“Certainly”. Every time I use that word I ask myself, can I back that up, or am I just doing it for effect?

I take your point on some forest types, but I don’t think that’s what people are thinking about. Disruption, scale, effects.

I don’t want to sound callous, but so what? The world changes whether we like it or not. I’ve seen vast changes in my thirty something years. It was a big deal to have an overseas trip when I was a kid, but now I’ll fly to Vienna for the weekend if I spot a good fare.

Australia’s population increases at a staggering rate, and they eat up more forest and farmland than we lose to bushfires. Here in Melbourne people live in what used to be country towns and commute daily into the CBD.

Is it the exciting flames and smoke that sets you going? Rather than the relentless march of bulldozers and construction workers and tradesmen and young families carving out their piece of Australia?

Bushfires burn the same bits of forest every few years – as noted by the first European arrivals – but once a hillside becomes Beverley Grove with a few shrubs and plots of lawn amongst the three-bedders, there’s no going back.

But the bushfires don’t interest me per se. Human behaviour intrigues me. What are people really trying to say here?


Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.