Friday, January 20, 2012

Fire Bugs

The fire flared in a reserve at Brown Hill Creek when a car was set alight and rolled down an embankment on Tilleys Hill Rd.

It's very worrying. We have arsonists or an arsonist in the McLaren Vale area and now the hills. It's a nightmare for people and the CFS. The firefighters are  doing a great job but it means they are not home and resting. The police are doing a great job trying to get a strategy into place to catch whoever it is or whoever they are. What impresses me about the article is that it gets the information out and has kept it very straight forward so we can take it in and think about it. It's true, people are the best resource in these kinds of situations. They have eyes , ears brains, technology and the local community will know what is right or wrong about their area. Police can map strategies and the fire brigade obviously have quick response times and are able to manage. It's awful, though. The other thing which is impressive about the article is that it has drawn some sensible and workable ideas for how to deal with this because of the way it has been written. It's true, anyone who has or knows a child who is overly fascinated with fire needs to have an avenue they can approach to get early intervention. The other thing which is clear is that we understand that arsonists are not well. We have to stop them and we have to harness them but we have to help and treat them too. There is a great deal of compassion in the article and comments about the state of mind of arsonists. That will be our best weapon because we find them very hard to understand. Why would you light a car and shove it down a hill? Would you then pop off home on foot and watch a bit of tele, listen to some music maybe, check on your sleeping children? I cannot work out where these thoughts come from. Often it is in the earlier hours of the morning. Do they set an alarm and get up to light a car and push it down a hill or do they stay up all night and develop a black frame of mind which means vengeance is theirs? They must have a lot of physical and emotional energy to be doing what they do at the times they do it and setting fire to a car means they have stolen it or are prepared to burn something they own.. Given they are as dangerous as they are and are capable of wholesale damage to flora, fauna, homes, communities and other peoples' lives, it is in our own best interests to watch and to get a better understanding of how these people think and operate. In South Australia we can operate in a very low key but connected manner to resolve community issues. We need to raise community awareness again to get ourselves thinking.

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