Both threatened people’s homes and, yes, both were started after burn-offs either escaped control or flared up after being extinguished.
I hope for all involved valuable lessons have been learned.
But too often the media can be so focused on appointing blame, the positives are forgotten. And there are a lot of positives to take away from both incidents.
For starters, thanks to a lot of hard work from CFS and farm firefighting units, homes in the line of both fires were saved.
This feat involved no luck. There are more farm firefighting units around these days, many have a greater capacity than before. Importantly, communication has also improved. If a fire breaks out, nearby farmers know almost immediately and are often first on the scene, since they only have to jump in the ute and take off. CFS members are never far behind even though they have to drive to the station and kit up before attending. The CFS and farmers work well together to achieve the best outcomes for all affected.
Despite the recent examples, there are not many burn-offs going wrong. This indicates most farmers are doing the right thing although, of course, accidents can still happen. Councils, which issue burning permits, also keep a close eye on burning activity and Yorke Peninsula Council in particular has been a leader in this field.
The paper has received far fewer complaints from readers about smoke from burn-offs than in previous years, which further shows the vast majority of people involved are trying to do the right thing by their neighbours and the wider community.
If something does go wrong, we are in safe hands thanks to our many wonderful volunteers.
Nick Perry, Editor