Hanrahan was right!

The poem “Said Hanrahan” by John O’Brien (see http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/obrienj/poetry/hanrahan.html) catalogues Hanrahan’s predictions of financial ruin for farmers due to the successive catastrophes of drought, then flood, then fire.

We’ve seen precisely this sequence of events for large areas of Australia over the past two or three years. The La Niña effect which brought record rainfall and extensive flooding to eastern and northern Australia late last year and early this year ended a long period of drought in many areas, but in its wake produced strong growth of grass. The Outback looks greener than usual in many parts. On a recent trip, we saw many prosperous-looking kangaroos, and lots of emus with chicks.

But now, with warmer Spring weather arriving, grass fires are being reported from many quarters. My daughter and grandson were a few days ago prevented from visiting King’s Canyon by fires. Yesterday I travelled on the Hume Highway from Sydney to Wagga, and drove through heavy smoke — presumably from grass fires, but maybe back-burning –between Jugiong and Gundagai.

The Simpson Desert crossing has been reported as closed, with some five million hectares burnt out. Other fires are said to be burning near the Birdsville Track, Hamilton Station (north of Oodnadatta), north of Alice Springs, and between Innamincka and Moomba.

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About dazzlerplus

Writing about the things that interest me helps me to discover what I think. One of my loves is the Australian Outback, and I travel out there often, and when possible take friends with me.
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4 Responses to Hanrahan was right!

  1. roobark says:

    I heard on ABC RN’s Bush Telegraph (11.05am each weekday) that fauna such as wallabies and roos were suffering pneumomia from smoke inhalation during grass fires and that, although not uncommon, the incidence of such illness is higher than usual this season. Apparently the grass fires are way over the top around Alice this year.

    • dazzlerplus says:

      With a name like roobark, you would naturally be concerned about this matter!

      Seriously, I’m not surprised about what you say. And with areas like five million hectares burnt out by fires in one region alone, the amount of grass available for roos, wallabies, etc will be significantly reduced.

  2. dazzlerplus says:

    Fires continue to cause problems in many areas. Some Bobby Dazzler travellers will recall passing Bollard’s Lagoon Station near Cameron Corner. According to reports, three quarters of the property — some 800,000 acres — have been burnt out recently.

  3. dazzlerplus says:

    Some of you will have met Raylene and Ken from Lindon Station near Cameron Corner. An email a short time ago advised that they were busy clearing fire breaks around their homestead. They have already had fires on their property, although so far no stock have been lost. All the fires have been started by lightning. Country Fire Service personnel have been helping, but due to their unfamiliarity with sand dune country have been repeatedly getting their trucks bogged.

    As Raylene points out, ” … and it’s not even summer yet! We need rain.”

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