I refer to the report "Pre-emptive evac plan" (January 12, p2) which confirms that an evacuation plan for the city is being prepared. The fire maps updated daily show that a wall of flame is within 40-odd kilometres of the urban interface, which is code for suburbs. Its arrival merely requires a strong wind from the north-west.
It is accepted that there are not enough fire trucks for even one per suburb, let alone per street, when this scenario arrives. However, an evacuation of a city of 350,000 people is another scale of exercise entirely and it would be good to have any relevant information as soon as possible to prevent a disaster.
Unfortunately we can not all be evacuated to Fiji for two weeks whilst the city is burnt through.
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
Recognising value in primary producers
On reading through The Canberra Times of Sunday January 12, I was struck by the resilience, resourcefulness and selflessness of so many people, not only Australians, but also visitors to our fire-ravaged country.
Volunteer firefighters sacrificing their income - or their lives. Professional firefighters fighting maelstroms of fire to protect others. Apple growers, dairy farmers and oyster farmers toiling to keep us fed.
Grape growers and winemakers struggling to provide us with a little pleasure and at least temporary relaxation.
If any good is going to come from this catastrophe, two examples will be the greater appreciation of our firefighters, and the understanding by us city folk of the value to us of our primary producers.
Douglas Mackenzie, Deakin
Protected by privilege
If we're not fleeing after the latest evacuation order, or choking on smoke, we're watching terrifying news streams. Over 8,000,000 hectares of devastation, a billion animals cremated, tragic losses of human life, communities and livelihoods. We want to look away.
But it's ignorance and blindness that brought us here.
Up until now, Australia has been immune from the horror of war, acts of terrorism and human displacement. We've felt compassion and donated, but we're relieved to live in the 'lucky country' seemingly immune from disasters of this scale. Complacent and comfortable, we've felt protected by privilege.
Like other global tragedies, these devastating fires stem from an abuse of power, greed, wilful blindness and delusion. They're a result of inaction from successive governments that we've not called to account.
The millions of dollars donated globally should be used to save the globe. We cannot look away.Deborah May, Downer
Globally people have tuned in and donated as if we're another developing country in need of aid! Except we're a first world country with the means to rebuild.
$2 billion has been allocated for restoration - the same sum allocated to Queensland after Cyclone Yasi, an area a fraction of the 8,000,000 hectares destroyed by these fires. And a fraction of the $29 billion paid to subsidise Australia's fossil fuel industry.
Our tragedy is news of our shared humanity and the global truth: we are connected. No one is immune from greed, delusion and ignorance.
We should properly fund rebuilding our country. The millions of dollars donated globally should be used to save the globe. We cannot look away.
Deborah May, Downer
Ian Warden's opinion article "When breathing easy is rather difficult" (Sunday Canberra Times, January 12, p13) made for compulsory reading, particularly when he referred to "mammal-ian (sic) breathing".
Ian went on to suggest that entrepreneurial activity was likely to reflect people's preferences in face masks. He personally asked for something in lilac, or in Raiders' green. Ian, this is something to dye for!
Peter Baskett, Murrumbateman
Britain's palace correspondents are experts at turning the hint of a frisson into a right-royal punch up in which they engage in ever more opinionated rolling commentary on the telly and in their newspapers based on what some courtier has told them. It has been wonderful to watch their verbal gymnastics as they calm down but they won't let go of their egos: now the serious conspiracy issue is the Queen calling the Sussexes Harry and Meghan rather than HRHs. But then they do work in the Brit press. Nuff said.
James Mahoney, McKellar
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