If you’ve ever travelled in rural Australia, you might come across the odd Fire Danger Rating sign which indicates the likelihood of a fire occurring in the general vicinity that day.
Australia’s vegetation has evolved to be pyrophyllic (fire loving) because for the most part, it’s an arid country and the bush has adapted to fire over the millenia where the continent dried out. In fact, many plants need fire for seed germination and it’s an essential part of the regeneration cycle.
Of course, large bush fires in Australia make world headlines because they can be pretty dangerous and look spectacular. Unfortunately, they can also claim lives because they move very quickly and can take people by surprise. It’s not hard for the fire to jump from tree to tree, and even across roads.
So that’s why these signs are useful. Keep an eye out for them on that long Australian road trip because they might just save your life!.
But I’ve come across an amusing situation where the timing has made the sign give people a little chuckle.
There’s actually nothing funny with the sign itself. But it’s the context where it’s placed that makes it a bit amusing!
Fire Danger Rating – D’oh!
Yes, it’s ironic having a low fire danger sign when the place has been burnt out!
But I can think of two scenarios why this happened!
- Someone didn’t have a chance to change the sign in time before the fire occurred; or
- Because the place has already been burnt out, there’s actually no vegetation to burn so the sign is accurate!
Anyway, for the most part, these signs are pretty close to the mark, so pay attention to them and don’t be a firebug by tossing your cigarette butt out of the window!