Fire Prevention - What can we do?

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Mrs Parker-Bowles, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. ho-hum

    ho-hum New Member

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    Re: Fire Prevention - What can we do?

    This certainly is a vexing issue for anyone concerned. I believe ultimately that fire prevention must be dealt with on an individual and community basis. If you live in or near an australian eucalypt forest expect fires and expect colossal life taking fires every 50 years.

    It would be too easy to say we need to clear more, graze more etc. but there were plenty of homes taken that were surrounded by near lawn and bare paddocks. Who'd have thought that the wonderful sugargum windbreak planted 200m away would create a fireball that would engulf the sheds and then the house.

    Grazing [unless by herds of hungry koalas] wont stop the treetop infernos that characterised this last Victorian fire but grazing remains an effective strategy nonetheless.

    I believe that autonomy and conservation of forests and the decision making in respect to them be devolved from central governments back to council or shire level so that localised strategies may be implemented. Anyone who lives in a eucalypt forest needs a self-contained, externally audited fire plan.

    Why did this fire happen? Indeed there were political factors and decisions made that could in hindsight have been changed but ultimately mother nature's drought, weather conditions and the survival strategies of the eucalypt were to blame. As permaculturists we must work in with these factors. We cant bugger the bush just to save it.

    cheers,
     
  2. planigale

    planigale Junior Member

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    Re: Fire Prevention - What can we do?

    I too had prepared my place for fire after having evacuated twice, in the '02/03 fires and the '06/07 fires in East Gippsland,
    setting up a sprinkler system and a tank and pump for the vehicle.

    Black Saturday has made me reconsider my actions, but only under the same circumstances as was evident leading up to the holocaust!

    Ember attack and radiant heat will consume my abode without enough water to reduce the ferocity of a similar fire storm.
    On Insight (SBS), 2 survivors talked of their experiences and how they did and didn't save their houses.

    I guess a lot of answers will come out of the Royal Commission, as did in the aftermath of the '03 Canberra fires.

    Personally I will keep increasing my information and plan for the future fire (and that will happen) or any disaster, guess that is what Permaculture is about.

    I came across this link in my search on bunkers, as panic within the small community where I live, are jumping on what this seen as a possible solution;

    https://home.iprimus.com.au/ianpullar/firebunkers.htm

    It is well written and drives home the point of not being complacent about any disaster,
    teaching as well to think about all the possibilities of what can go wrong with our thinking!

    If you don't agree with the idea of bunkers, the document is very educational!

    So what can we do about fire prevention?
    I believe we can't prevent fires, but we can modify our behaviour, our buildings, our thinking!
     
  3. duanejen

    duanejen Junior Member

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    Re: Fire Prevention - What can we do?

    There is clearly TWO simple solutions to preventing fires in the Australian landscape.

    1. Burn the bush. Burn it this year, the next year, the year after that and so on. Till there is no bush left and the landscape becomes a desert. It won't burn then.

    OR

    2. Understand that water is the KEY to controlling fire. Fire and Water. Water as a element has the highest capacity to absorb heat. It is the reason why we call live here on Earth. Water in the biosphere and water in plants and the landscape controls both radiant and sensible heat.

    Once this Australian landscape had a fire cycle of once in every 300 years prior man's arrival. This continent, vast as it is, had mosaics of wetlands and rainforests all thru it.

    It's valley systems, both large and small, had floodplains that were grass covered dams and its creeks, streams and river were not incised but were intact series of lakes...not rivers as we imagined them.

    Our landscape was full of a biodiversity of plant species, many, if not most were fire retardant.

    Today, we have removed 94% of the country's wetlands mosaics, we have drained and incised our streams and rivers. We have dried, drained, dessicated our landscape and removed 95% of the plant diversity that was here on settlement.

    And we have planted Eucalypt trees in all our catchments......which are akin to petrol tankers waiting to explode.

    We humans have set the scene for fire to be a constant threat.
     
  4. zzsstt

    zzsstt Junior Member

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    Re: Fire Prevention - What can we do?

    In 200 years we have removed 94% of the country's wetlands? Or in 40,000 years of aboriginal inhabitation? By the way, I have watched a fire go straight across a wet area, the standing (dry) vegetation happily burnt above ground/water level. Perhaps the area itself was not greatly damaged, but the fire simply continued on the other side, and whilst I have no specific facts, I can say for certain that the native species around these parts burn like fury. In fact they burn so well that we bring them inside and burn them in the winter to heat the house.

    I'm also not sure why the ability of water (it's not an element, by the way, unless we are talking water/earth/air/fire) to absorb heat is relevant. Whilst it is true that removing heat will extinguish a fire (as will removing fuel or oxygen), a body of water provides only a physical barrier. If the radiant heat is sufficiently intense it can ignite fuel on the other side of the body of water. A spark can easily blow across it, and (as I said above) the standing vegetation in a wetland will happily burn, allowing the fire to jump across. Under calm conditions a large lush green swamp may block a fire, as may a lake or even a river (or a vegetation free ditch) but this is by acting as a firebreak, providing no fuel. The first spark that blows across will (perhaps) start a fire on the other side, or in fact a burning log could simply drift across.

    It is certainly possible to reduce the intensity of bushfires by hazard reduction burns, and this is sensible in certain areas. However as with many rural issues, people who have never been outside a city tend to get involved in these subjects and politics overtakes knowledge and common sense. If we accept unchecked fires, we must accept the damage they will impose. Currently our policies seem to be to pander to "greens", most of whom seem to have little idea of reality (not surprising as many have never left the city!). Frequent fires (natural or otherwise) reduce the fuel load, meaning the fires pass through quickly with little real damage, the vegetation regrows quickly, trees simply produce new shoots. Without these fires, the fuel load builds up, when (when, not if!) a fire happens it is now much hotter and takes far longer to pass through. Damage is far more severe, trees are killed and the ground is sterilised. Regrowth takes far longer, and starts at ground level. This may be the natural way of things, but it seems to me that we are not accepting either approach - frequent "cool" burns are apparently bad, but so is the destruction of large infrequent burns! Once again, we want to have our cake and eat it!

    In any case, it is sensible to make preparations, to have water stored and equipment checked and ready. It is also wise to know how things work, both your own gear and others, and what processes are employed. Many people use camlock fttings on fire pump and hoses, the RFS use Storz. Many people rely on electric pumps (bore pumps etc.) to provide firefighting water, the RFS often turn the electricity off to prevent accidents, rendering any electric appliance useless. A single back-up petrol pump or generator is not sufficient - if it fails to start or cannot be accessed what do you do? Is your water storage big enough? A typical petrol firefighter pump may move 250L/min, a 1000L tank will last just 4 minutes. Do you have sufficent hose? If the fire approaches from two fronts, you may need a lot of hose or two pumps! If you have underground water pipes, are the risers fireproof? If one riser fails (melts), you could lose your entire system. Perhaps a larger pump and a sprinkler on each riser in addition to the hoses? Or metallic risers and valves. Are all your connectors compatible? It costs some money, but setting up all pumps with the same size/type connectors is worthwhile, as is having a set of adapters located at each tank (various camlock sizes, Storz etc.)

    Obvious precautions such as having no flammable materials (including vegetation) close to the house will help, but radiant heat and sparks can travel large distances. Fire will run across grass, even short mown grass, but sprinklers (not on an electric pump!) can damp down grass and prevent this. A short lush and irrigated lawn, with a metre or two of gravel surrounding the house can stop a fire. Rooftop sprinklers, and even the lawn irrigation system if set up correctly, can reduce radiant heat and kill sparks. However they require a large amount of water. A browned-off un-irrigated "lawn" is probably the worst thing to surround a house, followed by leaf litter and debris.

    Water tanks should be dedicated to firefighting. Household drinking water tanks should not be relied upon, it is likely that fires will coincide with hot dry periods where the drinking water tanks may be depleted. Bore pumps should not be relied upon, as not only is the power likely to be switched off, but most domestic bore pumps cannot provide the flow required for firefighting. Solar power may also be impacted by thick smoke, so should not be relied upon.

    An escape plan, with agreed meeting points etc. is imperative, as is a degree of training for everyone involved. However things often change very fast, so everyone needs to understand that the plan may be modified or abandoned. UHF radios in the house and on all vehicles enable communication - make sure you know your channel, the RFS channel, and that of your neighbours! Mobile phones may not be of any use (they don't work here!). Pre-prepared low flammability clothing etc. should also be available, together with extinguishers, first aid kits etc.

    Mobile fire tanks are useful, but heavy when full. We have several, on trailers and strategic locations. We also have a plastic tank that sits on a stand at ute height. It can rapidly be slid on to a ute by one person (it's empty). Next to it is a 2000L tank on a stand (ex-hot water header tank), that will gravity feed via a large ball valve. The tank can be loaded on a ute and filled in a minute or two by a single person. The 200L tank is the first catchment frm a large shed roof, so is full at all times (it overflows to a larger tank on the ground).

    For about $6K (plus excavation costs) a 10,000L concrete tank can be buried as a last ditch survival bunker whilst a fire passes. BioSeptic sell their water tanks under the banner of "Bushfire Bunkers" with an access hatch and ladder.

    Lastly it must be remembered that houses can be rebuilt, and "stuff" can be replaced. When lives are at stake you should not worry about "the photo album" or anything else! I heard reports that several of the Victorian deaths were due to people without insurance trying to save their homes.......
     
  5. lyn

    lyn New Member

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    Re: Fire Prevention - What can we do?

    There are certainly some fire retardant Australian plant species, but there are also many hundreds of species in Southern Australia that have evolved to survive fire through hard protective bark (reshooting after fire) or seed capsules (relying on death of adult plant and a good clear ash bed for the seed to grow).

    The majority of Melbourne's water catchments have been closed for generations and are pretty much as-is in terms of species mix - what was there 200 years ago is what is there now (just a bit younger). Yes, parts of the catchment have been replanted, but they have been replanted mainly with the species that were there to begin with (including mass replanting after the 1939 fires). Melbourne's water catchments are dominated by Ash and Messmate forest on the slopes. These forests regenerate by burning to the ground and growing from seed. Yes, they can be like petrol tankers waiting to explode - these trees rely on almost zero shading to achieve full regeneration. Unfortunately, like the 1939 fires, many areas that were burnt this year had been burnt earlier on this decade and require manual seeding or planting to successfully regenerate as the same forest type.

    Fuel reduction burning works very well in forest types where ironbark and stringybark eucalypts predominate, but are VERY risky in ash forests, such as Melbourne's water catchments. The understorey is often too damp to burn in spring or autumn, and the thinner-barked eucalypts will die if the fire is too hot. Once the fire was in these forests on February 7th it was burning in the canopy, and on a 46°C day the eucalyptus oil in the air exploded in rolling fireballs. No amount of cool fuel reduction burning would have changed what happened once that fire got into the wetter forest.

    In terms of fire prevention and what you can do the best thing is to acknowledge that if you want to live amongst the forest around Melbourne you have to be prepared to lose your house. Some of the houses around Kinglake and Marysville were completely indefensible with trees overhanging roofs etc, no matter how clear the gutters were or how many sprinklers were on the roof. Have a box near the front door with all your special stuff and have friends in safer areas to stay with on critical days during summer (leaving before it gets to 46°C and before the wind gets to 100km/h).

    I couldn't believe that so many people were caught when even the Premier had warned of the worst day in history the day before. Anyone with the most basic fire behaviour knowledge looking at the weather radar at 2-3pm that afternoon would have known that Kinglake and surrounds were not the place to be. Such a tragedy that so many people lost their lives.
     
  6. Nick Huggins GC Qld

    Nick Huggins GC Qld Junior Member

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    "Do what the Aboriginals did"!!!
    Sorry Michael, thats the one on the reason Australia is in the situation of having such huge fires.
    Like went people spray for weeds, they select for weeds because nothing else will grow in lifeless soils. Fire, like spraying for weeds selects for plants that have a high tolerance for fire and need fire to survive. 60,000 years ago Australia, it has been discovered by scientists that the country was covered by large rainforests and the eucalyptus had only a small strong hold on its spead on the landscape. The Aboriginals arrive and then start burning. More so, 20,000 years ago when they killed out all of the MEGA FORNA and had to start lighting fires to flush out the animals or burn for the green pick to attract the animals.
    More infomation on this can be found from a book written by Dr/Prof Tim Flannery, Aust of the Year and environmental campainer and aurthor of (FUTURE EATERS).
    What should be done towns like Marysville is Clear a ring around the town, using permaculture methods of swales and Gabions, Plant out Native and non native species and creat a buffer (NO EUCALYPTUS). I have seen the damage first hand and have clients that Im designing for and have designed for around the worst hit areas of Marysville & taggerty.
    "When I had my farm I had a burn off of some area ever year, every winter"!!! WHAT? YOU STOPPED SOIL FROM FORMING AND KILLED ALL OF THE SOIL LIFE WITH THE INTENCE HEAT. (WELL THAT JUST SET YOU BACK 3 YEARS IN SOIL BUILDING). What about composting them? adding that compost to new tree plantings of fire retardant trees? And What???? "It was amazing how ferocious and persistent fires could become and even in winter". AMAZING!!! There are better words to discribe it. If you use fire you will select for fire!
    See link for studys on Fire retardant trees. https://www.smalltreefarm.com.au/Case Studies.pdf https://www.smalltreefarm.com.au/about-retardants.pdf https://www.smalltreefarm.com.au/Aust Article-Take The Eucalypt Out of Incendiary Debate.pdf
    I know this post was a while ago. I would like to hear your thoughts?
     
  7. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Nick

    Concerning the area around Marysville (Murrindindi Shire, Victoria):

    Perhaps the question your clients may like to ask themselves is: "Should we be building/re-building here in the first place?"

    The following are excerpts from a paper that a university colleague of mine put together last year:

    Settlement patterns in the Melbourne peri-urban area have added to risk arising from increasingly frequent and intense catastrophic bushfire events such as Black Saturday on 7 February 2009...

    Victorian peri-urban areas are among most vulnerable in the world to bushfires and they are considered as subject to increasing risk because of climate change...

    The Melbourne region is a fire prone landscape, with an ecological reliance on fire as a process of regeneration...

    Victoria is the most fire vulnerable part of the most fire vulnerable continent. Even though Victoria comprises only 3 per cent of the country’s land mass, it has sustained around 50 per cent of the economic damage from recorded bushfires...

    Melbourne’s peri-urban region, like those surrounding other Australian cities, has experienced significant levels of population growth and housing development over the last three decades. This peri-urban region has included locations which have experienced the greatest loss of life and damage to property from bushfires in Victoria. The combination of rising population, inadequate land use and natural resource planning, and high fire risk has proved consistently to be lethal...

    Issues of hazard and risk, where they are included in planning processes, are typically considered as site responses rather than in a broader, landscape-scale, context. Consideration of peri-urban population growth and housing development usually has included only a background concern for wildfire hazard as one element of a broader discussion of appropriate futures for these landscapes. Moreover, the competing objectives of managing fire risk, retaining habitat, protecting farmland and of recognizing post-agricultural land use possibilities all often lead to increased fire risk, particularly through conversion of many areas to rural residential purposes in areas of high bushfire hazard...

    Murrindindi Shire as a Case Study

    The following case study of the Shire of Murrindindi is intended to explore issues of risk
    management, planning and the dynamics of the peri-urban region...

    The land area, especially that area affected by the recent fires, comprises public land and often narrow strips and inliers of private land in bushland settings. Commercial agriculture, including a large poultry industry, sub-commercial farming and rural residential land uses each feature in Murrindindi, however the area closest to Melbourne, where the fire was concentrated, is characterised by small holdings and high levels of recent housing activity... within area of public forest...

    The fragmentation of land and the construction of dwellings in small lots, specifically on inliers or corridors of private land close to public forests, is a feature of rural housing development in Murrindindi...

    The patterns of development... demonstrate the lethal potential of dwelling construction on small rural lots through the exposure of dispersed, increasing rural populations to the risk of fire. Dwellings constructed on small lots north of Kinglake and Marysville were affected directly by the fire...

    ...most existing rural lots in Murrindindi are jointly owned, a situation broadly repeated over most of the rural shires in Victoria. Properties (that is, singly owned lots or combinations of lots held jointly) 40 hectares or larger comprise almost 28 per cent of all properties. The construction of dwellings on lots currently jointly owned, and closer subdivision of properties in areas of high fire risk, will increase the number of dwellings exposed to serious bushfire danger...

    The retention of larger properties also remains important for agriculture and biodiversity as they contain most of the remaining vegetation on private land. Their retention is compatible with the precautionary principle by retaining a range of future options...

    Rural dwelling construction and other development is inadequately related through policy and statutory planning provisions to remnant native vegetation. The importance of retaining remnant native vegetation for landscape, biodiversity, water and land protection and other reasons has been recognised through statutory planning controls in Victoria for over 20 years. But a picture emerges of dwellings continually constructed in close proximity to remnant native vegetation, and the approval of subdivisions of land containing significant native vegetation. Both types of action result in the exposure of rising numbers of people to increasing risk from fire by introducing developments and uses into vegetated areas, while constantly degrading, reducing or eventually eliminating remnant native vegetation...

    This situation is not unique to Murrindindi; many of the causes of increased risk appear to be products of policy and decision-making at the State level, and resulting from cultural and political expectations for development in peri-urban regions...


    ...and it goes on

    Source: Butt et al (2009) Peri-urban growth, planning and bushfire in the Melbourne city-region

    Further, Michael Buxton, as quoted in a paper written soon after the 2009 by Victorian wildfire expert Michael Campbell, asks the question that many are too afraid to ask:

    Why do we prevent people from building in a flood plain but allow developers to subdivide land on ridges with one access point in areas of high potential fire hazard?

    Source: Campbell (2009) Thoughts on the Victorian Bushfires

    I would urge anyone contemplating the construction of a dwelling in a wildfire prone area to undertake a thorough study of the risk involved (reading the above-cited papers would be a great start), and if the risk outweighs the expectation, then perhaps it is time to find a less risky site.

    Cheerio, Marko.
     
  8. Nothing like throwing an incendiary into the thread.... :grin:




    .
     
  9. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Is Flannery controversial?

    Marko, I imagine there are problems with not building there. What happens if everyone does that? Eventually the land will not be able to be sold, leaving individuals and families with no way of building elsewhere. Is the govt (on any level) likely to help?
     
  10. Nick Huggins GC Qld

    Nick Huggins GC Qld Junior Member

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    Hey Marko,

    Would you be keen to do a PODCast on this issue? I would love to get your views. And anyone else that would like to be involved.
     
  11. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day pebble, always great to chat with you :)

    Very simply, If everyone were to decide to not build in a wildfire prone region, then everyone would be safe from wildfire.

    Of course, this is a politically and culturally unpalatable solution in a neo-liberal, capitalist society, where the majority of people build dwellings for investment purposes, rather than for the need to meet sustainable living requirements. It is for this reason that I am an advocate for retrofitting (see, for example: Holmgren) the existing unsustainable urban areas, and evolving toward a more sustainable future scenario (see, for example: Tandanya Shadow Plans) where we live much more lightly (and safely) on the land.

    Difficult to achieve, but I will and do argue, it's the only real way forward.

    Before the 2009 fires, statutory planners in every fire-prone municipality of Victoria were aware of the risks associated with the political/commercial expediency of allowing people to build dwellings in situations that were in essence, fire bombs waiting to ignite. Planners have always attempted to bring to the attention of those endeavouring to build in the same said areas, but build they still do.

    Even after the 2009 fires (including the one in the municipality I currently reside in), the Victorian State Government still sees short term economic gains to be made in allowing people to build/re-build in fire prone areas as an acceptable outcome when weighed up against the longer term risks. So I guess that answers your last question regarding 'government help'.

    Some personal insights into wildfires: I was born and spent the first 20-years of my life living in what was then termed, 'the most fire-prone shire, in the most fire-prone state, in the most fire-prone nation'. Our family owned a private forest, from which my father, grandfather, and great grandfather earned their 'living' by sustainably harvesting high-grade, hardwood timber (the majority of which went into many of the homes of the various 'building booms' that occurred throughout Victoria during the latter half of the C19, and the first half of the 20C). I have listened to the stories of my forefathers, as they retold of their involvement in fighting the 'great fires'. I have also listened to the stories as told by my foremothers, as they retold of their fears that their menfolk would be 'lost'. I have witnessed wildfire crowning in a dry sclerophyll forest during the 1983 fires - it is an experience that I will never forget, and one that I would not hope to bear witness to again. I literally shite myself as the fire passed within 500m of our position.

    The Royal Commission Final Report into the 2009 fires is not due for release until 31 July, 2010. In the meantime, the above website offers plenty in the way of evidence from a plethora of planners (and other professionals) on the subject, and in relation to how we should 'deal' with the problem.

    In short, my 'advice' will always be: If you intend to build in a fire-prone area, then you should also be prepared to accept the risk of being killed by wildfire. Further, if you rely on a government, any government other than the one that resides in your own mind to do anything in your best interests, then likewise you must be prepared to accept the risk you have taken by giving away your own decision-making powers to others.

    Cheerio, Markus.
     
  12. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Nick

    Aside from what I have been able to offer above, I do not consider myself to be well enough versed in the subject. While it is something I know a little of, it is mostly outside of my research field. However, either Andrew Butt or Michael Buxton could very well be up for it.

    Cheerio, Marko.
     
  13. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I guess the people with the smarts will get out soonest, and those left at the end will lose out. I'm not sure that everyone, or even most people, buy property as investment. Don't most people buy a house because they want somewhere secure to live? Am I being naive? ;-)

    I'm not sure if we have an equivalent here, but I'm always pleased to see rich people here building houses in really stupid places, like the top of erosion prone cliffs facing the sea.

    I've seen Holmgren speak on retro-fitting the suburbs - very inspiring stuff.
     
  14. .

    janahn, that is probably why Melbourne didn't burn to the ground in 1851.



    .
     
  15. Nick Huggins GC Qld

    Nick Huggins GC Qld Junior Member

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    Thanks for the leads. Im on to it!
     
  16. Tropical food forest

    Tropical food forest Junior Member

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    If it wasnt Victoria (too cold for me!)
    id live there

    but id be living in something like this

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    why not? Its what forest animals in fire prone forests the world over do
    observe nature and build like a wombat!

    with a backup bunker, with oxygen masks
    nothing we couldnt make from scuba tanks
    a few hundred dollars, and some periodic maintenence
    a lot cheaper than burying your family
    theres no reason we cant live there
    same as we can live in flood prone places if we build up
    or cyclone if we build strong
    or drought if we harvest the rain
     
  17. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    When Michael Reynolds was last in Australia, I had the pleasure of attending one of his lectures. During questions, he was asked about the suitability of Earthships as replacement dwellings for all those that had been incinerated on the 2009 fires. His response was, understandably, that they would be very suitable. He then mentioned that he had offered to talk with the state government architect and those involved in the rebuilding process, but apparently they never got back to him... pity.

    Earthship section:

    [​IMG]

    See: earthship.com
     
  18. Tropical food forest

    Tropical food forest Junior Member

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    Maybe he just came on too strong
    chocolates first
    then jewellry
    lol
    he shouldve dumbed down a pic like that!

    put a plasma TV in where the veggie garden is,
    and a satteliet TV dish where the solar panel is
    you have to be sneaky!!!
    you can retrofit a half good design!

    its times like these i regret being a busted arse student :)
    id love to be able to payroll a house like this

    get a great design
    made modular and cheap (concrete )
    and roll it out T model ford style
    cheaper by the dozen!

    no termites, no fires, no worries
    even if its concrete itll last 150-300 years! and many interior designers!

    its what australia needs in the south
    easy to moderate warmth in winter
    easy to cool in summer (ducted heat exchanges using deep wells into the earth)

    no more A/C
    no more black roofs
    no more sad bushfire burials
     
  19. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Marko Said

    < Very simply, If everyone were to decide to not build in a wildfire prone region, then everyone would be safe from wildfire.>

    Sounds like a simple solution however victorian bushland isnt the only area at risk , in Jan 2005 we were hit by wildfire on lower eyre peninsula. It didnt matter if you were on the open flat farm land or the more hilly terrain suited to 50% grazing 50% cropping , the fire intensity was incredible 80 houses lost and 9 people were lost as well massive stock loss and farm equipment and infastructure , not the scale of the victorian fires however , interestingly i think it was 9 mths before the prime minister could be bothered making an appearance . There was a fire the day before and i helped with the blacking out all through the night , many trucks worked to secure the area with a bad forcast for the following day , so luck had me home to defend my house the next day . When i left the fire ground every local truck was there manned and loaded with water i seen at least 25 CFS Trucks plus dozens of farm units , point being even on the open flat farmland a swarm of fire units had no hope of stopping the inevitable break out let alone control it . So on these high index days 90% of the land is at risk , live in town and be safe is the answer , if there hadnt been a sudden wind shift Portlincoln would have been incinerated not safe there . Since then Portlincoln has had two more major scares and only now are preventative measures beginning to happen.
    Lucerne proved itself as a fire retardent in many situations so could be used to great effect it was really to only thing to survive i believe it has very little oil . Also high Tin fences saved many houses . Fresh green kikuya burned to a white ash along with everything else so dont think a nice green lawn will help .
    Pretty distressing dragging this up again , High winds and tree canopy fires are not a good mix hopefully more people will be better prepared .
    Regards Rob
     
  20. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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