While a tree toppled by a bushfire in Victoria’s alpine region has tragically killed one forestry worker, it made a snap decision as it fell that has most likely saved the lives of several others.
This remarkable piece of news came courtesy of Channel 9’s 6pm news on Sunday night and via the excellent work of its Melbourne-based reporter Lana Murphy.
Ms Murphy (pictured above) told how the tree, ravaged by fire, fell and tragically killed a 60-year-old father of two with more than 40 years experience in forest management and fighting fires.
The tyro reporter explained how the much-loved fire management worker and mentor to younger workmates had been consolidating the fire edge when the tragedy happened.
Ms Murphy told of “the remnants of a fire-ravaged tree that loosened its hold on the earth before claiming the life of a man trying to save it”.
She said the tree “collapsed on top of him, narrowly avoiding fellow team members”.
Ms Murphy’s report did not mention how the tree made its snap decision to, in the simplest and basic definitions of ‘avoid’, ‘keep away from or stop itself’ from hitting the other workers.
But The Bug guesses the tree had the same instincts of a doomed pilot who bravely steers his stricken plane away from populated areas to keep ground casualties to a minimum.
For that reason alone, The Bug wonders whether the tree deserves some form of posthumous award for its selfless, quick-thinking actions that appear to have saved at least one life.
The Bug also wonders if Ms Murphy in her journo training missed the lessons that stressed the need to always use simple, suitable and appropriate words for events, such as when a fire-ravaged tree falls and narrowly “misses” some firefighters.