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In 1946 — 800 miles of fires “stretched from Brisbane to Townsville”

In 1946 fires burned in an “almost unbroken chain from Brisbane to Townsville”. They lit up the sky at night, pushed plumes of smoke 3,000 ft in the sky, that looked like “Bikini Atoll”. And this was July…

Qld 1946: Now that’s what I call Hazard Reduction

Believers of man-made-weather say that warmer drier conditions and longer fire seasons are preventing hazard reduction burns. Aside from the fact that a warmer world is not a drier world, and rainfall trends have gone up not down, this is a snowflakes excuse. Even if it were true, the answer is to get more serious about burning off when conditions are cooler.

Thanks to Siliggy, Lance Pidgeon for the pointer. This is what Queenslanders used to do when they were serious about stopping wildfires. Their view of dry brush was that it was waiting like tinder…

Fortunately yesterday, Armageddon didn’t come to the East Coast. But it might have.

800 Miles Of Fires Along the North Coast

The Courier Mail, Monday July 29th, 1946
800 miles of fires stretch across QLD in 1946

Trove, National Library of Australia

By a Staff Correspondent
TOWNSVILLE, Sunday. — Fires
are burning to-night in an almost
unbroken chain from the edge of
Brisbane to Townsville, 800 miles
The coastal fires provide air
travellers with a graphic picture
of parched Queensland.
Deeper inland, even greater
areas of dry brush and grass are
burning or waiting, like tinder, for
a careless match or spark.
From Rockhampton to Gor-
donvale, farmers are burning off
cane. Forestry officers in other
areas are burning fire breaks.
Long Smoke Trails
Columns of smoke loom from
hills above some coastal towns, In
the hills north and south of Mac-
kay to-night smoke from two
separate groups of fires stretched
in trails for many miles.
South of Maryborough there is
another group of fires. From some
of these the smoke was rising yes-
terday afternoon to a height of
One air traveller said: ‘They
look like pictures of the Bikini
bomb explosion.’
Some fires are blackening areas
of dry grass on which ‘small and
large graziers depend for fodder
while the drought lasts.
A Forestry Department manage
ment officer (Mr. Pohlman) said
to-night that no fires had been
reported in forestry areas, but
burning off operations were con-
Brisbane Fires
Grass and rubbish fires round
Brisbane increased yesterday after
the light rain on Friday morning.
Fire engines were called to 10 fires
hi the metropolitan area. No dam-
age was done.
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