NOT long after marking the one year anniversary of the catastrophic bushfires on Kangaroo Island, we have been given another horrific demonstration of nature's power.
The fire that broke out at Blackford on Monday was a reminder of how quickly a fire can spread in hot and windy conditions.
In addition to Emergency Warnings issued for Avenue Range, Lucindale, Woolumbool and Stewarts Range, the Country Fire Service was so concerned about the risk the fire posed at one point, that it issued a Watch and Act message for those living at Lochaber, Naracoorte, Cadgee, Kybybolite, Hynam, Mount Light and Moyhall. Residents were warned that the fire may threaten their safety, and they were urged to check and follow their Bushfire Survival Plans.
Thankfully, due to the efforts of CFS and those manning local farm firefighting units, the blaze did not reach these areas.
Related reading:SE landholders counting cost of Blackford fire
Once the dust begins to settle, I imagine some people may view the Watch and Act message as an overreaction, but as we've learned far too many times before, it's much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to bushfires. An early warning about the potential danger posed by a fire could be the difference between life and death.
We know the risk bushfires pose to farm houses, infrastructure and farmland, as well as national parks, but recent blazes have shown why everyone in regional areas needs a Bushfire Survival Plan, including those who live in our country towns.
The Blackford fire burnt right to the edge of the Lucindale township, while the Ravine fire on KI threatened Vivonne Bay and Parndana, and the Cudlee Creek blaze came perilously close to Lobethal.
Our thoughts are with all those impacted by Monday's Blackford fire.
This includes the South East Field Day organisers, as the fire burnt right up to the edge of the field day site.
The committee has already faced so much in the past 12 months, with the 2020 SEFD one of the first events to fall victim to the pandemic - which also forced the cancellation of the 2021 event.
While Lucindale may not play host to thousands of field day attendees this year, let's hope that other similar events and country shows can go ahead.
These events help bring our communities together, and at the moment that feels more important than ever.
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