Australia is burning:Update.
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Thread: Australia is burning:Update.

  1. #1

    Exclamation Australia is burning:Update.

    I assume that Pat (Aussie-man) is otherwise occupied with his volunteer duties so I've collected some further information on this disaster.
    What is notable compared to previous seasons is the proximity of these very fierce fires to urban areas.
    We are a 200+/- K from the fires and yet visibility in our coastal area is below 1.5 K.




    Since the start of the season, the ongoing bushfires destroyed 1,298 homes, as well as 48 facilities and more than 2,000 outbuildings in New South Wales alone.
    Eighteen people are confirmed to have been killed in New South Wales since October. The latest fatality was reported on 5 January 2020 following the death of a man in Batlow.

    Ecologists from The University of Sydney estimated 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles were lost since September with concerns entire species of plants and animals may have been wiped out by bushfires.

    In New South Wales, the fires had burned through more land than any other blazes in the past 25 years, in addition to be being the state's worst bushfire season on record.
    NSW also experienced the longest continuously burning bushfire complex in Australia's history, having burned more than 4 million hectares (9,900,000 acres), with 70-metre (230 ft) high flames being reported.
    In comparison, the 2018 California wildfires consumed 766,439 hectares (1,893,910 acres) and the 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires burnt 900,000 hectares (2,200,000 acres) of land.

    As of 1 January 2020, 3.6 million hectares (8.9 million acres) has been burnt or is burning in New South Wales alone.
    As temperatures were forecast to reach 47 °C (117 °F), the New South Wales Premier called a fresh seven-day state of emergency with effect from 9am on 3 January 2020.

    On 21 November, lightning strikes ignited a series of fires in East Gippsland, initially endangering the communities of Buchan, Buchan South and Sunny Point.
    On the night of 20 December, the Marthavale-Barmouth Spur expanded, greatly endangering the community of Tambo Crossing.
    On 30 December, there were three active fires in East Gippsland with a combined area of more than 130,000 hectares (320,000 acres), and another in the north east of the state heading south towards Cudgewa.
    An evacuation warning was issued for the East Gippsland town of Goongerah, which is surrounded by high-value old growth forests.
    On the same day, a fire broke out in the Plenty Gorge Parklands, situated in Melbourne's northern suburbs between Bundoora, Mill Park, South Morang, Greensborough and Plenty.

    Fires reached the town of Mallacoota by around 9:00 AEDT on 30 December 2019. As of 11:00 AEDT 31 December, fires had began to approach the vacation town of Lakes Entrance.
    Despite evacuation of large portions of East Gippsland being recommended, approximately 30,000 holiday makers chose to remain in the region.
    Approximately 4,000 people, including 3,000 tourists, remained in Mallacoota as the fire began making its closest approach to the town, cutting off roads in the process; Mallacoota had not been issued with an evacuation warning on 29 December.
    On 3 January, approximately 1,160 people from Mallacoota were evacuated on naval vessels HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore.

    On 2 January at 23:00 AEDT Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews declared a state of disaster under the provisions of the Victorian Emergency Management Act for the shires of East Gippsland, Mansfield, Wellington, Wangaratta Rural, Towong, and Alpine, and the
    alpine resorts of Mount Buller, Mount Hotham, and Mount Stirling.
    Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp stated that 780,000 hectares (1,900,000 acres) had burnt including 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) near Corryong in the state's north-east and that fifty fires were burning.
    On 3 January, Premier Daniel Andrews said two people were confirmed dead from the East Gippsland fires.





    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

  2. #2
    Satellite images depicting early stages of smoke drift.



    At this point in time the coverage has increased to blanket most of the South-West of the country. (Left of this image and it is nasty.)




    Earlier image covering the North-East coast, which has since extended all the way down South.
    Sydney has had weeks of cover, but is clearing as of 06/01/2020.
    I must add that the South Australian state has been hit hard, especially in the Adelaide Hills area, while Western Australia has also been hammered in the late part of 2019, still ongoing.

    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

  3. #3


    More up to date Sat map.
    Ironically while the South East burns the North West is being hit hard by at least two Tropical Cyclones!







    Courtesy of the BoM these schematics illustrate the root cause of the fires.


    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

  4. #4
    SOH Staff .."Bartender" AussieMan's Avatar
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    I'm still here but not involved with these fires. I have been battling other issues following a couple close up inspections of the kitchen tiles and lounge room carpet last month.

    Also a former District Manager put in a very dodgy report about me several after I left the district and that has kept me inactive until I get that sorted.

    Don't know why but the photo has been rotated during upload.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20191214_104721.jpg  


    Cheers
    Pat


    "Some people might say that freedom is being alone in the bush with the only sounds being the murmurs from the birds ... but I believe freedom is at 5000 feet with no other sound than the engine roaring."- William Hutchison, a young man taken from us far too young (16).

  5. #5
    Face Plant! Ouch indeed!

    We were concerned as the whole mess seems to be as near to unpredictable as I've ever seen, while reports coming into our local CFS have been scary.
    Stay safe and stay upright Pat.
    And don't let the Bureaucrats grind you down.
    J.L.



    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

  6. #6
    Senior Administrator Roger's Avatar
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    Thanks for the updates and info. We are seeing a lot of news from Australia on the Beeb and it looks grim. Stay safe and our thoughts are with all you Aussies.
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    To err is human; to forgive is divine

  7. #7
    Same from here.

    I thought it was bad a few years ago but Dang!

  8. #8
    Folks on location, please stay safe and keep your family (two and four-legged members) safe in the affected areas! Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

    "Hornets by mandate, Tomcats by choice!"

  9. #9
    Hidden costs.

    Over a billion animals and hundreds of billions of insects have been killed in bushfires throughout New South Wales this season, according to leading wildlife experts.

    The figure has more than doubled from an original estimate of 480 million animals lost, as the hectares razed by out-of-control fires increased from 3 million to now over 8.4 million in NSW.

    Ecologist Chris Dickman from the University of Sydney said: "for some species we're looking at imminent extinction".

    "There will almost certainly be species of all geographical ranges and populations that are cooked before we've even had the chance to discover that they exist," Professor Dickman said.

    Wildlife is threatened by more than just flames in a bushfire crisis, says David Lindenmayer, a professor of forest ecology and management at Australian National University.

    "Australian wildlife has to deal with four things: the incredibly fragile overheated periods before fires, the fire itself, the lack of habitat and food after the fire, and the fourth thing is the invasion of foxes and cats in these burnt areas," he said.

    Professor Lindenmayer said there has never been a better time to keep domestic cats inside overnight.

    "It's easy pickings for them — cats can move up to 12 kilometres through areas that have just been burnt," he said.

    Professor Dickman said the aftermath may mean "species that are rendered extinct, ecosystems that have been eroded to the point where they are completely changed, and habitat in a state of widespread impoverishment".

    "The loss of life we've estimated for NSW is 800 million terrestrial animals, including birds and reptiles. But that figure doesn't include frogs, fish, bats and invertebrates," he said.

    "Combining these figures it is likely well over a billion animals lost."

    Professor Dickman said invertebrates, which include butterflies, spiders and earthworms, hold a critical place in the ecosystem, providing pollination, seed dispersal, soil health, nutrient recycling and an essential food source for a large number of marsupials,

    birds and over 90 per cent of all lizards.
    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

  10. #10

    This visualisation says it all!




    “3D “visualisation” of the fires in Australia, made from NASA satellite data. These are all the areas which have been affected, but not all the areas are still burning.”
    Credit ~ Anthony Hearsey - Creative Imaging
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails burning Australia.jpg  

  11. #11
    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    Its an absolutely tragedy and I think the whole world is closely following the events in Australia. The events will definitely make changes to the whole eco-system on an isolated continent as Australia is. The effects from the fires in Australia already spread over a part of the Ocean and even have reached New Zealand (Mount Cook) which is at a distance of roughly 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles). But the problem even larger than "just" Australia. The European Space Agencies Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, recorded 79,000 major fires in August 2019, compared to just over 16,000 fires detected during the same period in 2018. Fires in South America and Africa are really huge.

    https://www.esa.int/Applications/Obs..._Earth_on_fire

    And Pat good luck with your face, I suggest you wear the gun-glasses from your avatar for a while again!

    Huub

  12. #12
    No offense RS but.......!

    That '3D Imaging' visualisation is quite misleading.
    Areas such as the North of the country are unaffected, in fact there are a couple of Cyclones and a lot of rain in the North of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland.
    Both the Fire Services and the Bureau of Meteorology have been highly critical of this particular 'impression', along with the same one with added fire zones.
    Strange things some people do these days!



    South Eastern Victoria, around the Bemm River, edging our way now, weather conditions for Friday are looking grim, the cool weather forecast will bring rain (not enough!) and strong winds.
    Not good news.

    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

  13. #13

    it is a "visualisation" - no satellite image

    Quote Originally Posted by wombat666 View Post
    No offense RS but.......!

    That '3D Imaging' visualisation is quite misleading.
    Areas such as the North of the country are unaffected, in fact there are a couple of Cyclones and a lot of rain in the North of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland.
    Both the Fire Services and the Bureau of Meteorology have been highly critical of this particular 'impression', along with the same one with added fire zones.
    Strange things some people do these days!

    South Eastern Victoria, around the Bemm River, edging our way now, weather conditions for Friday are looking grim, the cool weather forecast will bring rain (not enough!) and strong winds.
    Not good news.


    Hi wombat666,

    yes... it is not a real satellite image - it is a forceful "visualisation" of N
    ASA’s Fire Information for Ressource Management System (FIRMS) data - collected over a period of eight months (see: https://www.politifact.com/facebook-...-misrepresent/ )

    Howsoever I wish the people of Australia get this disaster under control as soon as possible.

    Greetings RS


  14. #14
    Senior Administrator PRB's Avatar
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    Incredible the size of these fires. Was in Brisbane in November, and it was bad then. Worse now. Tragic. Stay safe down there!
    - Paul

    Win7 x64 | GIGABYTE X79-UP4 | Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core 3.60 GHz | 16GB DDR3/1600MHz Quad Channel Memory | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 16X PCIe 3.0

  15. #15
    The smoke is way past New Zealand. It has circled the globe and about to hit Australia again. "NASA is predicting smoke from the country's devastating bushfires will make it all the way around the world, with the potential to move over Australian skies again in the coming days " https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-...-says/11863298 . I live in Victoria In a high risk area . We are safe but the fire season is young.

  16. #16
    So today we have a band of moisture and thunderstorms coming across Coastal Victoria, courtesy of a couple of Cyclones up North.
    Should also ease a little further inland.
    Even living on the edge of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean visibility is bad, down to 1.5K+/-, overnight the shipping traveling through the Strait was sounding fog horns!
    Being not very clever I decided to drive up to Urban Melbourne to (finally) pick up the last of my new build fittings and being really not clever I dusted off the 934 to exercise her.
    The combination of smoke and moist warm air plus mild precipitation covered the car with an odd and nasty scum..........after a couple of hundred kilometres in murky weather and holiday traffic I really did not enjoy three hours washing and rewashing the bloody car!
    However, I shouldn't whinge, as the image from the ISS illustrates.

    A-Bloody-Mazing!!!!!!!


    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

  17. #17
    Charter Member 2017 srgalahad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat666 View Post

    The combination of smoke and moist warm air plus mild precipitation covered the car with an odd and nasty scum..........after a couple of hundred kilometres in murky weather and holiday traffic I really did not enjoy three hours washing and rewashing the bloody car!
    However, I shouldn't whinge, as the image from the ISS illustrates.

    Might be a thought to check/clean/replace the air filters...

    Of course, since most are just worried about getting burned, not much has been said about the long-term health effects of ingesting air and water that have been contaminated by all sorts of nice particulates (I wonder if carbonized eucalyptus oil is good for the body?).

    "To some the sky is the limit. To others it is home" anon.
    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein


  18. #18
    SOH-CM-2020 SPman's Avatar
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    I wonder if carbonized eucalyptus oil is good for the body?
    A new business opportunity perhaps?
    Big concerns about washing all the ash into rivers and town storage dams....

  19. #19
    Currently one major concern is central to Chromium 3 being carbonised into Chromium 6 which is proven to be Carcinogenic.
    The first containment that I thought of was Asbestos, given that so many older buildings in the rural areas are old and most likely original.
    And of course, all the rubber, assorted metals, petro chemicals, and inevitably pesticides that would be found in farming and agricultural properties.

    PS: Of course the 934 received a thorough pressure wash (upper and lower surfaces). Steamed out the engine bay and threw the 'foam' filters away, she's due for a three monthly service anyway.


    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

  20. #20
    We lived in Canberra until April last year. Sadly, the writing was on the wall for all to see, even then. It made our decision to relocate to Europe a lot easier. But still, we have lots of friends either in the RFS or affected by smoke and fire. It’s terrible.

    Hopefully this is a wake up call for all of us.

  21. #21
    Relocate to europe? Was in Baden-Wurtimburg unloading some property last august, and there seems to be, in europe, a number of thing writ on the wall in large, dayglo sans-serif, all amounting to storm warnings of bad things at the gates. You may have jumped from the fire into the the malestrom. All in all, I'd take smoke and brush fires over the EUSSR. But, I'm sort of tetchy about communist totalitarianism. Watch your back. Things are, once more, getting weird back in the old country.
    Now, I probably get banned for criticizing the Party...

  22. #22
    Right now large areas are getting hit with thunderstorms, flash flooding, hail and pouring rain (like a month's worth in an hour!) which helps in the fire areas up to a point, but makes it really difficult and highly dangerous because of very slippery surfaces.
    And of course, aside from flooding the mudslides are not very helpful!
    What is being flushed into the catchments is the stuff of nightmares.......
    .
    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

  23. #23
    SOH-CM-2020 SPman's Avatar
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    A C130 Has gone in near Peak View NSW, close to Canberra - not looking good
    "BREAKING: Wreckage of missing RFS C-130 located by search crews. Reports only tail section intact. Aircraft has broken up on impact. Crews reporting difficult terrain and "terrible visibility"

    Doesn't sound good for the crew,,,,

  24. #24
    SOH-CM-2020 SPman's Avatar
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    "Three people have died in a fiery crash involving a C-130 water bombing aeroplane, the Rural Fire Service commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, has confirmed
    Fitzsimmons has said it took “quite some time” to locate the wreckage of the C-130.
    “It’s impacted heavily with the ground and initial reports are that there was a large fireball associated with the impact of the plane as it hit the ground,” he told a press conference. “It is still an active fire ground and it was very difficult to locate the wreckage”.
    Coulson Aviation, who have provided water-bombing aircraft to NSW over the past four or five years, have grounded their large air tankers as a precautionary measure.
    “Coulsons have grounded their large air tankers this afternoon, and, indeed, as a mark of respect and as welfare for the rest of their crews operating large air tankers here in New South Wales and interstate in Victoria, have grounded the operations pending review to ensure that there’s nothing systemic like a fuel problem or something,” he said. “ We’ve [also] got the military helping us with the evaluation of the fuel to rule that out”.
    The owners of Coulson Aviation will fly to Australia from Canada as soon as possible, he said. "

    Vale guys......

  25. #25
    Really sad!
    More comprehensive report below.

    "Three US crew members were killed when their Large Air Tanker crashed while fighting a bushfire in southern NSW this afternoon

    Earlier this afternoon, the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said it had "lost contact" with a Lockheed C-130 Hercules being used in water bombing operations in the Snowy Monaro area.

    Firefighters, emergency services and military personnel launched a search and rescue operation and located the wreckage.
    However, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said all the crew members were "tragically" killed.
    "[The aircraft] impacted heavily with the ground and initial reports are that there was a large fireball associated with the impact of the plane as it hit the ground," he said.
    Commissioner Fitzsimmons said there was no indication on what caused the accident, but the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) was working to determine what happened.
    The C-130 was contracted through American aerial firefighting company Coulson Aviation (USA).


    The company has grounded their Large Air Tankers fleet as a precaution and as "a mark of respect".

    The grounding of the water bombers by Coulson Aviation will have an immediate impact on aerial firefighting capacity, Commissioner Fitzsimmons said, but he said he said he understood their decision.
    "It's absolutely warranted and I support them 100 per cent," he said.
    "They are very mindful of the emotional and psychological effect that such a tragedy will have on the rest of their workforce, not just here in Australia but in North America or Canada."
    Commissioner Fitzsimmons said all three occupants on the plane were American firefighters, and he extended his deepest sympathies to their families.

    "Our hearts are with all those that are suffering in what is the loss of three remarkable, well respected, crew that have invested so many decades of their life into firefighting," he said.

    The RFS said the aircraft was engaged in "routine" water bombing activities at the time of the crash.


    Flight tracking website Flightradar24 showed the flight path for the C-130 suddenly stopping south of Canberra.

    According to its flight data, the aircraft departed RAAF Base Richmond, in western Sydney, about 12:05pm.
    However, soon after 2pm the aircraft stopped in an area called Peak View, north-east of Cooma.
    The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) said the aircraft was brought into Australia in August, 2019 and that it had all the safety approvals required before operating in Australia.

    The aviation authority said it had reached out to the its US counterpart, the Federal Aviation Authority, about the incident.

    CASA said it would "not be taking any action which will affect aerial firefighting operations".

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the crew members onboard," it said in a statement.
    In 2017, the NSW Government invested $38 million over four years for three Large Air Tankers to be used in firefighting efforts.
    The aircraft are capable of dumping more than 15,000 litres of water or fire retardant at a time.
    The death of the three crew members brings the number of firefighters killed during this bushfire season to eight."

    "Illegitimum non carborundum".

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