16 February 2008

Ash Wednesday 25 years on

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Ash Wednesday fires, which burnt through large tracts of South Australia and Victoria and took many lives.

At the time I was living near the Adelaide foothills. I can still recall seeing a wall of flame advancing steadily across a hill not far away from my home. Fortunately for me and my family a cool change accompanied by a change of wind direction and some rain helped the firefighters to contain and then control the fires in the vicinity.

Much of Cleland Conservation Park, was burnt out, though the affected areas slowly regenerated in the following years (unfortunately plants like blackberries did so more rapidly than the native flora).

Today The Advertiser/Adelaide Now and The Australian both acknowledge the anniversary with their coverage . On the other hand, while tonight's ABC TV South Australian News also led with the story, the ABC website only has a brief report. I wouldn't for a moment suggest that the brevity is because the fires didn't approach Sydney.

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