Being that we are a prepper news website, we do occasionally cover unsettling content. We are, of course, preparing for the unlikely end of times, or doom and gloom, or a pandemic. Bad things can happen out there, we just hope like heck that they don’t. But every now and again we cover a story that epitomizes our deepest and darkest prepper fears. This story about dragon birds setting large swaths of land on fire is just exactly that. For more information on wildfires, I recommend my how to survive a wildfire guide.
Australia is suffering from a record-breaking heatwave. The surge in temperatures has led to some drought conditions which has caused the country to become a viable tinderbox. Bushfires have been a real issue in parts of the country. Battling wildfires is already a tiresome, laborious, and risky task, but now firefighters also have to contend with fire spreading birds. “Firehawk Raptors,” as they are termed by officials, are helping to spread fire throughout the country. The images of these Firehawk raptors spreading flames are terrifying. Birds acting as arsonists is just enough to get one to grab their bug out bag essentials and leave for less creepy land.
“Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia,” Bonta et al. Journal of Ethnobiology, 37(4) (abstract): https://t.co/JJVomc5zDy #ethnobiology #ethnoornithology #birds #fire pic.twitter.com/Bv4oSA6BpC
— Bob Gosford (@bgosford) January 1, 2018
These Firehawk raptors spreading the flames of fury across land is not new, contrary to what some on social media have contended. In fact, there is evidence dating back at least 1,000 years that man has battled fire slinging arsonist birds.
“We’re not discovering anything,” one of the team, geographer Mark Bonta from Penn State Altoona, said to Nat Geo.
“Most of the data that we’ve worked with is collaborative with Aboriginal peoples… They’ve known this for probably 40,000 years or more.”
The efforts fo the Firehawk raptors is actually quite coordinated and sophisticated. Hundreds of these raptors gather near active fires and then take flight directly into the flames, where they grab sticks that are inflamed. They then transport the enflamed sticks to areas that have not yet been affected by the fire, sometimes as far as a half a mile in distance.
“The imputed intent of raptors is to spread fire to unburned locations – for example, the far side of a watercourse, road, or artificial break created by firefighters – to flush out prey via flames or smoke,” according to researchers.
While it may appear that the Raptors are acting as instigators of the apocalypse, it seems they are merely participating in a form of savvy hunting. The coordinated effort forces their meals to run scurry out from burning lands. The Raptors are being extraordinarily resourceful. Reptiles and rodents of all sorts are forced to run from burning brush as hundreds of Raptors patiently await them. Researchers feel they’ve seen evidence that the Raptors are using a “pack hunt” method, meaning, the entire effort is much more coordinated and sophisticated than meets the eye. In other words, the Raptors completely understand what they are doing when they carry flames to unscathed, dry brush. This is hundreds of birds working in unison to feed their pack.
The problem, of course, is that these ariel assaults spell dire trouble for firefighters battling the blazes. In windy conditions, firefighters must always contend with flying debris and ash which transports fire into new areas. Birds can do this with or without wind. And birds can do this in a much more efficient way. The indigenous people in the region have always realized that these Firehawk Raptors were more than legendary, mythical tales. Now we have proof to back up their claims.
What’s even interesting is that fire has typically been related to humans, both as a resource, and a nefarious weapon. Rarely have animals made any valid uses of fire. We don’t see bears creating campfires as a way to keep warm on cold Kentucky nights. Fire is a human tool; until now.
Prepper Tip for wildfires: If you are trapped in your car during a wildfire, close your vents and windows. Make sure the A/C is recirculating the air inside the car, rather than pulling in the polluted air outside of it. You should leave your engine turned on. If you do drive through, go slow and make sure your flashers and headlights are on because visibility will be at a minimum. You can honk your horn if you fear that people may be in your path as a warning. You want to look for a building of any sort that can stop the heat from radiating in your area with such brutal intensity. Remember, if you turn off the engine, you may not be able to restart it.