Bushfires in Australia

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DeepSOIC
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby DeepSOIC » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:28 pm

Philip Rayment wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:16 pm
And I know of homes in the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires that were prepared with water pumps and sprays, but they were run by electricity, and the fires cut off the power in the area...
To be honest, that even sounds silly.

When watching the video that Jim linked, I was kinda wondering, what are they using to pump water. First, petrol generators came to mind. But then, after some thinking, I would say that the most practical water supply for such a situation would be just a water tank mounted somewhere high. Coz these generators can fail to start the moment you need them most, if they are not maintained regularly.
Philip Rayment
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby Philip Rayment » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:40 pm

DeepSOIC wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:28 pm
To be honest, that even sounds silly.
It does, but probably sounds sillier than it was because of my brief description. This was in an area that didn't have mains water, so the homes already had tanks and electric pumps for normal use, and it seemed like a good idea at the time to add sprays to protect the house from bushfires, but they overlooked revisiting how the pumps were powered.
jmaustpc
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby jmaustpc » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:53 am

Hi all, I was going to add a couple of links and convert this back to a normal topic, if any other Mods want to, feel free, otherwise I will do so in a day two.

I think I need to respond to some of Philip's comments.

Firstly this is a CAD forum, so my comments need to be understood within the context that I am trying to accurately explain matters in one sentence, that truthfully require a complete essay to explain properly. Also I am trying to convey information to people who have little understanding of the context, for example to people who have never been to Australia and/or live in cities. Time has also changed things a lot here in Australia, as well as other places around the world.

I am well aware of the history of the fires in Vic and elsewhere, I mostly was trying to keep my comments to a post rather than an essay.

Our volunteer bushfire brigades system has improved beyond all recognition over my lifetime. In the state of NSW I have seen it grow from practically non-existent to what it is now. Our bushfire fighters are currently volunteers but their bravery, skills, training and equipment likely exceed what foreigner's might expect of a volunteer service. The organisation employs full time management and infrastructure staff. The organisation is co-ordinated on a state wide basis with some inter state co-operation. There is always room for improvement and we do constantly examine what has happened and what can be improved. I well and truly understand that there is much to learn from and improve relating these current fires.

In many ways we were more self-reliant, where (in the Aussie bush) and when, I grew up. Which is why I also thought that it was very stupid for those Victorians to relying on mains electricity for their fire protection systems! Its perhaps a typical reflection of unrealistic "city slickers" moving to the bush having no idea of simple things that just seem like common sense to those of us who grew up out there. But then perhaps in some cases it was more just that they were doing the best they could with what they had to work with at that exact moment in time and doing anything was better than nothing. Hind sight is one thing but seeing in advance is another. One of the biggest problems they had in a general big picture sense in Vic was a lack of timely information.
Philip Rayment wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:16 pm
I think that a lot of the criticism of the Prime Minister has been political more than anything,
Are you for real? That is total garbage. He went to Hawaii while his country burnt and did several other stupid things. I cancelled my plans due to the fires, my mate has been fighting fires in dangerous conditions as a volunteer for three months and didn't get Christmas with his family or new years eve, same thing goes for many other firefighters and others. My wife had to cancel all her annual leave. I could not travel to any of my family's places for Christmas or new year due to the fires....etc. etc. yet that total "ken doll" knob thought we should understand that he wanted a holiday with his family! Stuff him. He's the prime minister of Australia for goodness sake. Why would he go to Hawaii? Going there was wrong and showed poor judgement on so many levels.

The sum of human knowledge is now so great that we are all now "idiots" with reference to majority of that knowledge. Unfortunately it seems to be becoming more popular for idiots to "believe" other idiots rather than understanding the measured facts, risk assessment, estimates and best guesses of the best people in that field who actually know what they are talking about. E.G. scientists!
Philip Rayment wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:16 pm
and climate change comments tend to be in the same category. Yes, the weather changes over periods of decades, but it tends to cycle, too. Recent NASA satellite data shows that the total area burnt by fires around the globe has been going down.
As for your NASA comment, I have no idea if it is true but who cares? Its so utterly irrelevant. It's an example of the sort of miss-understood, stupid, dangerous, sudo science often quoted by people who have no understanding of what they are talking about.

Its Climate Change not weather. The changes in our weather and fire season caused by climate change, are consistent with predictions and are on top off the natural variations. The natural climate variations exist over geological time scales but the human climate change is over only decades and is on top of the natural cycles. Feed back loops are potentially very dangerous and need a lot more study to understand. The climate is an extremely complex topic and does need and get continued scientific attention and study. Australia has had an ever increasing recorded high average temperature every single year now for 35 years in a row. All (or almost all) of those years have been in the top 10 hottest years to date up to that year, which if you understand maths means that we have been getting consistently hotter at an alarming rate.

It is as important that we don't listen to the extremest and idiots on all sides, be they "greenies" (who in their defence at least can see that we have a problem) with their idiotic ineffective solutions, the "bogans", "ultra-right", fossil fuel lobby, etc. etc. who are so stupid as to try to pretend that a we don't have a problem. We just need to get serious, read the numbers, identify the what actually are the greatest problems and put serious effort into scientific and political efforts to genuinely fix our problems. If anyone seriously wants to make the biggest positive impact on the world now, the biggest thing we need to fix is energy storage. Australia and the USA, and many other places, have more than enough renewable energy sources if we could store enough of it effectively.

I am not looking for further discussion here since this is a CAD forum not a climate forum, but Philip's sort of utter rubbish is just too dangerous to leave totally unanswered.


Back to the videos i was going to post a link to....
Does anyone want to come to Australia and be a volunteer fire fighter? Watch these and you might change your mind! :)

Trying to save a house in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, the fire brigade is from the northern edge of Sydney.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDWJ_wNQpVI

Gospers mountain fire, north west of Sydney.....the fire exploded over them, you can see their flash over protection system spraying water over them when they turn it on. The most common rural fire trucks carry either 1 thousand litres or 3,300 L, depending on their size. A modern pump can empty them very quickly. A modern suburban pumper fire truck connected to a town water main, at full pumping capacity would empty those tanks in a few seconds or a minute or so. The bush fire brigades constantly have to deal with the logistics of supplying water to their fire engines.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th2fih9QRIQ

As i have said earlier, I could have written many more pages on fire fighting in Australia or climate change, but I will leave that for other forums! :)

Jim
Philip Rayment
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby Philip Rayment » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:22 am

jmaustpc wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:53 am
Philip Rayment wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:16 pm
I think that a lot of the criticism of the Prime Minister has been political more than anything,
Are you for real? That is total garbage. He went to Hawaii while his country burnt and did several other stupid things. I cancelled my plans due to the fires, my mate has been fighting fires in dangerous conditions as a volunteer for three months and didn't get Christmas with his family or new years eve, same thing goes for many other firefighters and others. My wife had to cancel all her annual leave. I could not travel to any of my family's places for Christmas or new year due to the fires....etc. etc. yet that total "ken doll" knob thought we should understand that he wanted a holiday with his family! Stuff him. He's the prime minister of Australia for goodness sake. Why would he go to Hawaii? Going there was wrong and showed poor judgement on so many levels.
That it was wrong etc. is an opinion that you hold.

The sum of human knowledge is now so great that we are all now "idiots" with reference to majority of that knowledge. Unfortunately it seems to be becoming more popular for idiots to "believe" other idiots rather than understanding the measured facts, risk assessment, estimates and best guesses of the best people in that field who actually know what they are talking about. E.G. scientists!
Which ignores that there are scientists who disagree with other scientists. They are not all of one mind.

Philip Rayment wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:16 pm
and climate change comments tend to be in the same category. Yes, the weather changes over periods of decades, but it tends to cycle, too. Recent NASA satellite data shows that the total area burnt by fires around the globe has been going down.

As for your NASA comment, I have no idea if it is true but who cares? Its so utterly irrelevant. It's an example of the sort of miss-understood, stupid, dangerous, sudo science often quoted by people who have no understanding of what they are talking about.
And, sorry to say, that is the sort of leftist arrogance that thinks that anybody who holds a different view is evil. I won't comment on any more specific points you made, as, like you, I don't want to turn this into an argument about climate change. But you made comments that are disputed by intelligent people, so you put one side of a view. I merely pointed out that there is another side, and I believe that what's dangerous is to only allow one side to be pushed and to vilify people who disagree.
chrisb
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby chrisb » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:11 am

I see that causes and effects may be very hard to judge. But there are things that are very simple:

The statement "climate change is dangerous and humans are responsible for it" can be true or false.

We don't know if it is true or false, but if we wait until we have a proof, and the proof is, that the statement is true, then it is too late to act.

It is quite modern to have alternate so called facts or to come up with scientists who interpret things differently. But its not wise.
openBrain
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby openBrain » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:16 am

Hey guys, don't turn that into an Aussie political debate that will be mainly inaudible for foreigners we are. And actually we really don't care (we each have our own).
Australia got a hard time with huge fires. They are now contained (maybe closed to be extinguished) and you're alive. That's good news and all we care. :)
jmaustpc
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Location: Australia

Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby jmaustpc » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:26 pm

The fires are not over yet, we are about halfway through our fire season, what happens from here depends on what happens with the weather. Today the weather was dangerous again.

Firstly, it was another tragic day today.

This afternoon a Coulson Aviation Lockheed C-130 Hercules water bomber crashed in NSW north and a bit east of Cooma NSW, while water bombing a fire. The crash appears to have been sudden and was catastrophic. Tragically, all three of the American crew have been killed.

This aeroplane was leased by the Australia government for our fire season as we have been doing for many years. The company provides more than just the plane, it provides a complete service, including the crew. The company is Canadian but operates in the USA and Australia as well. Its been announced that the crew were American, I think they mean from the USA in this case but I don't really know as obviously America is a continent not a country and includes Canada. There is another C-130 out here also with its crew, and the NSW government will not be announcing any more details about which crew members have been killed until their families have been notified.

My sincerest sympathy goes to all the families and friends of the crew.

This is a link to the ABC news article and video regarding this and a second one with a small amount more information.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-23/ ... e/11893554
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-23/ ... a/11894892

Secondly, for me here it was not the worst weather this season but bad enough. Wind was very strong and gusting to about 90 Km/hr and the temperature here was at one point 38 deg C (My mate said in western Sydney it had got to 43).

First thing this morning my time, I opened my front door and immediately smelt the smoke, looked out and realised the smoke was back, visibility may have been something like 5 to 10km or something like that. As the morning went on the smoke became thicker, until I realised I couldn't see the trees about a kilometre away behind my neighbours house. About lunch time it gradually got a lot darker and everything went red, because a dust storm of red outback dust blew over and mixed in with the smoke.

As the day moved on many existing fires flared up again and some new ones started between about Sydney and south to the Vic border. Also some new fires started in suburban Sydney and Canberra (burnt 474ha around the airport and across to Queanbeyan). All buildings were saved and in both cases the fires are contained.

A cold front moved through this afternoon and the weather calmed down. We only got a small unmeasurable and brief sprinkle of rain here. The fires have calmed down a lot and there are now only three listed with a yellow upgraded danger status, none are still red at this time.

In a general or overall sense, I suspect we are over the worst of the fire season, I certainly hope so. However since we are only in the middle of summer down here, its still quite likely that we will have some more days of catastrophic fire risk weather. Unless they get substantial rain in the region, I suspect the snowy mountains fires, and some others, will burn for a while yet.

Its now late at night here, actually since its after 1a.m., I guess its actually "early" and "tomorrow" now! :)

Jim
jmaustpc
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby jmaustpc » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:11 am

Hi all,
Fires are still burning in some parts of the country. We have also had storms and floods in some parts of the tropical North.

Wish us luck as today and the next few days have a forecast of being very high fire danger weather yet again! :x

Since my last post a week ago, I had a few days here with no smoke but then the smoke came back yet again but it has not been too thick so far this time.

Another new fire started south of Canberra a few days ago, they have named it the "Orroral Fire". One of our armed forces helicopters accidentally started a fire, apparently its landing light started a fire in the dry grass. The helicopter and the people in it, managed to get out in time, but now we have another bushfire. The fire was for a time burning towards southern Canberra (the Australian capital city), the weather changed in the evening but by then it was only something like a bit over 10km from the southern suburbs. Its still burning in rugged terrain to the west away from Canberra into the previously not burnt north of the Snowy Mountains. This fire has currently burnt an area of only 16 and a half thousand hectares but it is burning in the West which takes it into the rugged bush land in the Snowy Mountains making it very difficult and potentially dangerous to fight. There is somewhere around 1/4 of a million hectares of not yet burnt bushland north of the area burnt by the large Snowy Mountains fires.

The very high fire danger weather today and over the next few days may push the fire towards Canberra again and/or it could conceivably burn the bush between its current location and the already burnt out areas from the massive fires to the south and west of it. The fire fighters have been working to contain this fire while conditions were more moderate, knowing the forecast for late this week i.e. now.

If you want to see why the authorities and public of Canberra are justifiably concerned, do a YouTube search for the "2003 Canberra fire storm", to see what happens to a city when on a very hot day a strong wind blows an Aussie bush fire into the suburbs!

There is also a fire in the north of Victoria near the NSW border.

We will see what happens today and over the next few days. Best case scenario (reasonably likely) this will all seem like a fuss over nothing. Worst case, its possible that this could turn into another large fire and/or burn into Canberra.

Wish us good luck!

Jim
chrisb
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby chrisb » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:14 am

Let good winds and rain be with you!
jmaustpc
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Re: Bushfires in Australia

Postby jmaustpc » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:38 am

chrisb wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:14 am
Let good winds and rain be with you!
Thanks Chris,
to be honest the constant threat of the fires over months (and the smoke for a lot of this time) is emotionally draining, its wearing me out. One of the problems for me is that since we have not had a fire here yet, and hopefully we won't, the fuel is still here around my property. On one of those "catastrophic fire risk" weather days, all it takes is one idiot to chuck a cigarette out of their car window etc. or a lightning strike (we quite often get lightning with storms that drop little or no rain at all) and we could have a very dangerous fire with little warning.

By the way, so far its not yet as bad here as forecast, there is a breeze gust up to I guess about 20klm/hr and my 4wd drive says its only 37 degrees, although that is in the shade.

Anyway I have to go to town now to do some shopping. :)

Jim

P.S. I just noticed there has been an update on the fire south of Canberra, its warning level has been upgrade and its burning to the east, depending on what the wind does later this afternoon/evening, that increases the risk to Canberra. Also I didn't say above that the 16,500ha was last night, the 9:am report this morning (about 3-1/2 hours ago) says its now over 18,500Ha.