by Joe Fury
(Newman Western Australia)
The Fortescue River running a banker.
The Pilbara rivers run red.
An official closure.
Capricorn Road house ~ road closed south.
This short story is not essentially about four wheel drives or four wheel driving, but there are real parallels.
The year is still young and the Pilbara is just into the early part of the wet season, the region has already felt the impact of cyclone Christine, here in the inland Pilbara we had some useful rain falls and luckily none of the damaging winds that these weather systems can generate.
The extremes in temperature are a genuine part of life and living in a region above the Tropic of Capricorn and the region has most certainly seen and felt the higher temperatures during December of 2013 and January of 2014, with many recordings reaching 48 degrees Celsius.
These high temperatures are genuinely normal, but for decades no one worried about broadcasting these high temperature readings, you just dealt with it and got on with life, but now days with a massive influx of part time residents in the region mainly due to the burgeoning mining industry there seems to be a preoccupation with how hot you might be feeling.
Sadly for a young man just last Wednesday (15/1/14) he died due to the effects of dehydration, the hard to believe factor in this incident is he and his workmate were "on the job" in the field for a mining company, now the mining industry is almost anal when it comes to safety and one can only guess these mine workers would have had all the gear provided to them so they could perform whatever their field work required, yet they both suffered severe dehydration and one man just 26 years of age "perished".
Here we are exactly one week later, the very same tract of land and in fact the entire region is enjoying massive rainfalls courtesy of an unnamed tropical low, all major watercourses are carrying huge volumes of water which will eventually reach the Indian Ocean ~ via the DeGray ~ Fortescue ~ Gascyone and Murchison river systems.
We are in a land of extremes and whether we choose to live, work or four wheel drive we should be fully aware of our circumstances and deal with the "extreme" situation accordingly.
Safe travels : Joe