|The Red Bull (Wild Fire) Runs Through San Diego County (2003)|
By Paul A. L. Hall
Here's a blog for all you down under in the land of OZ.
Guess what they love around the county, mate? Gum trees. Right. The place is chockers with 'em. They have almost nothing but gum trees growing everywhere. They put them in on purpose and now they're wondering what's up when the red bull runs through. They just had a firestorm over here that had the flames a couple of hundred feet high jumping one of their ten-lane highways like a bunch of mini-tornadoes of fire. Sound familiar? Like the Good Friday bushfires south of Gelong a while ago.
So far 1,500 houses gone. They can't figure out how the fire moved so fast. Can you believe it? But we know, don't we? Gum trees are the devil's cigarette lighter. A whole valley can explode from the gas they let off. All you need is a little spark and the fire's running about 80kph. Somebody didn't give the swagman his ration. That's for sure.
The southern portion of the bush fire at one point was at a place these blokes have even called "Eucalyptus Hills". I mean, they didn't get it, did they? Multiple fatalities. I'm sorry to say, mate, but is looks like these guys just haven't a clue. They don't realize that if it's pretty, it's probably dangerous. And worse yet, they'll probably never figure it out. No one wants to listen, they just love those gum trees.
Of course, now those trees don't need special planting and care, they grow better than the native trees over here and they've taken over all on their own. They're like a weed over here. Well suited for this dry climate.
Just another lot of clueless yabbies, I recon. You try to warn them, they'll just tell you to see the shrink. They'll accuse you of paranoia and imagining a risky situation or making something up. I mean, that's their problem, isn't it? They always think they're right. There they are, living in the middle of all that fuel as if bush fires never happen. No preparation, houses built of wood and press-board, surrounded by all those lovely gum trees. One spark and it's all gone to buggery.
Maybe Hoggie ought to redo the Oz tourist adds shown on TV over here, and this time instead of throwing another "shrimp" on the barbie, he ought to grab a Southern Californian by the collar and pop him into a plane and show him how dangerous a real bush fire can be. Because they're moving down to San Diego in droves because they just love the beautiful climate.
And you'll never guess what they're blaming for all this bush fire disaster. Insurance. That's right. They're blaming it on inexpensive fire insurance. At up to half a million dollars each, these people could afford to build their mansions out of stone but no, they've got to have their lovely favorite material, chipboard-and-volatile-resin with tar shingles, in their charming eucalyptus groves. It's unbelievable. But true.