Author/firefighter/farmer Vivien Thomson AFSM was the Murrumburrah Writers Group’s first guest speaker, speaking at their monthly meeting in June.
Vivien spoke about the experiences detailed in her book, Ashes of the Firefighters and shared insights concerning bushfires, including the changing nature of fires through climate change and the impact this can have on the mental wellbeing of firefighters.
Vivien said, “Fires today burn much hotter and take far more resources to put out and often we don’t have enough of those resources because the characteristics of fires continue to change. Plus during fire seasons, as temperatures rise, extreme fire weather days multiply. And when heatwaves sear our countryside, these oppressive conditions also increase fire danger.”
Official fire seasons are lasting longer and the number of very high to catastrophic fires are increasing.
“This is far from easy, because being in an adrenalin-filled state throughout a protracted fire season is not good for our mental or physical wellbeing, in fact it’s a recipe for burnout and much worse. Also, that doesn’t include the countless traumatizing experiences we encounter for they too leave their scars,” said Vivien.
Vivien believes that to protect Australians and firefighters from worsening bushfires, better resourcing for firefighters, planning for increasing fire danger and doing something about climate change are required.
For more information or if you want to order a copy of Vivien’s book, call Robin on 6386 2100.
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