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You don’t know what a big fire is

Unless you live in the Australian outback it is very hard to understand what a large fire is.

One million hectares has now been razed by the bushfire after it was sparked by a lightning strike at Ellenbrae Station in late September and now halfway through October it is still growing in size.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) incident controller Lee Vallence said “We’ve had temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s with blustery easterly winds, so it’s made firefighting efforts very hard,”

It’s very hard logistically trying to support people, you’ve got mountain ranges, you’ve got a lot of areas you just can’t get to. They’re not serviced by roads, the only way in is by aircraft.

Firefighters will not extinguish this fire only direct it around the scattered settlements and stations.

It’s a matter of waiting for the wet season and hoping it’s not late this year.

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Neil Bibby was Chief Executive Officer of the Country Fire Authority between 2002 and 2009 and Managing Director People and Innovation