The media and some politicians are claiming that the current bushfires are “unprecedented.” In July 1946 most of the Queensland coast was on fire from Brisbane to Townsville- a distance of 800 miles or 1260 km.
Back then, of course, the Queensland coast was sparsely settled, even Brisbane was a large country town. The resources available were far more primitive than today. But I don’t think climate change was an issue back then.
Jo Nova writes:
In 1946 — 800 miles of fires “stretched from Brisbane to Townsville”
In 1946 fires burned in an “almost unbroken chain from Brisbane to Townsville”. They lit up the sky at night, pushed plumes of smoke 3,000 ft in the sky, that looked like “Bikini Atoll”. And this was July…
Qld 1946: Now that’s what I call Hazard Reduction
Believers of man-made-weather say that warmer drier conditions and longer fire seasons are preventing hazard reduction burns. Aside from the fact that a warmer world is not a drier world, and rainfall trends have gone up not down, this is a snowflakes excuse. Even if it were true, the answer is to get more serious about burning off when conditions are cooler.
Thanks to Siliggy, Lance Pidgeon for the pointer. This is what Queenslanders used to do when they were serious about stopping wildfires. Their view of dry brush was that it was waiting like tinder…
Fortunately yesterday, Armageddon didn’t come to the East Coast. But it might have.
Trove, National Library of Australia
By a Staff Correspondent
TOWNSVILLE, Sunday. —
Fires are burning to-night in an almost unbroken chain from the edge of Brisbane to Townsville, 800 miles distant.
The coastal fires provide air travellers with a graphic picture of parched Queensland.
Deeper inland, even greater areas of dry brush and grass areburning or waiting, like tinder, fora careless match or spark.
From Rockhampton to Gordonvale, farmers are burning off cane.
Forestry officers in other areas are burning fire breaks.
Long Smoke Trails
Columns of smoke loom from hills above some coastal towns, In the hills north and south of Mackay to-night smoke from two separate groups of fires stretched in trails for many miles.
South of Maryborough there is another group of fires.
From some of these the smoke was rising yesterday afternoon to a height of 3000ft.
One air traveller said: ‘They look like pictures of the Bikini bomb explosion.’
Some fires are blackening areas of dry grass on which ‘small and large graziers depend for fodder while the drought lasts.
A Forestry Department management officer (Mr. Pohlman) said tonight that no fires had been reported in forestry areas, but burning off operations were continuing.
Grass and rubbish fires round Brisbane increased yesterday after the light rain on Friday morning.
Fire engines were called to 10 fires in the metropolitan area. No damage was done.