Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not-so-clean air

I have mentioned once before on this blog my surprise that here in Tasmania you are pretty much allowed to burn stuff anytime. Except during fire permit season when you need a permit, of course. Well, once the fire permit season was officially over, people went mad, burning piles of wood and anything else lying around.

It was fairly bad on Saturday with a huge burn off out the back of Huonville causing a smoky haze across much of the local area. But Sunday was something else. There was a huge fire (unsure whether on forestry or private land) somewhere around Lonnavale. From where I was at Judbury, the thick plumes of black smoke turned the sun bright red and then obscured it entirely. So what was actually a gorgeous sunny day in the Huon Valley looked dull and overcast. And it smelled pretty bad too. It must be awful for asthma sufferers. Maybe it was a bushfire hazard reduction backburn? Hmmm.

It strikes me as environmentally backwards that this is still allowed. As a minimum, it would be great to have fire-free Sundays so we can all enjoy at least some of our weekend out in the beautiful clean Tasmanian air. Is it all really necessary?

1 comment:

  1. You can expect quite a few more of those burns at this time of the year, courtesy of Forestry Tasmania, Gunns and private farmers.
    I remember one year of our Annual Regatta and the sun was blocked out by 3pm, with the temperature dropping rapidly, everybody went home! The curses that can be heard around here when I see that telltale orange plume would make a sailor blush!
    I'll never get used to it.