I know I’m largely repeating what I wrote back in January. However repetition is required until the message sinks in.
The tragedy currently unfolding across NSW shouldn’t surprise anyone. In fact, the only surprise would be if it doesn’t eventually spread to cover areas of SA and Vic.
The reason being the recent so-called “break” in the drought. In reality, the weather turned on the Aussie sprinklers for a couple years before returning to normal. In turn we had above average flora growth across the Great Dividing Range and arterial waterways of Eastern the Murray, Darling and Murrumbidgee.
This is now returning to normal, leading to die-back, hence fuel loading.
Expect some serious fire threats into the coming hot and dry El Nino period.
We celebrate the breaking of a drought, but looking over great periods than election cycles and waterway plans, we should be concerned about the wets; how we manage the water and the landscape beyond that period.
We are a fickle species with a tendency for the short term and will continue to feel the pain wild fires (not to mention the carbon loss) until we can move beyond our tendencies and plan for the longer term.