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Springs 'Field Burning' Gone Completely Wrong

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Springs 'field burning’ can sometimes get out of hand and here in China each year entire villages are lost due to farmers burning their fields on the wrong day and yesterday was definitely one of those wrong days.

After my lunch time Nana Nap I began my two o’clock class with my first Grade 7 lesson and halfway through I began to smell smoke. When I’m in my apartment I can usually smell the smoke from the schools furnace that heats the huge water boiler for the student’s showers and hot drinking water but the middle school classrooms are too far away. I then noticed that some of the students were becoming a little too distracted so I headed out onto the balcony to see why.

The entire top of the mountains behind the school was on fire. That was from the city side all the way across as far as you could see.

I ran downstairs to let the office know and was told that it would be ok so I asked if they had actually seen the fire and was told NO and didn’t their expressions change once they reached the fourth floor balcony. I went home and packed two packs full of my most important things and headed back to the office and asked what time the fire drill was.

Fire drill? Why do we need a fire drill?

Um…to stop fifteen hundred students stampeding and killing each other in panic trying to save themselves if the fire reaches the school. I then found out that even though it is set amongst and totally surrounded by mountains covered with ‘fuel’ no schools, companies or workplaces etc practice or know anything about evacuation procedures. The afternoon changed into evening and the temperature began rising as the fire grew closer. I then asked where the school buses were ‘if they were needed’ to evacuate the students and teachers and I was asked why I was so worried.

I actually laughed and my reply was;

You have put all the students to bed, we have no power or water due to the fire, we are out in the country, it is pitch black behind us, we are totally surrounded by trees, NOT fields but trees which are fuel, we have a petrol station about five hundred meters up the road, you are all standing directly beside the schools entire wood supply, you have been joking around while watching entire hills go up in flames all day and evening and the only thing between us and that is the tiny dirt road behind the tiny school fence, you have no evacuation procedures and you wonder why I am worried.

Oh and by the way you do understand if the wind changes or even picks up this entire school and area will be complete carnage.

The fire on the city side was finally brought under control and just as the fire was getting much too close for my liking about five fire engines arrived and for the next two hours continuously sprayed the few houses, the bamboo, ferns and small trees that grow from the foot of the hill up to the huge electricity towers and they also had a few spraying the petrol station. I then found out that until the fire came almost within spraying distance there was nothing they could have done as there are no roads leading up/into the hills.

Thankfully the spraying worked and when the fire ran out of fuel it imploded and for the next few hours anywhere near the school and petrol station remained only in small pockets but continued to burn up and over the larger hills in the distance.

<u>TODAY</u>

Throughout the day I asked the teaching staff several questions about the situation and was totally baffled by some of the answers;

Did you pack a bag with all of your important things? No, I don’t like packing and the fire was over there. Um…Did you not see it come here too? Yes.

Do you think the school will now begin to practice evacuation procedures etc? No because it doesn’t happen. What doesn’t happen? Fire doesn’t happen. Um…Did you not see the mountains burning yesterday and last night? Yes.

These are two answers from two very smart people but the fact is this part of Jiangxi is is known as &#8216;the basin’ and is usually so wet and green that unless it’s someone’s house burning down or spring &#8216;field burnings’ or BBQ then fire really has no part of their life and they actually don’t have any real idea of how ferocious and terrible it can be. I guess its like asking someone who lives in the desert if they should start practicing flood control.

I tried to explain that Australia turns into a &#8216;fire time bomb’ every single year and no matter how I tried to explain the power and might of the fires that devastate Australia each summer they simply couldn’t grasp such a thing. In the end I told them to Google &#8216;Australian Bush Fires’ and click on &#8216;images’.

<u>The Photos in This Entry</u>

All the photos were taken from my balcony and bathroom window as my apartment is on the third floor and at the very end of the building so normally I have a wonderful view of the tree, bamboo and fern covered hills. They were taken with my 12MP Nokia N8 phone camera which takes amazing shots during the day and close up at night but not short or long distance night shots so sorry about the quality. I threw in some day shots I took this morning so the distance between can be seen.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Motley Crue The album was &#8216;Generation Swine’ ____________________________________________________________

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong


Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Springs &#38;#39;Field Burning&#38;#39; Gone Wrong

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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