Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby iaindtiler » Mon 07 Jan, 2019 7:46 pm

True, many recommendations have been implemented. Sprinkler system being one. But I was emphasizing the "early intervention " and "rapid attack" which sadly didn't occur.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Mon 07 Jan, 2019 8:05 pm

Do we have any real evidence yet that there was slow detection of the fire or a slow response to attacking the fire?
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby stepbystep » Mon 07 Jan, 2019 8:43 pm

tastrax wrote:Do we have any real evidence yet that there was slow detection of the fire or a slow response to attacking the fire?

They knew it was alight on the 28th so detection was there. PWS chose not to hit it hard early because they thought it would be extinguished hence reopening the track. They then closed the track a day later when it dawned on them the forecast for Friday was catastrophic. They lost a crucial 48 hours. That is the crux. We are now looking at a devastating event that could have been nullified early. The evidence for that is overwhelming. Who made those decisions under what direction will be closely examined!
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Mon 07 Jan, 2019 9:11 pm

I am sure it will be examined in detail - the 28th was Friday and the (initial or both?) fires were detected according to TFS at 2.02pm. So when was the catastrophic forecast (Saturday or Sunday?). They closed the tracks at 7pm Friday (first message in this thread). Thursday the 3rd January was the high fire danger day and Friday 4th was the windy day when it all blew up and started to expand rapidly.

So the detection was quite fast (I suspect) - the actions between the 29th and the third is what needs to be examined in relation to all the other fires the state had at the time. Were sufficient resources allocated to this fire?

For that I have no information available.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby north-north-west » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 6:39 am

tastrax wrote:I am sure it will be examined in detail - the 28th was Friday and the (initial or both?) fires were detected according to TFS at 2.02pm.


That sounds about right. I was on Murphys Bluff around that time, and that was where I first saw the plume of smoke, which appeared quite suddenly and grew rapidly. Purely as an amateur, it was obvious to me at the time that there was a bad fire out there.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but there should be a provision for rapid response aerial reconnaissance and assessment of wilderness fires, to get the appropriate resources in there as quickly as possible.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Grindelwalddave » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 6:51 am

A few mm of rain and cold conditions forecast for tomorrow. BOM forecast for Mt Field is 9 degrees!
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Warin » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 6:59 am

stepbystep wrote:They knew it was alight on the 28th so detection was there. PWS chose not to hit it hard early because they thought it would be extinguished hence reopening the track.


The policy should be to hit it hard when it first is detected. The risk of not doing so is now evident with this example. Hopefully the examination of this event will force a policy shift to act first, act hard and get it out.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rohna region

Postby potato » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 8:41 am

tastrax wrote:Lets take any discussion of prevention/cultural burning etc to another thread to keep it separated from this event

Maybe take it back to this thread - http://www.bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=27660


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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby stepbystep » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 10:12 am

For anyone unfamiliar with the Denison Range/Mt Wright area. These are some of the areas directly affected by the fire(according to TFS mapping and some aerial footage I have seen).

Lakes Wugata, Murray, Wurawina, Malana and Crooked. Bonds Craig. All completely enveloped. Lake Rhona(East of beach). Lavara Tarn and Diamond Lake enveloped. Herbfields on the ridge above Diamond Lake. Mt Wright Arch and the entire eastern flank of Mt Wright. Gordonvale and the Vale of Rasselas. The Gordon Gorge is very close to being hit and it's dangerously close to Wylds Craig.

I'm very afraid for the dozens of pines in the Crooked Lake bowl.

Some before pics attached.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Grindelwalddave » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 11:55 am

According to contributors on the Mercury Facebook Page it is all the fault of "greenies" for having the area "locked up".
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Thornbill » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 12:10 pm

Ahhhhh the Mercury Facebook page. The home of logical, well-reasoned commentary. Oh wait...
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Son of a Beach » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 2:02 pm

Can't argue with that. If it was all concrete, it wouldn't burn.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby north-north-west » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 3:12 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:Can't argue with that. If it was all concrete, it wouldn't burn.


You can burn anything if your fire is hot enough.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 3:22 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:Can't argue with that. If it was all concrete, it wouldn't burn.


Or dam the Gordon Gorge
That looks like a pad.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby iaindtiler » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 5:32 pm

Fire was first detected on the 28th. Catastrophic fire day was the 4th. So that's a 6 day window to hit fire fast and hard (as recommended). The Bruny Is xmas fire was contained by the 28th, so what happened to the (airborne) resources that hit that fire fairly hard !! Very sad
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby doogs » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 5:50 pm

The Bruny fire was attended mainly by local volunteer brigades from the island and The Channel area. There was at least one volunteer who travelled from Bruny to Strathgordon on the 31st to help with logistics of the Gell fire.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby iaindtiler » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 6:00 pm

Definitely not a bad word towards the volunteers, amazing hard work. More so referring to the airborne resources?
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 9:12 pm

iaindtiler wrote:.... so what happened to the (airborne) resources that hit that fire fairly hard !! Very sad


Quite a few in operation the day before the blowup - image clipped from ABC news item - all those red lines are chopper flight paths

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Tue 08 Jan, 2019 9:36 pm

This satellite image is from around 5am on the 4th (I think) - image name has the date time in UTC

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 7:42 am

New satellite image available overnight. Seems the corner near Gordon Gorge is the most active.


Image date and time - 20190108T001104 UTC
GellRiver-2019-01-09.PNG
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby potato » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 8:00 am

Thanks for the update tastrax. Helicopter lines are much nicer than bulldozer lines.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby beardless » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 8:08 am

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-01- ... e/10700436

Latest update. According to the article:

"Unless we get significant rain we'll be managing the fire for sometime to come dealing with hotspots."

It is unlikely the blaze will be out before February.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Grindelwalddave » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 8:58 am

Mt Field forecast today: Partly cloudy. Very high (90%) chance of showers, falling as snow above 1300 metres. Winds westerly 30 to 45 km/h. Daytime maximum temperatures between 13 and 17.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 9:13 am

I have done this map to give folks an idea of the scale of the fire out at Gell River. The boundary of the fire, rotated and overlaid on the local Hobart area. Its not designed to scare you, but to give an appreciation of what the fire fighters are up against in maintaining the boundaries.

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby wander » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 10:16 am

Thanks for the regular updates tastrax, much appreciated and informative.

As for who could have done what when better, none of it as is simple as armchair typists suggest, except for funding. If you want to manage a 1/4 of the State for peanuts there is a tight limit to what the managers can do.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 11:45 am

That's an excellent visualisation Phil. Thanks.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 11:53 am

wander wrote:As for who could have done what when better, none of it as is simple as armchair typists suggest, except for funding

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 12:26 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:That's an excellent visualisation Phil. Thanks.


Here is a special one just for you SOB

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby stepbystep » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 3:53 pm

Latest mapping shows th fire working west along the Gordon Gorge and over Dome Hill. The valley between Stepped and Wright has a real 'lost world' feel to it. I do hope it's not lost...this is pretty hard to watch unfold on a computer screen :(
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby north-north-west » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 3:57 pm

stepbystep wrote:Latest mapping shows the fire working west along the Gordon Gorge and over Dome Hill.

?????
Do you mean Great Dome, or is there something down there unofficially named Dome Hill?
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