It is likely we will have hot summers with severe bushfires in the Huon Valley this year and next.
The predicted El Nino is likely to be a strong one, with record temperatures already being recorded across the globe.
Canada is having an all-time record wildfire season, Hawaii has burned like never before, and bushfires are making news across Europe.
What can the Huon Valley do to prepare?
Apart from the obvious, like removing potential fuel from around our homes, cleaning gutters and having a fire pump handy, Huonites need easy access to river water.
While we have several potable water suppliers in the valley, landowners are likely to need river access this summer or next to fill fire and stockwater tanks.
Dams are likely to dry out and buying potable water for stock is not viable in an extended drought.
(Our partially spring fed dam is already half empty and it is winter.)
It shouldn’t be too hard to cut landings into the river bank, much like an unsealed boat ramp, where people can back trailers down to fill tanks.
Not everyone is friends with a landholder who has river frontage.
Potable water suppliers may resist the idea but this is an urgent matter, potentially saving property and livestock.
The access points could be limited to being used only during summer, or drought. The landings could also double as canoe launching spots.
If access points can’t be created, alternatively, acreage holders could be given summer access to fire hydrants via a permit scheme?
The Huon River is a perennial river, we have no shortage of water, just a shortage of access.
Something for the Huon Valley Council to consider?