Author Topic: The Australian weather & fire thread (winds, floods, bushfires, warnings, news)  (Read 77857 times)

*CountessA*

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Please keep this thread free of all off-topic material. We're heading into a nightmare summer, and I know we all fear that more lives will be lost as dangerous weather and other disasters threaten us Australia-wide.

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Australia is experiencing a winter day of extremes as temperatures peak in central areas, winds whip the south and the threat of bushfires increases.

Temperatures in the mid-30s are forecast for northern NSW and southern Queensland on Monday as firefighters brace for an early start to the bushfire season.

Brisbane's August maximum temperature record of just under 33 degrees Celsius is expected to fall.

Warmer weather has also been felt overnight in Sydney, where temperatures were twice the monthly average, and Canberra where 12 degrees Celsius set a new record for the warmest August night.

On NSW's south coast, temperatures are expected to stay in the low 20s as firefighters battle a massive fire that has already burnt out more than 180 hectares at Monkey Mountain near Ulladulla.

Much higher temperatures have led to a total fire ban in southern Queensland with authorities warning of a very high to extreme fire danger in the southwest areas of Charleville, the Darling Downs and Granite Belt, the Wide Bay and Burnett districts south of Gympie and the southeast coast.

Queensland Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts warned of the danger bushfires posed in the wake of Victoria's Black Saturday, saying: "We need to be physically and mentally prepared for every eventuality."

Meanwhile, Victorians have been asked to be storm-ready as the state braces for three days of damaging winds and rain.

A severe weather warning has been issued and wind gusts up to 100km/h with gusts up to 120km/h in alpine regions are predicted.

The windy weather has prompted warnings to builders and other businesses to review the safety of their worksites with winds capable of picking up roofing, fences, timber and other building materials.

In parts of South Australia people have been told to stay indoors as that state also braces for gale-force winds.

Winds are predicted to approach 100km/h on Monday in several parts of the state with gales expected to hit Adelaide in the early evening.
Source: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/853603/australians-hit-by-heat-fire-winds
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

*wheels*

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Melbourne workers urged to leave before storm hits
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/25/2666300.htm

Melbourne's commuters are being urged to leave work early today, to avoid potential delays caused by the bad weather.

Winds of up to 120 kilometres an hour are forecast for parts of the state, and the front will reach Melbourne around 5pm today.

The winds are expected to cause power cuts, and the state's public transport providers expect the winds to cause some damage.

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR02I.loop.shtml#skip

*CountessA*

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I can't leave early... This is not going to be pretty. Wheels, perhaps everyone should join hands and have anchors around their cars...?
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

*wheels*

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I'm ok. I'm at home - still waaaaiting for a delivery that was supposed to be here this morning!

*CountessA*

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There are no plans to develop standards for backyard bushfire bunkers and such a process could take years, Australia's peak standards body says.

Barry Eadie, a Standards Australia committee chairman, told the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission that the organisation was not currently looking at any proposals to develop standards for personal bushfire bunkers.

The commission investigating the fatal February 7 Victorian bushfires heard on Monday that standards for bunkers should be fast-tracked because "risky" models were infiltrating the market.

Mr Eadie is personally driving a project to develop standards for bushfire sprinklers, and while a draft proposal was expected to be ready in a week the whole process would not be completed for at least two years, he told the commission on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a review by Standards Australia of its 1999 edition of standards relating to building in bushfire-prone areas took more than nine years, the commission heard.

The 2009 edition was rushed through after February 7, despite disagreement among key stakeholders about some if its contents.

Building standards developed by Standards Australia are referenced by the Building Code of Australia.

Mr Eadie said there were a number of issues surrounding bunkers including whether they should be located above or below ground, oxygen supply, distance from an occupied building, and entering and leaving the bunker.

"There's certainly I believe cases for them but I think they need to be specific and designed for that location," he said.

Mr Eadie said he was aware of two existing bunkers and in both cases it was safer to stay and shelter in the bunkers than leave the area during a bushfire.

Do you know what strikes me as outrageous in this article? One of the most influential people involved in this question of "standards" is talking about an unrealistic and ridiculous length of time - as though his process of protocols is more important than the reality of achieving this safely and efficiently.

How much of that nine-year period is spent in meetings where people who don't have expertise flap their jaws in fruitless discussion?

How much of it is spent in waiting for someone to do some minor little bit of research or checking before the next stage can go forward?

How much in coffee breaks? How much in waffling? How much in waiting for the opinion of someone non-expert and irrelevant? How much - to be blunt - in sheer irresponsible time-wasting?

Four years? Five years? Heaven help us - seven or eight years?

HOW FAST COULD THIS BE DONE if it had to be done for their own sake?

Fast.
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

*CountessA*

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Wild winds to lash eastern states (more on the winds)

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Destructive winds are continuing the howl across the east coast, bringing down power lines, tree branches and leaving thousands of homes without power.

Send us your photos of the wild weather

Winds up to 100km/h were recorded in South Australia late yesterday, accompanied by heavy rain, which caused widespread blackouts and felled numerous trees.

There were no reports of injuries or substantial damage but State Emergency Service volunteers were called to about 300 incidents.

The call-outs were mainly for felled trees and power lines, a SES spokesman said.

At the peak of the storm, some 10,000 houses and businesses across the state were without power and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has forecast more harsh weather for later today.

"A vigorous cold front moving across southern parts of the state today is expected to produce the possibility of damaging winds, averaging 60-70km/h ... with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h, mainly associated with showers and thunderstorms," the bureau's warning stated.

Locations to feel the brunt of the front include Adelaide, Port Lincoln, Mount Gambier, Murray Bridge, Kingscote and Naracoorte.

Scattered branches lined the streets of some Canberra suburbs after the winds ripped through early this morning.

Emergency service crews received 48 calls, with Canberra's northern suburbs the worst-affected area.

Power outages and trees on powerlines were also reported.

The ACT State Emergency Service said there were, so far, no reports of badly damaged homes.

"We haven't had any major structural damage, but it's not beyond possibility," deputy chief officer Tony Graham told AAP on Tuesday.

"It's not unusual for Canberra to get severe storm damage."

Branches are scattered across roads and footpaths, following strong winds which raged between 1am (AEST) and 5am.

Wind speeds peaked at 89km an hour shortly after 2am (AEST).

Calls to emergency services were highest from Scullin, Flynn, Kaleen and Hackett.

Power is still out in several northern suburbs.

Mr Graham said the 48 calls to emergency services was much lower tally than the average of 300 for severe storms.

Volunteer crews are expected to spend the rest of Tuesday morning cleaning up the debris, and are bracing for a return to strong winds tonight, he added.

The SES said it received more than 110 calls for assistance across Sydney after more than 7000 homes were blacked, with some outages caused by trees falling on power lines.

The wild weather, including severe wind gusts, also caused flight delays of up to an hour at Sydney Airport.

SES spokesman Phil Campbell warned residents to make sure children and pets were inside and to secure outside furniture and loose items.

"Most of the calls have come from western Sydney and we've also had calls from the Riverina, the Wollongong and Southern Highlands areas, Shellharbour, Bowral and Moss Vale," Mr Campbell said.

He said residents were dealing with trees down across roads, driveways and minor roof damage.

"We are expecting debris on the roads and urging people to park their car under cover, not under trees," Mr Campbell said.

Integral Energy said about 5000 people lost power in isolated areas of Penrith and the Blue Mountains, while Energy Australia said power had been restored to about 2000 homes in Bexley and Carlton in Sydney's south.

Sydney Airport remains open, but flights are being delayed.

"Flight schedules will be disrupted due to the high winds and delays of up to 60 minutes will be experienced on some flights," a Sydney Airport spokesman said.

"Plenty of flights have come in and out already."

In Queensland, the fire danger remains extreme as the state swelters through record-breaking temperature, but wild winds are expected to die down later today.

A total fire ban remains across the south of the state with a top of 31 degrees Celsius predicted for Brisbane city.

Brisbane is experiencing its hottest August on record, with the temperature soaring to 35.4 degrees about 4.20pm (AEST) on Monday.

Temperatures across the state have been about 10 degrees hotter than average.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service commissioner Lee Johnson said the first real fire cycle for the year was expected during the next two days.

He said the fire ban meant no fires in the open and warned anyone using machinery, such as slashing grass, should exercise extreme caution.

Residents have been asked to immediately report any fires, including small grass fires, as they could quickly escalate.

Anyone caught lighting a fire during a fire ban faces six months in prison or a $5000 fine.
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

Roo

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Does anyone have the phone numbers for Emergency services such as the SES handy?

They sure might come in handy in Melbourne tonight.... :(

Maybe we could have a list of important numbers here so people could print them out and keep them handy?

*CountessA*

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AUSTRALIA-WIDE
SES Emergency Contact 132 500

Call 132 500 from anywhere in your state for emergency SES assistance in a flood or storm. SES volunteers are on call 24 hours a day to provide emergency assistance if you or your property is affected by a flood or storm. When you call 132 500 you will be connected to your local SES Unit or an emergency communications centre.
Phone triple zero (000) for police, fire or ambulance.

Again... for life-threatening emergencies, dial 000.
For flood or storm emergencies, dial 132 500.

"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

Roo

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Oh Crikey!  Now everything has gone quiet....I hate it when it does that....kinda like the calm before the storm...

I thought I got home just in time tonight...the wind was strong but it had only started to rain.

Then just as I settled in my nice dry warm fluffy slippers....the front gate blew open and was just about to fly off the hinges!

I had to get all kitted up to brave the howling winds to shut it!

I guess I should be happy that my back fence hasn't been replaced since before last Christmas when it blew over...lol

Centuries

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Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
NSW

Priority
NSW SEVERE WEATHER WARNING
Damaging Winds
For people in
the Riverina, South West Slopes, Southern Tablelands, ACT, Illawarra, South Coast Metropolitan, Central Tablelands and Alpine areas.
Issued at 9:45 pm on Tuesday 25 August 2009

Synoptic Situation: 9:00 pm EST Tuesday
Squally west to northwest winds are expected over the southeastern NSW overnight and early Wednesday ahead of a cold front. They are expected to ease behind the front later in the morning.

This is an update of the warning issued at 05:45 pm Tuesday.

Winds are expected to average over 65 km/h at times with peak wind gusts in excess of 90 km/h.

In Alpine areas above 1900 metres winds are expected to average over 90 km/h at times with peak gusts over 125 km/h.
Emergency services advise you to keep clear of fallen power lines, stay indoors away from windows and keep children indoors.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service recommends that people consider postponing back country travel until conditions improve.

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES [NSW and ACT] on telephone number 132 500.

The next warning is due to be issued by 5:00 am Wednesday

This warning is also available through TV and Radio broadcasts; the Bureau's website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 218. The Bureau and State Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.

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*CountessA*

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Victoria's State Emergency Service (SES) has been flooded with distress calls as a cold front brought severe wind gusts to the state.

The SES received more than 1,400 calls from householders on Tuesday as sustained winds of 60km/h and gusts up to 110km/h damaged buildings and brought down trees.

Gusts up to 128km/h hit Avalon airport, west of Melbourne, at 4.50pm (AEST).

"We've had about 900 calls between 5pm and 7pm, so that shows you how busy we have been," SES spokesman Allan Briggs said.

Hardest hit areas include Eltham, Knox and Lilydale in Melbourne's east, he said.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Terry Ryan said the cold front, now moving through the state's east, was expected to bring at least 5mm of rain with it along with a westerly air flow.

The SES earlier warned Victorians to leave work before peak hour to avoid congestion on public transport.

A large gum tree split in two hit the roofs of two neighbouring homes in Swan Street, Eltham.

Drivers have been advised to avoid parking under trees.

With widespread power outages predicted, householders have been warned to treat all downed powerlines as live, never do their own electrical work and be prepared with candles and lanterns.

A severe weather warning remains in place for alpine areas and the western, north central, northern country, Wimmera, Mallee, central, northeast and Gippsland regions, with the front expected to clear Victoria's east by early Wednesday.

The strongest wind gusts - up to 100km/h - are expected to come with showers and thunderstorms.

Mr Briggs said wild winds were expected to be confined to coastal and elevated regions on Wednesday.
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

*CountessA*

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Firefighters are banking on cooler conditions and easing winds after tackling 92 grass fires across Queensland on Tuesday.

The total fire ban due to the extreme fire conditions in the southeast and southwest regions has been extended to midnight Wednesday, but has been lifted for Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

Two water-bombing helicopters were used for the first time this fire season at Fernvale, west of Brisbane, with a blaze starting just before 7am (AEST).

The B3 Squirrel water-bombing helicopters can carry 1,100 litres of water at a time and can be filled in 45 seconds.

Rural fire brigade officer Rob Scully said the Fernvale blaze appeared to be deliberately lit.

"We are just disappointed that someone set this fire," he said. "We don't need this sort of nonsense this time of the year."

On Tuesday night the Fernvale fire was contained, but crews were continuing to extinguish the blaze.

The helicopters were later deployed to the Gold Coast hinterland, where a blaze was reported in the Tallebudgera Valley.

A fire also swept through a forest at Mount Tamborine but no homes were threatened.

A fixed-wing aircraft was used to survey a fire in and around the Conondale national park, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, as three fire crews and several parks and wildlife service teams attended the blaze.

Another fire near Gin Gin is expected to continue burning for several days, but no homes are threatened.

About 1,800ha of bushland there has been burned.

Southern Queensland temperatures hit the mid-30s just after noon and high winds, expected to ease on Wednesday, hampered firefighters' efforts to control the blazes.
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

da_ewok

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The wind has dropped considerably in the North of Melb Metro area. the rain stopped about 7pm, winds still gusting up to 36.3kph - with a wind chill of -4.0!!!!!!!!!! - cold!!!!!!!!!!!

Our poor heater is not keeping up :(
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**Cupie**

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There are no plans to develop standards for backyard bushfire bunkers and such a process could take years, Australia's peak standards body says.

Those of us in Bushfire regions, and looking at a really dangerous summer.....don't even think about bunkers without some form of oxygen rebreather to go with it....the oxygen is 'sucked' out of anyplace you might hide in a fire storm....it's not enough to get away from the fire, you have to know what you are dealing with.....There is dangerous levels of fire fuel in every state of Australia....every single one......our standards for fuel management are so non existent that they are now dangerous.  thank the bloody greenies for that.   Humans seem to be non existent on the list of species when it comes to responsible management of a bushfire prone country...even the flora knows that....they re-seed in fire, smoke and heat.....but in wildfires, they are literally wiped out.....sheesh....don't get me started..lol

We have a major fire event a few kms north that has been sent out of control by these winds.....We're expecting more and once it takes hold, it becomes a crown fire.....*Da-Ewok nodding head in the background I'll bet....*.  If you are in a bushfire prone region...take nothing for granted, and don't rely on RFS or CFA to save you...they won't have the man power to be everywhere at once.   Increase your insurance, make a good record of possessions via video if you have one and get the hell out of wherever you are (well before the bushfire is approaching) if you feel you can't survive....don't rely on officialdom to advise you...they'll tell you it's YOUR decision (unqualified as it may be) to stay or go...brilliant eh?  

*Primal Scream moment*

:vent: :vent: :vent:...................... :drama:

da_ewok

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Not only does it get sucked out cupie - BUT............... if the doors open outward - you could end up trapped. If under a roofline - you could also end up trapped

AND>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> as what happened in the DSE maintained bunker on Mt Gordon, near Marysville, everything inside melted to a crisp - thank-god the supposed tennant made a run for it and lived.

Don; even get me #$%^&*()_ started on this, today of all days :(
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da_ewok

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LOL - cupie - I only read the first paragraph of your post LOL

The second paragraph makes me laugh LOL - Makes me feel a little better -

Quote
We're expecting more and once it takes hold, it becomes a crown fire.....*Da-Ewok nodding head in the background I'll bet....*.  If you are in a bushfire prone region...take nothing for granted, and don't rely on RFS or CFA to save you...they won't have the man power to be everywhere at once. 

HOW VERY VERY VERY TRUE

NEVER EVER IN AN EMERGENCY OF THAT SZIE ASSUME SOMEONE ELSE WILL GET YOU OUT OF THE POO- THEY PROBABLY CAN'T GET TO YOU

Make sure you know what to do - make sure your children know what to do - have an emergency meeting point somewhere - or like the Twin towers - my children have also been instructions on what to do - if something like that ever happened here

You can never be too careful - Please take it from someone who knows - and I have only told you half the real story

BE CAREFUL
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**Cupie**

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That's cool Wokkie...I feel like I lived it with you...and I've lived it personally in 2001....the Worst Crown fires ever recorded in NSW..and we were trapped in our village for a week over Christmas....the areas that burned looked like napalm had been dropped on them...you could see through entire forests...nothing was left.......and then there was Black Saturday....my god....words could never describe the conditions that people had to deal with on that day and STILL the finger is being pointed?....pardon the pun, but it's a bit like Nero Fiddling while Rome Burns?.....*shakes head with wokkie*

Notice the total absence of fuel management in that entire fiasco they called a Royal Commission?...or am I mistaken...haven't actually read it entirely yet...but I'm going to....The stay go policy has been changed a 'tad' it's still stay or go...but maybe it's better to go?....lmao........It's only the fire fuel we CAN manage, but they want to avoid that at all costs?....cranial rectal inversion syndrome I'm afraid

da_ewok

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no mention of fuel reduction - that is being discussed (putside RC) as to why - my guess is that Labour don;t won;t to come off second best to the greens - they rely on them for the votes :(

Sad sad world we live in - where a few people who think trees and animals are more important than humans

Now don;t get me wrong - I love my animals - I love animals - I'll do almost anything for animals - but I bet if you asked them to sacrifice 1 child for 10 animals lives - they would save their child

What is the different? - Answer that
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**Cupie**

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Let's go a step further....these so called Greenies are responsible for the absolute anhialation in your region of Koala colonies, lizards, snakes, kangaroos, other marsupials & domestic animals and Human beings etc....in one of the WORST wildfires on record ???????....so while they're trying to 'save the trees', the ground fuel that causes CROWN FIRES, can't be burned back.  So it accumulates, and when it goes up, it literally wipes  out entire flora and fauna species in this so called quest to be 'GREEN'????.. :tazdev: :tazdev: :tazdev:

Controlled burn backs, remove the ground fuel, enable Aussie Flora to re-seed without being wiped out and allow Native Fauna to get the hell out of the way....sheesh !!!  Oh and that's right I forgot...It enables residents to survive......*sigh*

oh dear....I feel it coming on.... :vent: :vent: :vent: :drama:

da_ewok

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24hours after the fires in Marysville killed 39 people - the greenies had a PVC sign up saying "save our trees" FFS - what about the people?

DId you know that in the Marysville fires a prominent member of on the green activist movements also died?

Where that sign was placed - over looked the residences of where up to 12 people ALONE had perished

A horse directly across the road from the this sign died because the so-called greenies are more intrested in #$%^&*() advertising their cause rather than doing anything about it

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*CountessA*

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It's senseless. Without responsible management and a sensible approach to environment, humans and animals and vegetation AND TREES are at risk. At HIGH risk.

But it seems that some cannot see the "should" for the trees.
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

da_ewok

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never a truer saying

"SAVE THE TREES, BULLDOZE IN A GREENIE"

And this still stands today even after this mess
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*Ubbie Max*

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I've always said " if it moves shoot it, if it's standing still chop it down" and that goes for the Greenies.

da_ewok

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How true

I've always said " if it moves shoot it, if it's standing still chop it down" and that goes for the Greenies.
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Bellagina

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What many greenies (and aussies in general) fail to realize is that Australia's flora developed the way it did because of the husbandry of the native population. For thousands of years, they would set fires to remove undergrowth, with 2 aims - to bring on fresh new growth to attract game, and to give their weapons (spears and boomerangs) better clearance to then kill said game.
The early Aussie paintings showing park like grasslands were like that, because they had been "farmed" like that!
  Anyone who has seen what a crown fire can do, would never agree to the greenies approach of no burn.

A "cool" burn adds nutrients to the soil, removes dead underbrush, clears weeds and gives the flora a kick start. The native animals all knew how to ascape this- with minimal loss of life (survival of the fittest - and smartest-  in action , therefore improving the animal population as well) And so our land develpoed it's unique flora and fauna....

A true environmentalist would never support a no burn policy.

*CountessA*

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The don't-burn-trees policy is held by Dunsinanes - dunce inanes...
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is ...a part of the maine; ...any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde"

da_ewok

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and the burning off, reduced noxious weeds or allowed them to be culled after the fire.

Until about 10yrs ago - a town that was decimated in the recent fires (we all know which one) used to have fire breaks cut around it. Us kids used to use them as race tracks for the horses.

That in combination with the burn-offs (A yearly event) I beleive would have helped protect the town and perhaps given the emergency services time to slow the fire down or perhaps even stop it

I am not saying it was fully stoppable - but perhaps it may have assisted and perhaps so much wouldn't have been lost :(

Australia is meant to burn - a cool burn - and the plants have adapted accordingly - I knew this and have known this fact for years - one of those useless pieces of information you pick up

Quote
Fire releases the stores of seeds held in the persistent woody capsules
and creates a suitable environment for the seedlings to establish. The response of
individual banksias to fires varies, depending on their location and their genetic stock.

http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/LJEM-7CV6CA/$FILE/Banksia%20marginata%20Notesheet.pdf

Some fire is part of the Australian way of life, it is part of growth cycle of some plants and it aids the population both past and present

The difference this time round was that the wind and the hat - combined with the massive amounts of undergrowth caused a killer :(

The weather at this point in time appears to be getting worse - when the drought cycle will be broken is anyones guess - we used to go into these droughts every 20-25 years - now it appears to happen every 5years or earlier

Since 1995 - we have only had 'average' rainfall twice :(

Which is why the water reservoirs are so low.

The weather will always fascinate us - we will always be at its' beck and call - we find it a safe topic to discuss - yet at the same time we curse it!

You can't win either way  ;D
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Golden Silence

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Sorry to go back a few days but we've only just had power restored from the winds on Wednesday night and to say I'm p'd off would be an understatement.

My general temperament is mild mannered but I don't suffer fools gladly so my whinges in order are:

1. Put the correct goodamn number for emergencies, difficulties and faults on the bill

2. When ringing the incorrect number provided, train your staff not to simply hang up after informing you they don't look after your area

3. If you don't have power, how the bloody hell are you supposed to go to a damn website to check the outages?

4. When you do eventually get through to the right number and get a "worst case scenario" fix time, UPDATE it when you know it's going to be at lease 24 hours AFTER that.

Ok I've had my whinge but just to clarify, I am in no way having a go at any SES or other emergency services. They are doing an admirable job. To the rest though, (bureaucrats and the like) I cannot type what I would say in person (and have said via snail mail and email).

I won't even get started on the socalled commission.

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Hi GS , I find it an absolute disgrace that in this day and age that it takes 2 days to restore power caused by wind damage , its not like they would have had difficulty accessing the affected areas as they might for power failure caused by flash floods or fires , the problem with companies such as our power suppliers is in this country is that they have a manopoly as so just dont care , their maintenance programs are virtually non existant until a problem occurs and then getting themselves organised to effect the required repairs appears to be beyond their capabilities. Its a bit like last year in the north west of WA a gas supply pipeline blew up and it took them months to get a part shipped in to fix it for that entire period the entire state was on gas restrictions and businesses lost millions of $$$$ in down time and people lost their jobs , now we have a similar problem with an oil rig spewing gallons of oil into the ocean causing polution and killing fish and birds and the like let alone wasting a valuable fuel like oil and they reckon its going to take 7 weeks to ship some clay in to bung up the hole !!! 7 weeks unbelievable it doesnt take that long to get to the moon by a long shot. the problem with these things is too many people stand around scrathing their bal    you know whats instead of someone making a decision and taking action. Similary I find it discraceful that some people whom lost their homes in the Victorian bushfires are still forced to live in makeshift tin humpys etc 6 months after the fires when so much of the donated money is still unallocated.

Golden Silence

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Yep, I agree with everything you've said Smee. I think the main problem I have is the absolute, utter BS we 'plebs' have to put up with. Common sense isn't rocket science and I really am getting totally sick of the lies, coverups and spin we're subjected to day after day after day.

Honesty goes a long way in my book and the older I get, the less tolerance I have for red tape and runarounds.

da_ewok

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GoldenSilence - power outages are the norm unfortunately - a tip from the experienced - keep the emergency numbers on the back of your phone using a sticker - done it for years - never have to look anywhere else then ;)

Also - 2 days without power and you should be able to claims something back, (a little lnown fact) same as telephones!

Maintenance for all utilities is nonexistent, since privatisation - doesn;t matter, water, phone, electricity, gas etc - no maintenance has been done - because it costs money

Smee- those humpys you refer to :( - I hate to tell you - but everyone who chooses to stay on their block WAS offered emergency accommodation - so don;t get me started on that please.

They are talking storms again in Melbourne this afternoon - if there is lightening - it should be okay - there has been a little rain - fingers crossed all the same

In all this wind we have had - we haven;t lost power, which I find amazing - It used to be normal for us to lose power for up to 4 days at a time :(

Phones could be out for weeks

Living in the bush, it is something you get used to

Have genny will travel ;) (generator)
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*smee*

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Hi Ewok  , my apologies if I have been ill informed regarding some bushfire victims . I am more than happy to be wrong about that and you would be much better informed about the situation than I , and I am fully aware that numerous people such as yourself have worked tirelessely to help others who suffered during this disaster , for that I truely admire you and thank you and the others for doing a wonderful job.
Its just that I heard a story not so long ago about a chap who had lost his wife , 2 children and his property and possessions and understood he was still living in a caravan and hadnt been offered a thing , I hope this story was incorrect or at the very least an isolated case.
Its the dragging out getting the ball rolling to rectify things caused by red tape that annoys me as per this link http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25430887-421,00.html
now I realise that was written in early May and great progress would have occurred since then but in my opinion its still not good enough.
Having said that I do realise that no one has a magic wand that can be waved and the problems solved overnight .  

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To be honest all I was really after was a recording with some updates. I didn't want to clog up emergency lines because I didn't feel it was an emergency but to be provided with the wrong number and then hung up on was below sub-standard. At least I was able to check the website from work.

No real harm done other than we froze our backsides off for a while.

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Hi Ewok  , my apologies if I have been ill informed regarding some bushfire victims . I am more than happy to be wrong about that and you would be much better informed about the situation than I , and I am fully aware that numerous people such as yourself have worked tirelessely to help others who suffered during this disaster , for that I truely admire you and thank you and the others for doing a wonderful job.
Its just that I heard a story not so long ago about a chap who had lost his wife , 2 children and his property and possessions and understood he was still living in a caravan and hadnt been offered a thing , I hope this story was incorrect or at the very least an isolated case.
Its the dragging out getting the ball rolling to rectify things caused by red tape that annoys me as per this link http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25430887-421,00.html
now I realise that was written in early May and great progress would have occurred since then but in my opinion its still not good enough   


Link won't work - but I think I know personally who you are referring to - there are more things involved that you are aware, far far more
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*CountessA*

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Golden Silence, that's atrocious. It sounds like a catalogue of wisecracking ha-ha-has until it actually happens - and unfortunately when it DOES happen, there's little you can do to achieve a suitable resolution. Bureaucratic red tape is red because it's soaked in the blood of screaming victims who can't believe how nonchalant and uncaring a business, service or corporation can be.

Smee, you said it... Seven weeks for a bit of clay? Seven weeks? Someone in the chain of getting things done just does not care... or rather, almost everyone in the chain simply does not care.
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Centuries

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 Strong wind again in Sydney area during the day and night, Saturday.   


 


“I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, because I'm not myself, you see”  Lewis Carroll

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Evening Centuries.  You are a bit of a night cat aren't you?   ;D
:duckling:

da_ewok

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The winds have picked up in Sydney - but you know sacres me the most?

This sort of attitude - Fires trigger South Coast burn-off plan - http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/fires-trigger-south-coast-burnoff-plan/1608992.aspx?src=rss

Why wasn;t the burn-off done BEFORE the weather and fuel load got this bad?

THis is the attitude that Australia has to change to survive :(

Remember the scout rule - "Be Prepared" - We are not prepared and with attitudes like this - will NEVER be prepared :(

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**Cupie**

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Morning all...(sniped by Wokkie)..well, it's more than official.....the BushFire Season has begun....we now have another 'out of control' fire burning in S/NSW and officially threatening houses.  It's not the fire that was near us the other day, it's an entirely new one to our South, with Southerly winds fueling it.....  Thank God it's not summer is all I can say.

It made it to the news this morning, so it's clearly a problem....the winds swung from N/West to Southerly yesterday, and all hell has broken loose.......it's also got SO MUCH GROUND FUEL all the way up the coast, this fire season is starting to shape up as another 2001 Crown Fire disaster.....everything is so DRY... and there's SO MUCH of it !!!......why can't they get it through their thick bloody heads?    In my point of view this no burn and stay/go policy is negligent, negligent, negligent.

The whole Stay Go policy is a smoke screen (pardon the pun)...it's designed to enable RFS/CFA to avoid liability....if they tell you to stay and you get killed, they can be sued...if they tell you to leave and you get killed, they can be sued....see how that DOESN'T work when it comes to saving lives?  So....Fuel reduction is the only way that bureaucracy can escape responsibility or liability ....while at least giving us a fighting chance to survive a wildfire?

The saving grace with this fire, is that it isn't 40 degrees in the shade.....but it signals a dangerous bushfire season....yes really.  


**Cupie**

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Wokkie....after the 2001 fires, they were going to do this, that the other....*yawn* still waiting....not one of the village bushfire plans have been completed in the entire region, and ours hasn't even been started, and that's 8 years after it began?.....the problem is that RFS can't get around the red tape....our local guys would love to put a torch to bushland that snakes in and around our village....locals lovingly call it 'The Wick' because it goes straight to the national park and even more isolated villages?......unbelievable.   They can't get around the red tape to burn back areas they absolutely know are going to be dangerous...I speak to our local Fire chief regularly....they'd love to torch the fuel around the village...they are being prevented higher up....

da_ewok

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There are 2 or 3 seperate issues in regards to bushfires

1. THe CFA/RFS are reluctant to recommend go or stay because they will be liable (not because they are right/wrong) but because people refuse to take personal responsibility for their actions

2. The ground cover/fuel load needs to be removed, be it by burning or other methods - this will not happen because the government doesn't want to get on the wrong side of the greenies

3. The general public don't beleive they are at risk - "because it can't happen to them"

So we have legal issues. politics, and personal responsibility.

The biggest problem here is personal responsilibty

20 years ago - if there was a fire - the menfolk and able-bodied women would have stayed and fought and suffered the consequences, now everyone expects the government/CFA/RSA to ride in on the white stallion and save them

Doesn't work that way

I want those that are interested and have the time - It is quite lengthy to read the following article and tell me what you think - look at the range of attitudes and tell me which are right and which are wrong and which are just plain stupid.

http://larvatusprodeo.net/2009/08/18/bushfire-royal-commission-interim-report/

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**Cupie**

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but because people refuse to take personal responsibility for their actions

Wokkie, I know what you are saying, and I do have to update myself on the current debates etc..... but....I think there are other factors involved.  Everyday people are not given the training or knowledge to make an informed decision about whether to stay or go..I know this for a fact, having lobbied RFS HQ to train residents to fight the fire if RFS can't get back into our village......they WON'T train us.... they won't guarantee they'll be here in a bushfire, and they won't inform us on what we can expect in terms of risk.  So where does that leave us in terms of making 'responsible' decisions ?  

The local firies are community members and local hero's, and they would love to torch the surrounding bushland and train residents but they are not allowed to........I'm critical of the Policy makers and RFS bureaucrats in Sydney not the ground crews.

I agree that decades ago, the community itself (in my village for instance) used to fight the fires without the aid of any bureaucracy getting in the way of common sense....One old bloke in our village tells tales of fighting the fires with backpack water sprays and heavy equipment in the 40's & 50's, whatever they had available, and if it wasn't threatening houses, they let it burn and called it fuel reduction.

These days, it is not in the hands of the community or the fire fighters to make those decisions.

For instance, many of the founding members of our community were also the founders of the RFS, and Village Progress committee....these days, the same personal involvement over several generations, is non existent...we don't seem to have a say anymore.

Residents need to be trained and informed so they can make logical decisions and take responsibility for same...JMO.

I know it's a very emotive subject, for many of us.....I'll take a read about the issues today so I'm up to date with what's being said.

da_ewok

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You've missed the point completely

It is okay to stay and fight, it is okay to leave, it os okay to protect the community as a whole

What is NOT okay - is that everyone expects the RFA/CFA to be gods and tell you what to do - they are human - that means that make mistakes - but because of those mistakes they are now being punished

It comes down to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Stay, go, hide, I don;t care - Just don;t blame the CFA/RSA - they did everything they could - they might make judgement calls and be punished for that - is that right?

Meeting are held nation-wide supported by the relevant fire authority - did you know that most meetings are only 10-20% attended?

Then people still scream blue murder when things go wrong

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Don't wait for others to come screaming in on the white horse - figure it out yourself and do what needs to be done - you don;t need to be told what to do - and if you do - then you shouldn't be there

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Need I say more?
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**Cupie**

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I think you may have missed my point wokkie.....I don't blame the RFS or CFA on the coal face....they are sent into highly dangerous situations, many times without adequate communication, resources, equipment or information dissemination.....At the very least it's an OH&S nightmare for those being sent into wildfires without adequate resources.

I don't support the witch hunt of CFA...as I said, my comments are aimed at the Policy Makers and HQ bureacrats & Greenies, even local councils.

As you know.....There are numerous other factors involved in this debate, outside of the individuals' control.....things like planning laws restricting the removal of vegetation etc., as One Example....

Mr Incoll (Victorian fire chief from 1990 to 1996) said that in 2003, green groups were pushing for changes to planning laws that included restrictions on the removal of vegetation, "and worse still, the requirement for planting vegetation around and almost over houses, as part of any planning permit to build a house in the shire of Nillumbik, so it gave the appearance from the outside of being a forest".

David Packham, a former CSIRO bushfire scientist and academic who also produced a report on the issue, argued against the regulations, which actively encouraged the builders of new homes to plant trees around the houses for aesthetic reasons.  Mr Packham, now an honorary senior research fellow at Monash University's school of geography and environmental science, wrote in his report, after inspecting the Kinglake to Heidelberg Road: "The mix of fuel, unsafe roadsides and embedded houses, some with zero protection and no hope of survival, will all ensure that when a large fire impinges upon the area a major disaster will result."


http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25038717-5018722,00.html

Then there's fuel reduction....

ONE of the nation's top bushfire experts says the Royal Commission investigating the Victorian blazes needs to examine the declining practice of fuel reduction in heavily forested areas.

While temperatures rising several degrees might increase the fire danger by one or 2 per cent, doubling the fuel load doubled the threat, the head of CSIRO's bushfires research unit Phil Cheney said.

"If fuel reduction was carried out around homes and in adjacent forests there was an excellent chance of people staying and protecting themselves and their homes."

Organisations such as Parks Victoria did not carry out fuel reduction burning on a broad-area scale, he said.


http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25033770-12377,00.html

The glaringly obvious point is that our Scholars and Experts are being ignored when it comes to Planning laws, fuel management, community education etc....and that has to stop....people like Phil Cheney & David Packham (amongst others) have been arguing this from a scientific perspective for over a decade now...and they're being ignored....

The above is just a small example of factors outside of the individuals' control...including RFS or CFA officials....

Our Pollies need to start listening to the experts, lowering the fuel, educating those in bushfire prone regions and resourcing our fire brigades...don't you think?  

da_ewok

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Quote
Residents need to be trained and informed so they can make logical decisions and take responsibility for same...JMO.

and if they don't turn up to the meeting?

Quote
So....Fuel reduction is the only way that bureaucracy can escape responsibility or liability ....while at least giving us a fighting chance to survive a wildfire?

I don;t dispute this in the slightest - but the fire agencies have no control over when to burn etc - it;s the government - and the government want the vote of the greenies - so they won;t give permission until it is too late

Quote
Mr Incoll (Victorian fire chief from 1990 to 1996) said that in 2003, green groups were pushing for changes to planning laws that included restrictions on the removal of vegetation, "and worse still, the requirement for planting vegetation around and almost over houses, as part of any planning permit to build a house in the shire of Nillumbik, so it gave the appearance from the outside of being a forest".
- Greenies and politics are more important than lives

BUT...... there is also personal choice - I once refused to purchase a property when I realised that the block was highlky treed, the house a log cabin, end of a dead-end street, and I made the personal choice and took personal resonsibility not to buy that property


Quote
Organisations such as Parks Victoria did not carry out fuel reduction burning on a broad-area scale, he said.
They are governed by politics - as I heard someone say the other DSE (Dept of Sustainibility and Energy) = Dept of Scorched Earth

It is personal responsibility - which ever way you look at it

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Quote
Mild weather conditions overnight have helped firefighters battling blazes on the NSW south coast set up containment lines, but predicted strong winds could force blazes to flare up on Monday.

A Rural Fire Service (RFS) spokesman said no properties were under threat from the fires near Burrill Lake, in the Shoalhaven, and further south at Eurobodalla.

He said backburning had been undertaken at both sites to set up containment lines and about 150 firefighters and six aircraft would remain at the Shoalhaven fire on Monday.

"The conditions overnight have been a lot milder, the winds have dropped and the humidity has risen," the spokesman told AAP.

"So that means that we have been able to do some backburning overnight and consolidate our containment lines around these fires."

But the RFS was advising people in the Lake Tabourie area to remain alert.

Gusts up to 60km/h from the north west are forecasted to lash the Illawarra and south coasts into Monday morning, a forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology says.

RFS Assistant Commissioner Rob Rogers said some rural properties around Lake Tabourie and west of Lake Burrill could be under threat if winds picked up.

"There is the potential for rural properties to be affected but there's no threats right now and we have numerous firefighters in the area," Mr Rogers told Fairfax Radio Network.

Mr Rogers said the cause of the fires would be investigated but it appeared some of the blazes had been started by private land owners carrying out burnoffs, which got out of control.

The Princes Hwy, which was closed south of Burrill Lake, had reopened but the spokesman warned it could be closed at short notice because of smoke in the area.

Containment lines had also been established around a fire that threatened properties on the NSW north coast, near Fingal Bay.

Two aircraft will work to battle the blaze, while firefighter numbers have been scaled back from 75 to 20, the spokesman said.

Source - NineMSN
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**Cupie**

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I wouldn't be too worried Countess.....the weather today isn't as Windy as forecast, in fact it's more n/westerly today from where I'm sitting...so the fire should burn back on itself.....if however, this was happening in mid summer, I'd be very worried....it moves quickly and there's so much fuel between there and here, it's a shoe in that it would get out of control.  People don't realise that there are huge amounts of parkland and Forest between settlements in many areas, and the fires tend to pick up strength and speed in the inaccessible areas, and then all hell breaks loose.  

There's a triangle of fire factors which include Fuel, Air and Heat....CSIRO do most of the research in this area.....they state that when you can take away any one of these factors, a fire will not burn.....Guess which one is the only one we can in fact manage?.....guess which one is being ignored ?.   Nevertheless, in this fire, there is an absence of 'heat' or high temperature, so the fuel won't be quite so deadly as it would have been in Summer.

In fact, it's probably a good thing that Burrill Lake is going up this early in the season...they won't have to worry about it when it hits peak summer period, but we still will.

*CountessA*

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*nod* In the here and now, it's not the horrific weather we can expect later, once summer bites into the air and dust. Cupie, the whole thing makes one want to scream with frustration. There is a horror coming, and most of us can foresee it... but still a craziness is in place with POLICIES that hamstring all the people who could do something practically - right now - to try and prevent what will be coming. (Or at least to minimise it.)

Ewok - mon dieu, 10-20% of people is the average to turn up? That's appalling. Truly appalling. I hear what you're saying about personal responsibility, and it's true: we can't expect white knights to charge up, to save us from our own bad decisions.

When disaster happens on the scale that it did with last year's awful bushfires, it hurts all of us - and I saw the Australian community giving generously. Sometimes I saw rather peculiar behaviour on the part of some of the people who lost their homes. I don't want to sound unfair - I feel the deepest sympathy for what those people went through - but when I heard that some had not insured their homes at all, and that some had ignored the warnings, thinking "I'll be all right"... it gave me an enormous sense of bewilderment.

Doesn't it make sense for us - all of us, we who are thinking human beings with families, loved ones, responsibilities - to do what we can to help minimise potential damage? And by that, I mean potential damage to ourselves, to others, to our property, to others' property, to the environment in general - probably in that order?

I agree - the CFA do a superb job. They risk their lives; they work in unbelievably difficult conditions; they expend themselves in the heat and grim and smoke and long, long hours. It is inexplicable that their amazing work is not appreciated sometimes by the very people who should most value it. Of course, MOST AUSTRALIANS know exactly what sort of everyday heroes these people are - and we take our hats off to them. It's just the occasional strange individual who seems to want MORE than is humanly possible, and to blame the CFA for not being able to stop bushfires with one command and an outstretched hand.

Thank goodness that's an unusual attitude - that most of us know how very much we owe to the CFA and to the emergency services.

Perhaps we should have a thread focusing on what things we CAN do to minimise the dangers and the devastation and the cost of loss.
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*nod* In the here and now, it's not the horrific weather we can expect later, once summer bites into the air and dust. Cupie, the whole thing makes one want to scream with frustration. There is a horror coming, and most of us can foresee it... but still a craziness is in place with POLICIES that hamstring all the people who could do something practically - right now - to try and prevent what will be coming. (Or at least to minimise it.)

The thing is though, that Bushfire isn't new for us or Da-Ewok's neck of the woods either..it is however, getting more severe each year because fuel management is almost non existent.......officialdom KNOW what is going to happen, because it's happened before.  

After the 2001/02/03 fires down here, officialdom promised to implement fuel management strategies, and from that point on, the communities and firies had to push brown stuff up hill just to get approval...It took me five years to have one piece of bushland next to houses mitigated....5 years !!!  It's now over 8 years and two dangerous areas of bushland in our village are STILL being debated?.  They know it's heavily fuel laden...they know it's a risk to residents....but the environmental policies appear to outweigh proactive risk management.   And the firies can't argue it.....but they're expected to fight it?...

Our Regional Fire Chief, assured me that if a fire were approaching, he'd personally light up the bushland in the village to reduce the risk to residents and the National Parks surrounding the village.  If they go up, all hell WILL break loose....  

Thankfully, when the fires are raging, RFS can override any environmental law and burnback whatever they consider strategically necessary....... so that's when they take advantage and put in all necessary fire breaks...they don't need permission when fires are active..thank God for that eh?

Where the fires are presently burning, you can bet you boots that RFS will be putting in all the Summer fire breaks around Burrill Lake and surrounding settlements, that no doubt, they couldn't get approved via the official process with any ease.

The problem is that RFS (and no doubt CFA) are otherwise given a very narrow window during say a few weeks only in Autumn and Winter to burn back dangerous bushland, and if they miss that window, too bad....they can't burn it back till the following year, placing everyone at risk for the summer.

Unfortunately, Winter/Autumn is when it rains the most here, so you put it together...lol...seems to me RFS are actively thwarted till the shite hits the fan and then and only then, Officialdom allows them to decide what they need to burn back...ridiculous isn't it?

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Wild weather has left about 25,000 Victorians without power.

Strong winds brought trees down on powerlines in the Dandenong Ranges on Friday night.

SP Ausnet spokesperson Natasha Whalley said some homes in areas including Belgrave, Lilydale, Ferntree Gully, Woori Yallock, Boronia, Belgrave and Healesville could be without power until Saturday morning.

"There were 25,000 in our network but crews have been able to work through them," she said.

"Hopefully the majority will be back on by the morning."
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