Monday, September 25, 2006

NSW is likely to burn up this summer

Yesterday, Sunday 24th September was one of those horrendous Oz days when the fragility of European settlement is revealed. Winds from the north-west, gusting at 90km per hour or more, a dry landscape and temperatures into the 30s – some of the highest September temperatures on record. Several houses were destroyed by fires, one man, a motor-biker, was killed when the branch of a gum tree fell on him as he travelled through the Kangaroo Valley (a very Australian form of death!).

In my travels on this trip – now over 3,500km – I can see that most of NSW is still in drought, some of it ‘green drought’. Unless there are significant falls of rains in the next month or so much of the grain harvest will fail or be depleted, stock will also fare poorly over a summer with little pasture growth. Worst of all, if there are more days like yesterday, much of NSW will burn. More houses will be lost and possibly lives.

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