Fire danger lowest category?

 

Excuse me? Mid-thirties this morning and a howling northerly. A wildfire raging five kilometers away in the Ilparpa valley that afternoon (at right). Yet the fire danger sign on the airport road indicates “low to moderate”, the lowest category on the scale? Surely not.

As it turns out, the local fire station sets the indicators in accordance with advice from the Bureau of Meteorology. The “curing rate” depends on the level of fuel loads, wind and temperature, moisture and humidity, says Station Officer John Pyper. He says the sign is updated at least daily, and he wouldn’t be surprised if it went up in the next day or two. Fires in the open are prohibited unless they are for keeping warm or cooking food.

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