The devastating bushfires of the 2003 summer affected us all to varying degrees but most importantly taught us valuable lessons, which we should take to heart.
Consultations with the CFA prior to the fires described the risks and the best methods to reduce them. These methods were put into practice before, during and after the fires and seem obvious now that we have the experience behind us.
The only question that remains is will we use our experience and new found knowledge to ameliorate the risks that we face at Mount Hotham on a regular basis so that we are never faced with the same situation that developed in January 2003?
The Mount Hotham Resort Management Board wishes to see Mount Hotham kept safe for its stakeholders, visitors and users and therefore seeks the co-operation of all in striving to achieve this.
It is clear that if we follow the guidelines that have been developed by the CFA through decades of experience preventing and fighting bushfires we will stand our best possible chance of remaining safe and preserving our property at Mount Hotham.
It is well known that bushfires are not as common in the Alpine areas as they are in some of the lower regions where more prolific growth occurs especially of grasses. All the same lightning strikes are relatively common in the Alps as Rob Callander the Mount Hotham fire tower operator describes. Rob began work on the tower in ’95, and said that each year there are a few lightning strikes, which are usually extinguished by DSE crews before they become large fires.
What this means is that there is always the risk that a fire will start on a hot and windy day and threaten the MountHothamVillage area through ember attack. Therefore this program is to reduce the risk, subsequently assisting in protecting Mt Hotham for all.