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Bushfires 2002-2003

Through the summer of 2002/03, much of Australia was ravaged by a worse than usual bushfire season.

Fire is part of this country's normal weather pattern; many of our native plants germinate only after fire. The aboriginal people understood this and worked with it, apparently with success. We late-comers have not coped well, either cutting down everything in sight or leaving the bush strictly alone.

A long and severe drought left dry undergrowth and deadfall in abundance. When electrical storms hit—without rain—raging fire was the natural consequence.

Photos by Frits and Paula
Go down to thumbnails.

Aircraft being used in the fight against bushfires near Hobart, Tasmania

Helicopters and light aircraft were invaluable in the desperate struggle to keep homes and farmlands undamaged. Water bombing and reconnaissance were sometimes impossible because of thick smoke, though.

The usually clear sky over the districts surrounding Hobart was dense and grey. In Victoria, smoke lay in the air hundreds of kilometres from the burning areas.

Fire raced across almost bare grazing land, leaving dead and critically injured livestock in its wake.

Choose another picture or go to the top of the page.

-Fighting bushfires in Tasmania- -What sort of a keyboard is this? Or is it just a music book?- -Sea gull, shore gull.- -This is Charlie Brown patrolling the boundaries.- -Why is this foot pointing so carefully?- -Meet the platypus.- -A guesthouse in Tasmania.- -Memorial for our dog, Ebony.- -Who is Alex smiling at?- -Jen looks a bit worried. What can she see?- -A wonderland of caves.- -Frits is standing at an entrance--but to what?- -Whose hand, and what's it doing?- -This young parrot has found an unusual place to perch.- -What's this little fluff-ball that Yvonne is holding so carefully?- -Buildings by the Yarra, Melbourne.- -Tasmanian countryside.- -What is it, whose is it, and who's near it?- -A bird's eye view.- -A garden path.- -A bush road east of Melbourne- -What sort of tree is this?-



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