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Victoria Ablaze

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 03:00 pm
Being from a U.S. state beseiged by annual wildfires every summer and fall, my heart goes out to those in Australia watching, those losing property, those losing loved ones, and the terrible toll wrecked on wildlife.

http://static.flickr.com/3325/3260139430_c6b3e2bcd2.jpg
Bush fire smoke approaches Ivanhoe, Melbourne, Australia, 7 Feb. 2009

And this should make any of us grit out teeth with anger.
http://en.timeturk.com/images/news/16940.jpg
Quote:
Arson blamed for Australia fires
Police in Australia believe that arsonists were to blame for some of the fires which have caused destruction in the south-east of the country.

Almost 30 homes were destroyed in the Gippsland region of Victoria, after the state experienced its worst heatwave in 100 years.

Meanwhile, a new report suggested that half of the country's bush fires each year were started deliberately.

The Gippsland bush fires have been made worse by high winds and low humidity.

But the police believe at least two of them were started by what they described as a serial arsonist.

The launch of the investigation coincided with a new report from the Australian Institute of Criminology which found that half of the country's 20,000 to 30,000 wild fires each year were started deliberately.


Some pretty good video here:
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Australia-Fires-Reports-Say-14-Dead-As-Wildfires-Rage-Across-Southern-States/Article/200902115218505?lpos=World_News_Carousel_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15218505_Australia_Fires%3A_Reports_Say_14_Dead_As_Wildfires_Rage_Across_Southern_States
0 Replies
 
Dutchy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 03:01 pm
@dlowan,
As of 7am Sunday morning, the official number of deaths is 25, and expected to rise further.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 03:18 pm
Made it through another hot and sticky night. The temparature seems to have dropped somewhat. General Conditions - Dry, Calm West south west at 08:10 AM 08/02/09 Current Temp. 24.3°C

The air is thick and yellow with smoke from the fires.
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 03:55 pm
Uptodate info is available from ABC Radio

http://www.abc.net.au/melbourne/radio/player.htm?winstream=http://abc.net.au/melbourne/onair/774stream.asx&ramstream=http://abc.net.au/melbourne/onair/774stream.ram



Resources are being deployed in the Eildon Taggerty area NE of Melbourne. This fire is burning in a north easterly direction toward my town (Mansfield) but a fair distance away. About an hour away by road. Given that the wind has died down now I would not expect to be impacted on at this time. we'll see what the day brings.

10 or 12 fires are still causing concern across the state.

Dutchy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 04:15 pm
@dadpad,
Keeping my fingers crossed for you dadpad and hope your lovely town and area will be spared from this really great tragedy engulfing your State. Best of luck mate.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 04:34 pm
I'm perfectly OK. Thank you for your concern. I'm close to the centre of Melbourne (capital city) & we here have not experienced any of the horror of country Victorians. (Though there are serious fires on the heavily-wooded outer fringes of the city) Fire all over over the state! This looks like it could be even worse than Ash Wednesday. Terrible losses of human life (25 so far, more expected), homes, wildlife, farm animals, whole communities wiped out ..... terrible.
As I type I'm listening to local ABC radio (774) ... normal programming has been suspended for continual updates, information & communication with people afftected by the fires. There is talk of the army being brought in to assist. Just not enough forefighters & many must be close to exhaustion. It was shocking yesterday, to hear that it parts of Gippsland, firefighters had no option but to withdraw & just let the fires have their way... the conditions were so overwhelming. The heat & that terrible, ferocious wind!:


Day of horror as inferno rages
February 8, 2009
http://images.theage.com.au/2009/02/07/373856/svFIREP1-420x0.jpg
Bushfires rage out of control from the Bunyip State Park. Photo: Jason South

Quote:
VICTORIANS today awoke to the greatest bushfire catastrophe since Ash Wednesday. A statewide inferno that may have claimed up to 40 lives is still burning out of control.

Police, who last night were finally able to reach the blackened ruins of towns and communities, confirmed that 14 people had died. Six people who perished in a single vehicle in Kinglake, in the upper Yarra Valley, may have been from one family.

But police conceded they had little idea of how many others could be interred inside their ruined homes. Today they will continue the search for at least 25 people who were unaccounted for last night.

As more than 3000 firefighters and thousands of residents in dozens of communities last night battled to save homes, it emerged that hundreds of properties had already been lost.... <cont>


http://www.theage.com.au/national/day-of-horror-as-inferno-rages-20090207-80fs.html?page=-1

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 04:49 pm
@msolga,
Once again (listening to ABC radio) authorities have reason to believe that a number of the fires were deliberately lit. I dunno. On a day like yesterday, when the whole state was on extremely high alert, that some people could go out & deliberately start fires .. it just beggers belief .
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 04:54 pm
@dadpad,
Thinking of you, dadpad. Fingers tightly crossed for you & your community.
Here's hoping that the (much) lower temperatures today & the rest of this week will help. If only the hideous winds hold off!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 05:47 pm
I do hope you're well and safe, Dad . . .

I have two questions for you, at such time as you are free enough from distraction to answer, and they are based on something which i recently read.

One is that southeast Australia is a particularly fertile area. How is this likely to effect agriculture?

The second is this: i read that while weather is unpredictable over the course of a year, weather patterns are predictable over a period of years, in most parts of the world. I read that this is not the case in Australia, where weather patterns are not predictable even over the course of many years. Do you think that's an accurate statement?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 06:21 pm
@Setanta,
It is fertile area.....but has been experiencing drought.

The fires likely won't affect agriculture in themselves. The stock losses will, though, if they are big.

In my view, Australia has had broadly predictable weather, though we have always looked to warm currents in the pacific Ocean to explain and predict droughts, and it has recently been posited that it is more the Indian
Ocean which affects us.

The current extreme weather is just as predicted in global warming models...and greater unpredictability is also predicted
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:02 pm
I've always been of the opinion that we have roughly 10 20 50 and 100 year cycles.

It has been my opinion that it snows here roughly every 10 years. however we have not had snow on the ground for over 20 years.

It has also been my opinion that we get high fire danger years roughly every 10 20 and 50 with the threat increasing in line with the number of years ie 50 years is an extreeme threat , however high fire danger years seems to be closer together. 2006 was the last one. Ash Wednesday in 1983 before that. Black friday 1939 was a really bad year. There was another really bad year between 39 and 83 but I cant remeber the year.

Millions of hectares of grazing land have been burnt out this time not just forest so some impact on agriculture is to be expected. Given that drought has been affecting this area for some years fodder (hay and silage and feed grains) available to be trucked in to feed cattle and sheep in affected areas may be in short supply.
Pine plantations and native timber harvesting have been impacted on in the Beechworth kinglake and gippsland area. This will have some impact on pulp and and timber supplies.

Currently wind here has swung to the SW. Which puts us in the firing line from the now joined Kinglake Kilmore fire later today or tomorrow. this is a huge fire front now which potentially could impact on roughly half the state of Victoria. However temps and wind speed are expected to be lower so I am not really concerned to much for myself. There have been reports of showers in some districts along the coast which probably means at the least cooler temps.
In several areas towns of 500 - 1000 people have been entirely razed with only 1 or 2 buildings remaining.
Infrastructure such as power, water supply and land lines have been serverly affected in some districts. Powerpoles, substations, pumping stations and minor telephone exchanges have been completly destroyed.

0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:41 pm
This is very rough but gives some idea of whats going on at a landscape scale the 3 different colours represent different fires.



http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a40/dadpad/GoogleEarth_Image-4.jpg
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 07:53 pm
@dadpad,
Looking bad in nsw too

I do hope the weather eases for you guys

Time for rain dancing?

Looks like it's heating up for us at the end of the week

May be our turn then

Our hearts are with all those affected
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 08:05 pm
I'm a bit pissed off with Hingehead for keeping all the water to himself.

Fire is directly impacting on my brothers property in the Beechworth blaze.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 08:56 pm
35 confirmed dead so far
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 11:42 pm
I thought i had heard that Kinglake went up in flames.
Dutchy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Feb, 2009 11:44 pm
@Setanta,
Latest report, over 640 homes destroyed and death toll now officially 49.
Dutchy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 12:03 am
@Dutchy,
Dutchy wrote:

Latest report, over 640 homes destroyed and death toll now officially 49.

Setanta, Kinglake get a mention here.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/08/2485538.htm?section=justin
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 12:16 am
50 and counting

Dammit
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 12:41 am
Kinglake and Marysville have basically been burnt to the ground.
0 Replies
 
 

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