Investigations continue into the causes of bushfires from the Shoalhaven to Bemboka.
The Eurobodalla Shire’s crews have once again gone to the aid of their colleagues, both north and south.
They have also fought fires closer to home.
Regrettably some recent fires have been deliberately lit.
Our volunteer and paid firefighters have saved homes and lives.
Sometimes the fires they are sent to have just been a nuisance, without a tragic cost.
However, they have soaked up time, money and resources.
They have sapped energy which would be better conserved for genuine emergencies.
However crews have also been sent to fight serious blazes that could and should have been prevented.
Several high-profile fires, recent and historic, have been caused by electrical infrastructure; they include the 2001 Christmas Day fire in the Illawarra region.
In that case, electrical infrastructure arced in high winds and ignited a blaze that took about 45 minutes to run from Sydney’s south-western suburb of Appin to Stanwell Tops, before turning north to consume Helensburgh and the Royal National Park.
Homes were destroyed and lives disrupted.
It is understood the Reedy Swamp-Tathra fire this year began in similar circumstances, and there are reports another last week was also related to infrastructure.
In a drying, warming climate, these incidents raise serious questions about our future power decisions.
Easier to solve, however, are the decisions you and I make about whether to light up or not.
Too many fires are caused by hazard reduction burns gone wrong or unextinguished pile fires.
Burning out your neighbours – even unintentionally – is hardly a neighbourly act.
Fire fighters have also complained that their time has been wasted attending hazard reductions where the landowner has failed to alert neighbours or the RFS of their intentions.
The stress, anxiety, fear and dislocation all these incidents create for the whole community burns a big hole in our combined wellbeing and productivity.