November 2019 Fires

NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion.
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November 2019 Fires

Postby LachlanB » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 4:55 pm

So, I've been morosely watching the RFS website and all the blobs of the different fires in north-east NSW getting bigger, and bigger and bigger.
18,153ha burnt in Mt Kaputar NP
2,232ha in Nightcap NP (and still badly out of control)
17,432ha on the edge of Washpool NP
44,753ha in Gibraltar Rang and Nymboida NP
89,750ha across Chaelundi NP, Guy Fawkes River NP and Nymboi-Binderay NP
27,473ha extra in Nymboi-Binderay NP
113,900ha extra in Guy Fawkes River NP (this has been going for a month now..)
10,470ha in Crowdy Bay NP
14,039ha in Tapin Tops NP
11,077ha on the edge of Cottan-Bimbang NP
62,145ha between Cottam-Bimbang and Werrikimbe NP
124,936ha across Carrai NP and Oxley Wild Rivers NP
49,024ha in Willi Willi NP
And sundry extra smaller fires in NPs and state forests.

This is at least 585,384ha of forest burnt. 5853.85km2. This is an area about the size of Kosciuszko NP. *All* of Kosciuszko NP. The only major national parks between Newcastle and Ballina that haven't been badly burnt are Myall Lakes, Barrington Tops and New England NPs.

This is an absolute catastrophe, are we looking at a 2003-fires like event for Northern NSW? With the rest of spring and all of summer still to come? :cry: :cry: :cry:

Just how many precious places are going to be lost in this?
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby GregR » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 8:25 pm

Having found myself smack in the middle of this I find it extremely sad. Living as I do in Victoria, I have a tendency to focus more on local issues and problems. Suddenly, it's all to real and has really shaken me to the core and made more aware of the impact this is having on the people, environment and wildlife.
I spent last night at a refuge centre in Taree with a few hundred others plus pets as well as rescued Joey's.
The fires are literally surrounding me for the last few days. Drove up to Port Macquarie yesterday and thought I'd entered the 7 gates of hell.
This is an unfolding tragedy and my thoughts are with everyone involved .
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby north-north-west » Sun 10 Nov, 2019 11:14 am

I know we're not supposed to be getting political, but . . . budgets for both the RFS and NSW equivalent of the MFB have been slashed, as well as that for other emergency services. The personnel of at least one rural station have recently paid for fuel for their trucks out of their own pockets because the station's fuel card couldn't cover it. State government has refused to pay for overtime and refused to allow city services to assist. The federal government - and we'll leave aside their refusal to act on climate change - has refused assistance offered from the USA, and the only action by the PM has been to offer "thoughts and prayers" on Twitter.

Fuel reduction burning was not possible in most of these places because of the lack of funding and the lack of suitable conditions over the last year.

All these fires, so much damage, lives lost, and it isn't even summer yet! And it's only going to keep getting worse.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby peregrinator » Sun 10 Nov, 2019 11:33 am

Perhaps it's now time when 'getting political' is a vital necessity. While reading all of the preceding posts on an earlier thread, and then absorbing LachlanB's alarming data at the top of this page, I've been pondering one fundamental question. How is it possible that a supposedly advanced nation still relies on volunteers to fight rural fires? We don't expect suburbanites to put fires out. What's the #%&*^$@ difference?
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby peregrinator » Sun 10 Nov, 2019 2:16 pm

Clarification required from me.

(1) I was not implying that volunteers provide a less than adequate service compared with professionals. Far from it, in fact.

(2) I realise that, at least in Victoria and perhaps in other states as well, the boundary between so-called rural and metropolitan zones was drawn up many decades ago. So I was incorrect in referring to suburbanites not being involved in fire-fighting. Melbourne's geographical centre is, I think, roughly where one edge of this boundary occurs.

(3) Related to both of those points, what I am bamboozled by is why is funding so lacking for an essential task, apparently becoming more urgent with every passing summer? (Oh yeah, we gotta splurge on armaments to please the US of A.)
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby tastrax » Sun 10 Nov, 2019 2:20 pm

peregrinator wrote:We don't expect suburbanites to put fires out. What's the #%&*^$@ difference?


I think the time is rapidly approaching when suburbanites WILL be expected to do more and be more responsible of their nearby surroundings, including their own backyards/acreages/bush blocks. Already the fire services are starting to say we may not get to you in the event of a major fire in these conditions.

I just hate seeing folks on the news throwing buckets of water on approaching fires when a good supply of water and hoses and pumps is what is required in many bushland fringe areas. A 20 metre firebreak might help on your back fence, but its not a panacea for all fires. Fire preparedness is a multi pronged approach and is everyone's responsibility.
Cheers - Phil

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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby Warin » Sun 10 Nov, 2019 2:41 pm

tastrax wrote:
peregrinator wrote:We don't expect suburbanites to put fires out. What's the #%&*^$@ difference?

I think the time is rapidly approaching when suburbanites WILL be expected to do more and be more responsible of their nearby surroundings, including their own backyards/acreages/bush blocks.

I can handle my own property. But not my next door neighbour .. it is a 'National Park' .. and a real fire hazard with over growth. 40 years ago you could walk through it .. now you have no hope.
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby north-north-west » Sun 10 Nov, 2019 3:39 pm

peregrinator wrote:... what I am bamboozled by is why is funding so lacking for an essential task, apparently becoming more urgent with every passing summer? (Oh yeah, we gotta splurge on armaments to please the US of A.)


How much was pledged to assist with the Mars project? Would have covered the deficit in emergency services funding nicely.
Ditto money pledged for the Captain Cook monument, and all the War Memorial/Museum expansions and additions. There are people dying, loosing homes, NPs being burnt out, but statues and buildings and submarines and pointless space programs are more important. :roll:
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby LachlanB » Mon 11 Nov, 2019 5:40 pm

That looks pretty horrific Greg, hope everything is going ok for you.

All of NSW and the ACT is covered by a Total Fire Ban now, and most of the national parks in NSW are closed. The Hunter, Greater Sydney and Illawarra regions have been assessed as having Catastrophic fire danger. Hope tomorrow isn't as bad as it's shaping up to be..
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby rcaffin » Mon 11 Nov, 2019 7:56 pm

but statues and buildings and submarines and pointless space programs are more important. :roll:

I think you miss the point here.
Statues and submarines are essential 'nation building' activities ... and incidentally good photo-ops for the politicians.
(For those who do not know me, pls read this with extreme sarcasm and cynicism switched on.)

Cheers
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby Neo » Mon 11 Nov, 2019 8:06 pm

rcaffin wrote:
but statues and buildings and submarines and pointless space programs are more important. :roll:

I think you miss the point here.
Statues and submarines are essential 'nation building' activities ... and incidentally good photo-ops for the politicians.
(For those who do not know me, pls read this with extreme sarcasm and cynicism switched on.)

Cheers
Roger


Best to push on with land clearing and the Adani mine (more miners ready to follow in its footsteps).
We should also encourage more broadacre farming in the dry floodpains.

Not hemp, heaven forbid! Cotton and wheat.

Hey, why not capitalise on the northeren areas. They flood once a year, in theory.
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 12 Nov, 2019 5:48 am

With climate change, it seems that drought and bushfires will become more frequent and more intense than in the past. More funding for fire research and making regional brigades staff, not volunteers is part of the solution. Apart from that, what can be done? Fuel reduction burning? Firebreaks? Something else? If anyone has links to these options, please post them.

Bear with me on the following - some is finance-babble. The federal government stripped $200 million from a financial regulator, ASIC, since 2013. Tony Abbott cut $120 million from ASIC and has no regrets.
https://www.afr.com/politics/coalition- ... 023-h16z2z
Another finance regulator APRA also had funding cuts, $23 million since 2014.
https://www.afr.com/companies/financial ... 716-p527p6

The result is the Banking Royal Commission identifying banking misconduct which has cost customers $200 billion
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-19/ ... t/11422376

There is a financial metric called return on investment. Invest $10 and get $12 back, a good return. For finance, the federal government has saved around $200 million but cost around $200 billion. In simpler terms, this means save aka invest $200, lose $200,000. It's hard to see that the federal government has economic credibility. And this has been going on for some time, since the resource boom gains were wasted in tax cuts. Norway invested North Sea Oil profits and is now very rich.

This is where we are at with Australian bushfires. Lack of funding to RFS, TFS, CFA et al is saving money but costing a great deal more in property destroyed by fire, loss of life, community trauma and more. The morons making these policy decisions have the IQ of small rock. Many of them believe that climate emergency - was climate change - is still subject to confirmation.

As is often the case with governments, action that is at odds with their ideology will only be taken when the facts become so overwhelming and public opinion is so strong that they have to act. This was the case for same sex marriage and the Banking Royal Commission. Hopefully, bushfires are next.

north-north-west wrote:I know we're not supposed to be getting political, but . . . budgets for both the RFS and NSW equivalent of the MFB have been slashed, as well as that for other emergency services.


peregrinator wrote:Perhaps it's now time when 'getting political' is a vital necessity. While reading all of the preceding posts on an earlier thread, and then absorbing LachlanB's alarming data at the top of this page, I've been pondering one fundamental question. How is it possible that a supposedly advanced nation still relies on volunteers to fight rural fires? We don't expect suburbanites to put fires out. What's the #%&*^$@ difference?


Strongly agree.
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