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LETTER: Learning from disasters

To the editor:

The fires in Eastern Australia have caused so much destruction and loss of life that it is hard to imagine anything positive coming from this.

There is some wisdom to be gained from fighting these fires that will help in the future to prevent reoccurrences. There is a need to reduce the fuel load, as the aboriginal people have always done, by burning it when it is safe to do so. There must be a number of ways of getting in and out of towns as escape by water using the navy is a last choice option. Information must be available which can be difficult when the electrical supply is down and mobile phones don't work. Preparation is vital.

The good that comes from this is the willingness of so many people to help, from politicians to army reservists, who are basically volunteers. They will support the firefighters, most of whom are also volunteers, giving up their works and income to face danger supporting their neighbours and strangers.

The money offered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison will help to support the efforts of these volunteers and provide resources that they need.

The real worry, however, is that you will be reading more articles of fires in Australia over the Southern summer period.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

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