Posted by: Bruce | May 14, 2010

Black Saturday Bushfires, Victoria;…Stay or Go Policy

The Royal Commission heard its last witness on 10/5/10 and now the wait for the findings on the Black Saturday tragedy of bush fires of 7/2/09.

What can be done to prevent loss of life in bush fires? There will always be bush fires and sadly someone, again, may not be able to flee a raging fire. How can you outrun something that looks like this?

Super scary stuff.

Disaster documentaries on hurricanes ( we call them cyclones)  in the USA grab my attention in one particular area.  A lot of homes featured have basements or purpose built rooms dedicated for sheltering during such life threatening visits by nature.

I wonder. Why can’t we Aussies build dedicated shelters in bush fire prone areas? There are clever people in this country, it can be done. The technology is probably good enough, money may be a problem and feasibility a question (in regards to function).

Fire proof shelters (or fire resistant for certain times) is what I’m suggesting. A particular room in a house, a basement, a stand alone shelter near the house.  Perhaps above ground or below or in between, but accessible and preferably away from fuel.

How about a different type of Town Hall? A multi-purpose community hall that doubles as a serious shelter against fire. In war torn countries, underground bomb shelters were the go. A purpose built Town Hall, perhaps underground, semi submerged, whatever, and away from fuel. A network of Town Halls across the fire prone areas could be built, equipped and maintained for a very important role. Town Halls already serve communities in times of flood, storms and other disasters. Let’s just upgrade the buildings function and purpose.

Putting aside costing, which shouldn’t be impossible, could a fire shelter work? It would probably have to be located in a relatively clear area; withstand enormous temperatures and protect those in the shelter from the heat (not the flame). What about air supply? Outside air would be superheated, would that effect the air in a shelter? How long does a raging inferno take to demolish a house and move on?

Maybe this could work. Those with the knowledge will know. I really do wonder if people can be left standing even if the house can’t.

Black Saturday

Word for today: REFUGE, shelter for protection from danger or distress.

More to come: same blog time, same blog channel.

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