Fire sense

The fire danger season starts on December 1. For Hills landowners who haven’t completed their property clean-ups, the temptation to rush through a few last minute burn-offs could be strong.
However, experience from previous years shows that CFS call-outs for out of control burn-offs escalate in these last weeks as people take risks they wouldn’t normally consider.
Some parts of the region might look green, but as the burn-off at Basket Range showed on Monday, vegetation is quickly drying off and the risk of spot fires is extremely high – no matter the level of supervision and firefighting equipment on hand.
The burn-off at Aldgate is another example of not paying attention to the conditions.
While authorities are being questioned for the leniency shown to a landowner trying to do the right thing and clear a fire hazard, questions should also be asked about the appropriateness of lighting the fire in the first place.
Hills dwellers have unprecedented access to weather information these days.
It isn’t enough to consider the weather conditions on the day the fire is lit.
Landowners should also consider the longer term forecast for the days prior and after a planned burn-off.

Brave woman

When Carly Ryan’s young body was found in the shallows at Port Elliot in February 2007, the just 15-year-old murdered by an online predator, it would have been hard to imagine that something good could come of such a tragedy.
But Carly’s mother, Sonya, with the help of a dedicated team of friends and volunteers, has spent the last few years building a lasting memorial to the Stirling teen.
On a shoestring budget the Carly Ryan Foundation has strived to make cyberspace a safer place for young people through education, legislative change and practical personal safety assistance.
Ms Ryan doesn’t want another parent to experience the terror of realising their child has fallen victim to a paedophile who used the internet to deceive, lure and kill.
Her efforts to protect others while dealing with the heartbreak of not being able to protect her own has earned her the title of SA’s Australian of the Year.
It is a well deserved honor that Ms Ryan makes a point of sharing with her foundation team. Whether she goes on to be named Australian of the Year at the major awards ceremony in Canberra in January next year is immaterial.
The honor has already rewarded a woman who has strived to create something worthwhile from the senseless death of her daughter.