Fire in TasmaniaSunday, 6 January 2013
I went down to Tasmania with some friends a few days ago and managed to run into the state’s worst bush fire in years. From our holiday shack on Steele Island, about 50km east of Hobart, we could see the smoke blowing over the ridge to the north. The road to Port Arthur, the colonial convict era prison which is one of Tasmania’s major tourist attractions, had been cut by the fire. As dusk fell the fire crept over the ridge and moved down the other side of the ridge towards us. ▼
We weren’t too worried, the fire was some distance away and there was an inlet between us and the fire. Nevertheless the fire reports were confusing and hard to access, mainly because our internet connection was painfully flow. With Australian bushfires the main decision is whether to stay or go. Hang around too long and you can find yourself in serious danger and when that happens it may be too late to flee, your escape route cut by the fire. The message we were getting seemed to be saying ‘time to go,’ but in fact that was a general message covering a large area and our particular location wasn’t seriously impacted. We stayed, although from our viewpoint we could see houses catch fire and burn out.