Bushfire season 2019-2020

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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby Hughmac » Sun 29 Dec, 2019 8:21 pm

Prescribed burns are virtually useless in the conditions we have been experiencing. It is a proven fact that in conditions with an FFDI greater than 50 (Severe or above) they have no measurable impact on fire intensity. There have been reports from several of the recent fire grounds of fires running back through areas that had only just in the previous days and weeks been hit by firestorms. On top of this, repeated prescribed burns just promote pyrophyllic plant communities that propagate fire more effectively than the natural community would have.The only sensible measure to my mind is modification of the environments immediately bordering towns and villages by thinning trees and clearing scrub. Trying to fight these fires in the wilderness is madness - the forests are meant to burn periodically. Just make the human assets defensible.
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby sambar358 » Sun 29 Dec, 2019 10:09 pm

Well it looks like we are in for it tomorrow......44+C, big NW winds and a raging bush fire expected to come out and impact on many rural communities north of Bairnsdale on the Gippsland Lakes. We've had huge column of smoke coming up from the fire all day apparently to the height of 8000+ meters and there is a big red glow visible to the north which is what we'll be dealing with tomorrow. There are about 30,000 tourists holidaying in the area and today Emergency Services told them all to leave immediately......some did but most seem to have stayed to see what'll happen.....can't have a bit of a fire spoil the Chrissy vacation can we ? I suspect a lot of them come tomorrow will regret staying in the area but by then it'll probably be too late to leave !

Hughmac...you make some good suggestions there with modifying the environments bordering towns and settlements to try and prevent wild fires impacting on them. During our last big fires about 10 years ago a large wide firebreak was commenced in the foothills north of Lake Glenmaggie and it was planned to build a continuous break all the way to Nowa Nowa east of Lakes Entrance to help protect many small rural communities from wild fire. Luckily we got some good soaking rains eventually that allowed fire fighters to control and then extinguish these fires. And what happened to that planned fire break ? Nothing of course.....the works were halted when the fires were finally put out and DEWLP had crews actually re-vegetating it very quickly. I bet many of the towns and small communities that would have benefited from that break in these current fires are very mindful of the short-sighted attitude of those who should had finished that break and maintained it over the past 10 years to provide some level of protection that they currently are without.

We have over 700 fire fighters in town at the moment.....fire trucks everywhere and heavy equipment floats loaded with dozers line both sides of the main street in readiness for what tomorrow brings. The fire fighting focus will be on asset protection tomorrow as the fire comes out of the bush : jumping on spot fires out in the farmland and trying to minimize the damage to property......could be a busy day for all I think ! Cheers

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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 30 Dec, 2019 11:16 am

I wonder if the new way to fight these fires is to significantly invest in early fire detection and initial attack.

That seems to the only way to stop them in our increasingly dry climate before they get large enough to be 'unstoppable'.

Detection systems like a fire sensor net featuring, manned and automatic smoke obervation towers, long loiter drones, air balloons with sensors. This could be interfaced with meteorology (lightning) sensors and PowerGrid fault systems so there is good chance to quickly detect a fire when it starts in remote bushland.

Then have air attack helicopters/planes and smoke jumpers ready to deploy quickly to put out the remote bushland initial blaze while there is still a reasonable chance to extinguish it.
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby tastrax » Mon 30 Dec, 2019 11:36 am

Good detection can help and in some cases is being automated but its just one part of the solution. Quick suppression may well mean increased fuel loads if there is also not some fuel reduction alongside.

https://hackaday.com/2019/10/15/the-fin ... -lookouts/

https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/downl ... 5&dsid=DS1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68eYFrPiNFk
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby tastrax » Mon 30 Dec, 2019 11:36 am

duplicate
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 30 Dec, 2019 11:46 am

tastrax wrote:SNIP~ Quick suppression may well mean increased fuel loads if there is also not some fuel reduction alongside.


Thanks for the links. Very useful.

I understand the reasoning behind letting remote fires burn for fuel reduction purposes and this may work well in some environments. However in NSW this strategy has assisted in the creation of these megafires and unimaginable ecological loss.
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby rcaffin » Mon 30 Dec, 2019 12:01 pm

Yeah right Roger......you're just another armchair critic without any alternative solutions.
I live on a farm. I have spent many years in my local Volunteer Bushfire Brigade. They don't have armchairs.

Could these fires have happened if the towns and cities were not here. Yes, without a doubt.
So what is the problem?
It is that development has been permitted into fire-prone areas with little regard for the INEVITABLE bushfires. The system seems to be 'sell land, take profits, leave'.
Will the bush recover? Of course. There is a photo of a burnt signboard at Bilpin in today's Guardian paper. The signboard is half burnt and the low level scrub and dead stuff on the ground is gone, but the bark on the big trees is barely touched. And some local houses were burnt down.

I suggest that a lot of the problems could be, if not solved, at least significantly reduced, if we took note of the existing caveats and restrictions in insurance policies re building on flood plains. If you get flooded, your insurance is not valid. Big sob stories in the papers of course.
So, if you want to build in the bush, you either take the necessary steps to clear an adequate fire break around your house or you don't have fire insurance. The same principle as for flood plains. Screams of course, but just as we cannot stop floods, neither can we stop bushfires.

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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby Hughmac » Mon 30 Dec, 2019 7:57 pm

wildwanderer wrote:
tastrax wrote:SNIP~ Quick suppression may well mean increased fuel loads if there is also not some fuel reduction alongside.


Thanks for the links. Very useful.

I understand the reasoning behind letting remote fires burn for fuel reduction purposes and this may work well in some environments. However in NSW this strategy has assisted in the creation of these megafires and unimaginable ecological loss.


Quite a few people believe that this was the cause of the Canberra fires in 03. Fires burning in remote country in Namadgi were left to burn until they were uncontrollable. The rest is history.
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby tastrax » Mon 30 Dec, 2019 10:32 pm

We could also build much better houses....

http://www.ianweirarchitect.com/archite ... fire-house
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby Warin » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 7:45 am

The above linked site is not correct, BAL-40 is not the highest level of building for bushfire attack. Try BAL-FZ - the flame zone. As an amateur who has read about BAL-FZ constructions that house has a few problem areas that I would regard as basic flaws - eg the exposed underfloor area. :?
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby rcaffin » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 7:59 am

The thing which would concern me about that house is the huge amount of glass: wide floor to ceiling windows. IF, and it is an IF, you got a crown fire approaching the house on that side, the windows could implode. Nowhere is the orientation of the house mentioned, which matters.

The text mentions 'bushfire shutters', but the photos do not show anything like that. Maybe they are integrated withing the walls, but I can't see that either. We have fully fire-rated shutters on the W & NW sides of our brick&tile house, and they are not small things.

I am not sure whether the exposed underfloor area is a hazard or not. There is little fuel at the front of the house, so any fire balls would be coming in from the upper parts of the trees. The dead space under the house would tend to block fire balls from getting in very far. Just not sure. In any case, with active defense they could be managed imho. That is, you stay inside while the fire front passes, then you go out and mop up fast.

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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby Warin » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 9:24 am

rcaffin wrote:The text mentions 'bushfire shutters', but the photos do not show anything like that. Maybe they are integrated withing the walls, but I can't see that either.


:?: Maybe they come down from the top?

The under floor worries me due to wind blown rubbish build up that then sparks with embers...

BAL-FZ windows are very expensive.. but

Where I use to work the windows were double glazed .. 6 mm thick on the inside and 10 mm thick on the outside. They could get broken.. but only one side at a time.
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 10:17 am

Interesting project for a shipping container home built to BAL-FZ requirments. Currently under construction in blue mtns NSW. The owner is completing the project over multiple years.

The BAL-FZ spec is apparently council required due to land location.

https://containerhomeproject.wordpress.com/2017/04/
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby tastrax » Tue 31 Dec, 2019 6:32 pm

Cheers - Phil

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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby Neo » Wed 01 Jan, 2020 10:15 pm

As the last areas of Wollemi and Morton NPs get burnt, looks like Deua, Wadbilliga, Gardens of Stone, Mount Royal are also to burn through...
Kosi going up with Vic forests too
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby mandragara » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 1:42 am

Shame. I had plans to go to Wadbilliga NP for the first time over my break. Now it'll be years before I see it as it truly should be.

At least I still have my life and my house. Perspective I guess...

Good luck RFS!
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby LachlanB » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 10:23 am

Neo wrote:As the last areas of Wollemi and Morton NPs get burnt, looks like Deua, Wadbilliga, Gardens of Stone, Mount Royal are also to burn through...
Kosi going up with Vic forests too


I’m hopeful Kosci will be ok, and that the fires will burn into the park and stop. It was pretty wet up there over the tail end of last year. Having said that, some of these fires have been bad enough that vegetation is all just equally good fuel, regardless of how damp it is, or how recently it was last burnt.
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 12:57 pm

I'm just back from Kiandra to Moraine Pass, where NPWS instructed us to go to Charlotte Pass. The higher bogs are pretty dry, as are the forests. Tin Hut had a sign saying that on days of total fire ban that the hut fire must not be lit, which makes sense. There was also advice that on TFB days cooking on stoves inside the hut was not allowed. There's a lot of bushwalkers and tourists with unusual gear, ill equipped. I was going from Dead Horse Gap to Wodonga but finished up in Canberra, much traffic and quite slow.
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby Warin » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 1:20 pm

Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass being evacuated, everyone out by 10 am tomorrow.

The evacuation is for the whole of the Kosciuszko National Park. :cry:
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby potato » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 1:30 pm

Kosciuszko National Park will be evacuated due to the Dunns Road fire to the west of the park.

Hopefully no bulldozers will be used to create containment lines that have very little impact on large fires.
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby Petew » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 4:24 pm

Stuck in Bendelong, road closed but open soon hopefully.
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby peregrinator » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 5:24 pm

Warin wrote:Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass being evacuated, everyone out by 10 am tomorrow.

The evacuation is for the whole of the Kosciuszko National Park. :cry:


I've checked the NSW RFS website for information about evacuations (KNP or elsewhere). Cannot find any references. Can someone set me right please.
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby warnesy » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 5:36 pm

Image


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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 6:23 pm

I wonder how they will evacuate or even locate people in more remote parts of KNP. I read about a trial booking system for either KNP or NSW national parks, probably to let NPWS know where people were going, perhaps for situations like now. Does anyone have details about such a booking system for KNP, NSW or anywhere else? Most parties have mobile phones, so there could be evacuation advice on RFS and similar websites that would be checked by parties. Of course there are bumblies that have no idea abut bushfires.

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/ ... vacuation/
https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/news ... paign=news
https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts

It concerns me a little that the evacuation order is hard to find. Hopefully the order will be made more known. What about people who cannot walk out in time? The last link has "See details" but there are none. I guess that resources are stretched.
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Re: November 2019 Fires

Postby warnesy » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 6:49 pm

Lophophaps wrote:I wonder how they will evacuate or even locate people in more remote parts of KNP.


Well from Monday’s experience I can tell you it is a professional operation. They check log books, ask park users they find and use cars and helicopters. I think if you are off track you are less likely to be found than if on track.

We were found via helicopter and advised that fires had started the day before and while we were in no immediate danger we should consider taking up the option of a ride to our vehicle as we were walking towards the direction of the fires and part of the park that had just been closed.

Anyway I was super impressed by the efforts they went to in order to ensure my safety in the park.




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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby potato » Fri 03 Jan, 2020 12:26 pm

This is an interesting interview with former NSW fire chief Greg Mullins:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/sydney/pro ... t/11829802

It starts at 2:20 and is well worth the listen, particularly about hazard reduction burns.
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby Warin » Fri 03 Jan, 2020 3:40 pm

Thanks potato .. was great listening..

He asked "When is the penny going to drop with this guy?" ...
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby Nuts » Sat 04 Jan, 2020 11:53 am

Woke to an eye stinging smog from the mainland fires, now landed in NW tassie. I guess most of us don't need any better perspective, I especially don't need convincing by seeing one more frazzled or emaciated animal. I'd rather not see our pollies either, lamenting grim outcomes. Fire professionals and volunteers are, so thankfully, doing their part.

Listening to the experts (such as in Potato's link), looking at facts, acting in any way possible on the realities:

https://www.boredpanda.com/australian-w ... lFEPdF6nvk
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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby rcaffin » Sat 04 Jan, 2020 12:18 pm

I would not mind seeing our pollies - the whole top level of the Liberal and National parties, plus a few of the Labour party, all having a 'grim outcome'.

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Re: Bushfire season 2019-2020

Postby bigkev » Sat 04 Jan, 2020 3:32 pm

potato wrote:This is an interesting interview with former NSW fire chief Greg Mullins:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/sydney/pro ... t/11829802

It starts at 2:20 and is well worth the listen, particularly about hazard reduction burns.


Thanks for the link Potato. There is so much un informed or just deliberate misinformation out there that it's good to hear a clear and eloquent explanation, not just of how to handle the current situation but also what we need to do in the future....now if only our political masters would act for the benefit of the people and the environment and not their donors. I'm not holding my breath :evil:
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