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baroque
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:07 pm

More than 40 feared dead, 100 homes lost in Victorian fires
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/07/2485270.htm
The hot northerlies have now been replaced by a cooler southerly airstream, but further damage may occur as the fires are still not under control.

On Sunday, similar fire conditions will affect NSW.

Meanwhile up near the Tropic Convergence:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/07/2485268.htm
Heavy rain continues to drench flood-stricken north Qld

A land of drought and flooding rains.
 
imiakhtar
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:24 pm



Quoting Baroque (Thread starter):
A land of drought and flooding rains

Indeed. And the outlook doesn't seem to be getting that much better. I seem to recall a recent article where it was mentioned that the parts of South Australia (Adelaide???) were having to buy water supplies from neighbouring states due to the prolonged drought in the murray-darling river basin.

Climate change in action perhaps?

Stay cool! Regards
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Alessandro
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:46 pm

We´re doomed to repeat... Sad
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CupraIbiza
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:20 am

In total shock. It was 47c here yesterday. I think that's about 118f

I spent many weekends in my youth at the best secret in Victoria.

The tiny town of Marysville was the ultimate mountain getaway, and an easy drive from Melbourne.

In winter it was a perfect base for skiing at Lake Mountain.

Now the entire town is gone.

Marysville destroyed by Victorian bushfires

VIRTUALLY the entire township of Marysville in the Yarra Valley has been destroyed by bushfires

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...ory/0,25197,25024310-12377,00.html
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joffie
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:25 am

35 dead at the moment. That figure will rise sadly, as rescue crews are checking each house for bodies, which will take days at least. Many townships destroyed, including one about 20 KM from me.
 
melpax
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:34 am

Perhaps rather foolishly I went on a water ski trip with some friends yesterday up to Lake Nillahcootie for the weekend. We only became aware of the extent of the fires when we watched the news last night, we were constantly checking our Iphones for updates on the CFA web site. Many roads are still closed, the Hume highway (the main highway between MEL & SYD) had a section closed for a time - we had to drive back this morning along the Hume as the route we came on was closed by fire - The smoke was very thick on the hume until Avenal. The closed section of the highway was reopened just before we reached it, the section between Broadford & Wandong was completly black, there were a few houses that I saw that were surrounded by burnt bushland, some very lucky people there.

Very sad about Marysville & Kinglake - there are also reports of deaths in St Andrews, I may well end up knowing some the victims as my family had a business in Hurstbridge back in the 90's...

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/
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joffie
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:21 am



Quoting Melpax (Reply 5):
Very sad about Marysville & Kinglake - there are also reports of deaths in St Andrews, I may well end up knowing some the victims as my family had a business in Hurstbridge back in the 90's...

Yeah, the St Andrews fire spread to Kinglake quite quick, Most of the road deaths were people trying to drive in the thick smoke, ultimatelly having a collision and burned over by the fire..pretty bad way to die
 
Springbok747
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:32 am

Damn, they've confirmed 36 dead + 640 houses completely destroyed, and it'll only get worse  Sad
At least the heatwave here in SA seems to have subsided, its 22C in ADL today.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/08/2485538.htm
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melpax
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:00 am



Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 7):
Damn, they've confirmed 36 dead + 640 houses completely destroyed, and it'll only get worse

Now 49 people confirmed dead.

Quoting Joffie (Reply 6):
Yeah, the St Andrews fire spread to Kinglake quite quick, Most of the road deaths were people trying to drive in the thick smoke, ultimatelly having a collision and burned over by the fire..pretty bad way to die

Very dangerous conditions to drive in, especially in those mountain roads. 6 people were killed in one car that was burnt.

Also looks like Narbethong has been wiped out as well.

http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/incidents/incident_updates.htm
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andz
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:41 am

Sky is now reporting 65 dead. Those temperatures are incredible, but more astounding is the report that some fires have been deliberately set.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
joffie
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:54 am

Yeah, 65. We always know TFB (Total Fire Ban) days bring out the assholes to bring on misery to others, and with services stretched they know they can cause more damage.

Quoting Melpax (Reply 8):
Very dangerous conditions to drive in, especially in those mountain roads. 6 people were killed in one car that was burnt.

I know, I drove up to Kinglake about a month back along the very windy Kinglake-Hurstbridge Rd and even said, i am not in a hurry to do it again. On a clear day its very dangerious.
 
baroque
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:27 am



Quoting Cupraibiza (Reply 3):
The tiny town of Marysville

It was a beautiful place. Taking a longer term view some of those towns have gone before but have come back again. This time it is very widespread. I thought we were getting more clever about reducing damage courtesy of the excellent research on fires and fire propagation. Seems not.

Quoting Joffie (Reply 4):
35 dead at the moment.

For those wondering about the numbers, I think the middle of the night ABC figure was an estimate. The later lower figures were firm counts. And alas as was suspected, that figure has grown.

At least one of the main fires is thought to be from an arsonist or arsonists. Awful but no longer unexpected. But something I have never heard of before is relighting fires by arsonists. So far NSW seems to be escaping more lightly, possibly lower wind velocities, but maybe fewer arsonists.

In 1968, we had a fire go through about 0.7km from here right across the face of Mt Keira in about 4 minutes. Those Vic fires looked to be even more intense.
 
WunalaYann
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:48 am

I have fond memories of Marysville... I am in complete shock. 67 confirmed casualties, the whole state is on fire, emergency units are stretched beyond sanity, and John Brumby (Victorian Premier) broke down in front of the cameras...

Madness.
 
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allrite
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:01 am



Quoting Imiakhtar (Reply 1):
Climate change in action perhaps?

The current extreme weather situations in Australia (and freezing Europe!) are not thought to be directly linked to climate change. However, the frequency and magnitude of these events are expected to increase due to climate change. That means we can expect more of these events and more deaths. A reminder to those who are solely focused on economic and financial performance right now.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 11):
At least one of the main fires is thought to be from an arsonist or arsonists. Awful but no longer unexpected. But something I have never heard of before is relighting fires by arsonists.

I'm not going to defend arsonists, but from what I understand most have larger issues outside of just igniting fires (often a call for attention, mental issues). It should be possible to identify many arsonists before they do damage, should society wish to invest the time and effort.

What pisses me off is people who throw cigarette butts out of their car windows. Or ignore fire bans "because it shouldn't apply to them."

I've seen flames surrounding our house, seen fires in the mountains and it's scary. But never as terrifying as it must have been for the victims of this tragedy. Families split by fire, others who have lost everything but their own lives. My heart goes out to them all.
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melpax
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:31 am

There's now talk of the possibility of 100+ fatalities. Fires are still going at the moment, so it will proably be later in the week until the full extent is known.

Herald-Sun article on Marysville.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25024876-661,00.html
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Zkpilot
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:37 am

Hope things get better for all involved soon!
I was in Melbourne yesterday when it had its highest ever recorded official temp of 46.4deg C. It was an absolute scorcher like being in a blast furnace. That temp was in the shade...in the sun it was over 50deg. Horrible.
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melpax
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:11 am

Some very sad news for fellow Melbournians, the wife of long-time Channel 9 newsreader Brian Naylor has been confirmed dead according to Sky news, Brian is still missing. The Naylors have a large property at Kinglake....

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25024407-661,00.html

[Edited 2009-02-08 01:12:29]
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Springbok747
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:57 am



Quoting Melpax (Reply 14):
There's now talk of the possibility of 100+ fatalities.

Could be. ABC seem to be revising the numbers every minute. Guess the final toll will only be known in a couple of days.
The BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney said police suspect that in at least one case fires have been restarted by arsonists after being extinguished by firefighters.

Ugh what a disgusting bunch of human scum.

The leader of the Green party, Bob Brown said summer fires would get worse unless Australia and other nations showed more leadership on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

I think Mr. Brown should shut up about climate change for once...what an inappropriate time to make such comments.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7877178.stm
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withak
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:33 am



Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 17):
I think Mr. Brown should shut up about climate change for once...what an inappropriate time to make such comments.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-paci...8.stm

I totally agree. Right now people should be thinking of all the people who have been affected by the fires and doing everything they can to help. Not trying to further their own causes.

Quoting Melpax (Reply 16):
Some very sad news for fellow Melbournians, the wife of long-time Channel 9 newsreader Brian Naylor has been confirmed dead according to Sky news, Brian is still missing. The Naylors have a large property at Kinglake....

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sto....html

I was in Hurstbridge last night and remember commenting how much of a relief it was when the cool change came through and the wind changed direction. It just puts a lump in my throat to think that that wind change basically wiped out Kinglake.

To all those still under threat and who will come under threat in the coming week stay safe and all the best. We are all thinking of you.

Kris
 
Gemuser
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:42 am



Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 17):
The leader of the Green party, Bob Brown said summer fires would get worse unless Australia and other nations showed more leadership on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

What a ridiculous statement! These are not the first and maybe not even the worst bush fires in Oz. Bush fires an a natural part of the life cycle in most of Australia. Otherwise you wouldn't have so much flora and some fauna that depend on such fire.

Gemuser
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chrisrad
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:56 am



Quoting Melpax (Reply 16):
Some very sad news for fellow Melbournians, the wife of long-time Channel 9 newsreader Brian Naylor has been confirmed dead according to Sky news, Brian is still missing. The Naylors have a large property at Kinglake....

Brian Naylor has been confirmed dead as well.
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/entertain...sreader-missing-wife-dead-in-fires

Saturday was such a bizzare day, I think most in Melbourne, Victoria would agree. Tremendous loss of life and property. I still cant believe we hit 46.4c (115.5f), with the wind, drought and temperature combined it was a disaster waiting to happen.



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Brendan03
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:33 pm



Quoting Chrisrad (Reply 20):
Saturday was such a bizzare day, I think most in Melbourne, Victoria would agree. Tremendous loss of life and property. I still cant believe we hit 46.4c (115.5f), with the wind, drought and temperature combined it was a disaster waiting to happen.

I was out for the majority of the day, It didn't feel that warm in Glen Waverley and by the time I got back to the city, The cool change had hit.

In regards to the North East, Myself and some friends had been predicting this since around last Feburary that it's ready to go up for a while now.

It's great that the State and Federal governments are working together on a large scale to help those affected.

I'm still waiting to hear if my friend in St. Andrews is alright
Coolier than thou.
 
baroque
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:48 pm



Quoting Gemuser (Reply 19):
What a ridiculous statement! These are not the first and maybe not even the worst bush fires in Oz. Bush fires an a natural part of the life cycle in most of Australia. Otherwise you wouldn't have so much flora and some fauna that depend on such fire.

Er well, I think they are now being considered the worst. Someone will run up a league table soon no doubt, but that hardly matters.

The transient look that you get on TV suggests there is a problem with these fires in that the combustion of the eucalypts was more intense than usual. I presume Vic is the same, in NSW this happens when the fires occur at high temps with the trees having been subject to water stress. Fire propagation tends to be more rapid and the trees tend to maintain fire for longer - both seem to be happening.

Forest management has probably been far from optimal at a guess. So one way or another, Brown might well have a point.

http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committe.../bushfires/inquiry/subs/sub473.pdf

That paper is about the Karri and Jarrah forests but I think similar considerations apply to Vic forests too.

For a more general consideration of preventive burns see:
http://bushfirefront.com.au/opinion/occasional-papers

I am sure we will get to know what winter burning protocols have been but until we know, it is difficult to know if Brown has a point or not. He is not alone.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/08/2485420.htm
Professor Mark Adams, from the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre, agrees.

He has been studying forests around Melbourne's dams over several decades.

He says the extreme weather conditions which sparked the bushfires are likely to occur more often because of climate change.

"The weather and climatic conditions recently don't augur well for the future. Bushfires are an important and going to be ever-present part of the landscape," he said.


If extreme climate conditions are becoming more frequent it barely matters what the cause is.

In any event with extreme climate conditions remaining the same, recent urban development makes it London to a brick that bushfires are going to be a more serious problem simply because more homes are at risk in bush fire prone areas.

Better to figure out how to minimize damage than to shoot any of the messengers even if you think some of them are not correct.

A word of warning to anyone going into one of these areas in the coming weeks, I got burned on the foot close to two weeks after our most severe bushfire when my foot broke through into still burning tree roots not far from the house. So do not assume all the fire has gone because there is no smoke.
 
ltbewr
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:15 pm

What a terrible disaster for all of Australia. Clearly their resources are being stretched beyone any expections and ability to deal with. Let us hope there will be no more dying or injured from these fires. There is no doubt that weather patterns, perhaps made worse by global warming but also development in higher risk areas, types of building construction, excessive repression of natural wildfires that cleared out excessive brush that encourages such extreme fires will all have to be considered factors in these major fires.
While it is too late to prevent the problems they face now, I do hope they look at what Calilfornia is trying to reduce the risks from such fires including some of the factors noted above.
 
Beaucaire
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:19 pm

My very honest and deepest thoughts for all Australians in this time of horror !
Bushfires do destroy lives,careers,dreams and projects .
Families are affected by death,incapacity to work,financial drama - and I also want to mention the heavy toll on nature and protected species .Forrests will need decades to grow again.While the death-toll on humans is unbearable and very steep,the toll on nature is equally devastating.
There are certainly some fires that have man-made origins.Those bastards should be skinned alive and then roasted within one of the incidents they caused.
As an absolute fan and admirer of Australi,a my heart is genuingly bleeding..
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baroque
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:54 pm

Thanks LTB and Beau, much appreciated.

At 2.30 E Aus Summer time, 93 confirmed dead. But some in hospital have severe burns.

With the forests Beau, it depends upon fire intensity. Unless the intensity is really high, at least 60 to 80% of the eucalypts will start to produce frilly juvenile leaves (most, some don't have different juveniles) around the end of April, possibly a bit earlier if there is a big rain event (not very likely on the past few years). By around July, they will look as if someone has pinned frills around them. By about June 2010 there will be two metre or so long shoots with adult leaves and the main way to know there was a fire is to bump into the tree and get covered in charcoal. For plantation pines, correct, a decade to replace them. But I did not see many plantations timber affected. In 1983, there were huge swathes of pine affected in Western Vic and E SA. They had to rescue fell and try to store the felled timber prior to processing.

But as some has said, the eucalypt forests have evolved to live with fires up to moderate intensity. Only the really severe fires will severely damage them permanently. This may or may not have been in that class of fire in places.

Look up
Fire and the Vegetation of the Southern Rivers Region - it is a PDF file.

http://chabg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/euclid3/euclidsample/html/learn.htm
Gives some great illustrations and knows all about juvenile leaves but does not figure them - GRRRRR!

At last here are some pics of juvenile leaves
http://www.reec.nsw.edu.au/geo/woodland/text/wod13.htm

However, for the keen of eye, it is the leaves that live for two to 3 years not the whole bloody tree!!! The trees definitely live up to hundreds of years.


What I would like to see is Mr Rudd decide that if he really wants an economic stimulus, redirecting a slab of the bonus payment to rebuilding the burned out towns to much higher levels of being fire-resistant would be a much smarter idea than paying bonuses. It always seems crazy to me to build with timber frames, fascias and whatever in fire country.
 
GDB
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:02 pm

Clearly a tragic day for Australia.
The reports and awful, almost unbelievable death toll, have been truly shocking.

That it seems that many fires have been started on purpose is almost beyond comprehension, I hope they are caught and convicted of multiple murder, furthermore I hope that any who have the information to turn someone in for any of this does so due to the magnitude of what they have contributed to, not for any reward money.
 
Alessandro
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:21 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 23):
What a terrible disaster for all of Australia. Clearly their resources are being stretched beyone any expections and ability to deal with. Let us hope there will be no more dying or injured from these fires. There is no doubt that weather patterns, perhaps made worse by global warming but also development in higher risk areas, types of building construction, excessive repression of natural wildfires that cleared out excessive brush that encourages such extreme fires will all have to be considered factors in these major fires.
While it is too late to prevent the problems they face now, I do hope they look at what Calilfornia is trying to reduce the risks from such fires including some of the factors noted above.

I had the discussion 7 years ago here, sadly nothing has changed. Oz is about the same size as US if you take away Alaska and have about 6,8% of the population of US so things done in the US can´t automatically be applied to Oz.

[Edited 2009-02-08 15:27:39]
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aussie18
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:21 am

Reports are saying now 110+ dead with many unaccounted for and serval fighting for life in hospital with severe burns,hopefully the cooler temperatures over next few days can help the firies battling these blazes contain them without anymore damage being caused.
 
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Zkpilot
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:05 am

New Zealand has offered assistance and Australia has accepted this with 100 firefighters to fly over to Oz.
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NAV20
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:23 am

I gather that the toll will almost certainly grow substantially over the next few weeks. The reason being that although most of the fires are now 'contained' - meaning that firebreaks have been completed around them - they are still burning, so that no-one, not even firefighters, can yet check on all the towns and isolated houses that have been destroyed. Or on all the cars that may have been caught on the roads.

Must admit, up till now I thought that Ash Wednesday in 1983 was as bad as it could get. This is far, far worse.

Quoting WithaK (Reply 18):
I was in Hurstbridge last night and remember commenting how much of a relief it was when the cool change came through and the wind changed direction. It just puts a lump in my throat to think that that wind change basically wiped out Kinglake.

I had exactly the same feeling, WithaK. I'd gone down to my village centre (in Mentone) to get some groceries, just on 5.30pm. as the cool change came through. There were even a few drops of rain. Everyone was smiling and chatting in the Safeway car park, making the most of it. Then I went home, turned on the TV news, and saw what was happening only 50 miles away to the north and east..........
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kiwiinoz
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:02 am

Man, this is just horrifying. The government has been advised to prepare for a final death toll of around 230

So many of these places I know so well, and they are completely wiped out. Spoke to a few friends this morning in Melbourne. Understandably very sombre.

Whilst it wouldn't have saved all these people, I think the one policy up for review should be leaving the onus/decision on the residents to stay and defend their homes. When there are so many bushfire warnings every year, I think many residents overestimate their capacity to do this, or get out when they really need to. The authorities, theoretically the best informed need to make the call on evacuations that that order is compulsory, supported by the military.
 
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allrite
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:46 am

Quoting KiwiinOz (Reply 31):
Whilst it wouldn't have saved all these people, I think the one policy up for review should be leaving the onus/decision on the residents to stay and defend their homes. When there are so many bushfire warnings every year, I think many residents overestimate their capacity to do this, or get out when they really need to. The authorities, theoretically the best informed need to make the call on evacuations that that order is compulsory, supported by the military.

Quoting from the NSW Rural Fire Service:

Quote:
Research indicates that a well-prepared home is often the best place to shelter from a fire-front. Most people who die in bush fires die as a result of unplanned last-minute relocations or evacuations. Generally there is no need to relocate or evacuate provided the proper precautions have been taken.

One of the major issues of the Victorian bushfires was that there was simply not enough time to prepare or evacuate in a number of circumstances. The authorities themselves would have in just as great a risk.

[Edited 2009-02-08 19:46:59]
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Sydscott
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:49 am



Quoting KiwiinOz (Reply 31):
The government has been advised to prepare for a final death toll of around 230

I'm shocked by the scale of this absolute disaster. Those poor people!

Quoting KiwiinOz (Reply 31):
I think the one policy up for review should be leaving the onus/decision on the residents to stay and defend their homes.

The problem was that it was the perfect fire storm. An extremely hot day, strong winds and communities with no time and virtually no warning to evacuate. That people actually survived is a miracle in some places but I shudder to think what we're going to find when this all subsides. One report said that 6 bodies were found in the remains of a car that was fleeing the fire and overtaken by it.

Quoting KiwiinOz (Reply 31):
When there are so many bushfire warnings every year, I think many residents overestimate their capacity to do this, or get out when they really need to.

The problem is that with most fires its proven that if you stay to defend your property the chances are that you will save it. Over the weekend we saw what happens when people don't have time to be informed of a fire approaching or its intensity.

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 27):
Oz is about the same size as US if you take away Alaska and have about 6,8% of the population of US so things done in the US can´t automatically be applied to Oz.

The issue is that alot of the area now burning has been drought effected for some time. So forest management activities have not been able to be undertaken.

Again, it's just so shocking that 230 people could die in these fires. Clearly there are some lessons to be learned but there is alot of work to do first to contain these fires first.
 
baroque
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:04 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 23):
While it is too late to prevent the problems they face now, I do hope they look at what Calilfornia is trying to reduce the risks from such fires including some of the factors noted above.

The low rainfall for about 12 years that Sydscott refers to was a major factor increasing the combustility linked with record temperatures and extremely low humidity and at first strong N winds. The term brickfielder does not seem to be much in use these days but those winds are like a breath off a field of (hot) bricks.

The 'not all that representative TV segments' appear to show that some of the worst housing loss - and maybe loss of life has been in areas with few trees where the fires must have been essentially grass fires. Some of the ground shots of advancing flame fronts show that too.

In NSW in the 60s, grass fires were a major problem in the Highlands but it was found they could be controlled if a zone about 3 m wide was ploughed around the edge of the paddocks (fields). This provided an interruption to the fuel that did not stop the fires but dropped the intensity. From the pictures it does not look as if this sort of barrier was being used.

A huge amount of research has been done linking fire intensity with fuel load for forest situations. But again as Sydscott writes, if the winter weather is too dangerous, reduction in fuel load may not be possible to the extent required.

I guess the Royal Commission will provide a great deal of information on the whys and how-to-prevents.
 
Alessandro
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:05 am

The issue is that alot of the area now burning has been drought effected for some time. So forest management activities have not been able to be undertaken.

Again, it's just so shocking that 230 people could die in these fires. Clearly there are some lessons to be learned but there is alot of work to do first to contain these fires first.[/quote]
Yes, I had this big fight here on A.net 7 years ago how underfunded the flying firebrigade is in Oz and I don´t want a repeat on that fight. My opinion hasn´t change a bit... Sad
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
ScarletHarlot
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:05 am

This is absolutely horrible. I'm so sorry to read about the huge numbers of people killed and injured and the horrendous damage. I've seen forest fires and bush fires in Northern Ontario but never anything like this. Covering 25 kms in 15 minutes! That's terrifying.

Hang in there, Victoria. We're all thinking of you.
But that was when I ruled the world
 
NAV20
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:26 am

This article gives an idea of the scale of the disaster. The estimate of the area burned so far (just in Victoria, not counting New South Wales) is now put at 'more than 330,000 hectares.' That's about 815,000 acres in the 'old money'........

http://smallbusiness.smh.com.au/star...respond-to-bushfire-913496819.html

I mention it because it will give an idea of how quickly fires of this kind can spread - especially in super-hot weather. No fire service, however well-equipped, could possibly hope to put them out - all they can do is 'operate round the edges' and hope for cooler weather and less wind.

At least 750 houses lost so far, too........

[Edited 2009-02-08 20:28:11]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
CupraIbiza
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:33 am



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 37):
330,000 hectares.' That's about 815,000 acres in the 'old money'........

Maybe its just me, or maybe its all us city folk, but I cant compute how big that is.

The toll has recently been revised to 130
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NAV20
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:53 am



Quoting CupraIbiza (Reply 38):
Maybe its just me, or maybe its all us city folk, but I cant compute how big that is.

1,273 square miles, Cupralbiza. Say everything in an area 35 miles by 35.........
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
mirrodie
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:59 am

Really devastated to hear about this on our news this afternoon.

THinking of you guys.
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CupraIbiza
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:41 am



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
1,273 square miles

FAAAAAAARRRRR..........
Everyday is a gift…… but why does it have to be a pair of socks?
 
B727-200
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:43 am



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
Quoting CupraIbiza (Reply 38):
Maybe its just me, or maybe its all us city folk, but I cant compute how big that is.

1,273 square miles, Cupralbiza. Say everything in an area 35 miles by 35.........

To put it into perspective, 10,000 hectares is 100 square km (10km x 10km), which is about the size of Paris. The area burnt out so far is about 33 times the size of Paris.

With higher winds, warmer temperatures and low DP's forecast for later in the week, we could see a flare-up threatening many more tens of thousands of hectares and more townships. This has been very sad, but I am happy to say that I have made contact with all friends in affected areas.

Saturday's heat and wind was something that I thought I would never experience. I went outside twice to check around the house because we have about 600 hectares of parkland virtually across the road. Very scary.

B727-200
 
Stealthz
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:44 am



Quoting CupraIbiza (Reply 38):
Maybe its just me, or maybe its all us city folk, but I cant compute how big that is.



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 39):
1,273 square miles, Cupralbiza.

Put in some kind of context, approx 1/3 the area of Greater Melbourne or approx 1/4 the area of Greater Sydney
...Or 1/10 the size of Switzerland

As has been said .. just mind numbing.
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
NG1Fan
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:26 am

My uncle lives in the Yarra Valley, south of Healesville. While he thankfully wasn't affected, he recounted temp of 47 degrees (35 degrees inside the house). Air cond failed, could not open windows on Sat or Sun due to the smoke. In all, a miserable experience.

Let's pray that those who perished ate at peace, and those who were affected in whatever way a speedy recovery.

NG1Fan
 
MadameConcorde
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:43 am

These fires are horrible. Something is unfair.

Wish we could send them a good bit of our rain. We have had way too much of it within the last year and even the last few weeks. Truly a deluge. There is no fear of drought or water shortage for a long while and more rain is on its way to Rainy Riviera while the nearby French and Italian ski resorts get ton of snow.

Something is unfair. Talk about climate being messed up...  Wow!
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
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mariner
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:46 am

The town of Strathewen has been completely obliterated, as the picture here shows:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/st...like-a-war-zone-20090209-81w0.html

Of a population of 200, some 30 are believed to have died.

mariner
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baroque
Topic Author
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:22 am



Quoting StealthZ (Reply 43):
Put in some kind of context, approx 1/3 the area of Greater Melbourne or approx 1/4 the area of Greater Sydney
...Or 1/10 the size of Switzerland

And although it got close, it was a bit of a surprise that about a quarter of Sydney did not go up in smoke too, just enough E in the air stream to keep fire propagation close to manageable.

The pic that Mariner cites reminds me for those who have not seen a house burned by a bushfire, destruction is complete and in detail. That is one of the reasons why the count will continue to rise.

A student of mine lost his house in 1968 at Austimer. The glass in the TV had melted and run down the grooves in a sheet of galv iron. They lost everything they were not able to cram into a Mini in about 10 mins. (A year later almost to the day, their Housing Commission house they had been given after the bush fire was flooded!).

I saw a fire officer or police officer from Vic commenting that although there might have been arsonists, something close to "hang on before assuming you know the cause of such a complex series of events". Don't forget that faulty power lines have turned out to be a culprit in some major conflagrations. Presumably, however, there are sufficient reasons for the charges laid in NSW.
 
melpax
Posts: 2019
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:13 am

200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:57 am



Quoting Mariner (Reply 46):
The town of Strathewen has been completely obliterated, as the picture here shows:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/st...like-a-war-zone-20090209-81w0.html

Of a population of 200, some 30 are believed to have died.

mariner

My God.

As I said in an earlier post, my family used to own a business in the area (Hurstbridge) & we had quite a few customers from Strathewen, it is literally at the end of the road. The only facilities of note are the school (now burnt), a hall & the sports ground. Not even a pub or small general store. If the road in was bloced, you are literally trapped. One of the most recognisable Strathewen residents is Johnny Young, of 'Young Talent Time' fame, he was also a customer of ours, not sure if he still lives in the area.
Essendon - Whatever it takes......
 
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SAS A340
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200 Feared Dead 1000 Homes Lost In Victorian Fires

Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:08 am

Have seen this on the news a couple of days now and the death toll are rising  worried  It's so horrible and my thought are with everybody effected and involved in this horrific event! Be safe!!!
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