Tim Richardson

Melbourne, Australia

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information inflation: Victoria's fire danger ratings; is "code very red: extinction event" next?

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The most silly thing about the worked-over fire danger rating scheme is that a new level has been added on top, with the Hollywood description "Code-red (Catastrophic)". The previous ratings seem to have been left unchanged, meaning that the level before "Code-Red" is "Extreme". Which is colored red. Because red is already taken, level "Code-Red" is actually red striped with black. fdr_chart

But while that is the most silly, it's not the only problem. The lowest level is "Low/Moderate". Ok. But then the very next level, level 2 of six, is "High". If you drive through country areas, you'll see signs showing the danger rating as  "Low" only in the middle of a snowstorm (a slight exaggeration). Residents are told that most days of the year, the fire danger is at least "High". The step up from "High", but still below the mid-point, is "Very-High". It proceeds to Severe and Extreme.The colors seem to provide a more graduated level of urgency. "High" is blue, a color code usually meaning safe, such as the color of the cold-water tap in Australia. "Very High" is "yellow", an intermediate color. Red, the color of urgency, was previously reserved only for Extreme.

Apparently  people may have become desensitised, a new level has been added on top. I wonder what will happen next ... a level with flashing lights called "Code meteor: extinction event"?

 


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 December 2009 05:46  

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