakes are those preformed by some of the residents who have moved back into the area. The black and charred mess may be gone, the green of the grass and leaves may have returned and the scorched land may be hidden but the number of people in my local area alone who have come back without learning the single most important lesson about the bush is astonishing.
What is the lesson? If you live in the bush, beware it burns!
A bush fire is unforgiving, a raging bush fire just does not give a damn and worse than that is that a raging bush fire usually moves way too quick for those who forgot to give a damn. Yet the number of people in this area who have moved back in, surrounded themselves in trees, let the grass go wild in surrounding paddocks, not installed sprinkler systems, and live like it wont happen again should be a concern. But for some reason too many of those people have stopped learning from their previous mistakes.