Australian Bushfires update (O/T)

Started Jan 23, 2020 | Discussions
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 41,960
Australian Bushfires update (O/T)
2

For a while it seemed that maybe the bushfires that have spread down the East Coast more remote forested areas must have been under control.

They almost disappeared from our news media and we had substantial rain especially in the northern part of the coast.  Raining cats and dogs is the more usual weather in the north - it happens more infrequently but when it rains it usually rains a lot.  So in the North East the issue has been a series of very dry years without these drenchings. It is normally too wet for this forest country to burn.

I guessed that we had 50mm - the official rainfall at the airport (some distance away and a different micro-climate was 117mm).  A neighbour with a rain gauge said “70mm” so my guess was not that far wrong.  In any case a good wetting it will be hard for anything to burn for a while.  It has been hot dry and very humid since ranging 20-24C minimum and 30-35C mximum.

But it is easy to assume that as we had rain and nobody is talking fires in particular that the fires are out.  Apparently not.  However the new virus treat from China was more interesting to the media.

So yesterday we heard about the tragic loss of a water-bomber and its three US citizen crew.  At a guess it must be one of the “extra” water bombers recently hired by our PM.  Its type has not been shown in action during the earlier fires that raged on the North East coast pre-Christmas.

This mornings news was that there are still 47 fires in NSW alone. Hard to say just how bad from the fire map as they remain on the map until officially out - which means “under control” is still burning but not an immediate threat as they are contained within an area.  This means that one very substantial NE fire fire that was in a region that probably recently had near 300mm of rain is still not “out”-out per our fire map.

The plane was lost in very rugged inaccessible country somewhere near the Victorian-NSW border.  Almost certainly treacherous high forested ridge country covered in thick smoke.

I don’t know how much rain has fallen there recently but traditional weather patterns there are for long hot and very dry summers.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

mirthseeker Regular Member • Posts: 256
Re: Australian Bushfires update (O/T)
1

The plane that unfortunately crashed was from Coulson in Canada, crewed by 3 American specialists.  Was contracted by the RFS for the whole season - one of two, which have been continuously in the air for months now.  Here in Victoria, much of the West and Central parts of the State have had good rain, but in the East, where the major fires are, rainfall has been much less, and fires are still burning, and being in remote timber country, will continue to burn until more rain falls in those areas.

Craig268
Craig268 Senior Member • Posts: 1,443
Re: Australian Bushfires update (O/T)

Thank you for the update. Here in the US we're following quite closely as is the rest of world.  These fires (including the Amazon) are an enormous tragedy.  Very sad all around.

 Craig268's gear list:Craig268's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Fujifilm 50-230mm Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS +8 more
Snowfella
Snowfella Senior Member • Posts: 1,102
Re: Australian Bushfires update (O/T)
1

Living in Sydney it's been rather apparent that the fires just haven't stopped. Lots of days of rather poor air quality and least the news here has kept it as one of their main features daily.

And indeed, Zeuz (Tanker 134) that sadly crashed the other day along with Thor (Tanker 132) has been here since early on in the season.
Out of the extra 4 tankers that have been hired in I think only 2 has made it to Australia as yet, both MD-87's that arrived in Perth and Adelaide. There's 2 more DC-10's on the way but last I heard they were delayed. Most of the big tankers in NSW are based right around the corner from me and can see them fly past almost daily.

One from the backyard a few years ago. This would be Thor (Tanker 132)

 Snowfella's gear list:Snowfella's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A37 Sony a99 II Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM +1 more
Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 6,233
Re: Australian Bushfires update (O/T)

It has been a scary scene for some time.  Hope all of you are well.  It is so sad that our 180+ inches snow cannot help but sitting on ground (48+ inches) and sometimes melting.

CK

 Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list:Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list
Olympus D-600L Nikon D7100 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-P 70-300mm F4.5-6.3G +2 more
IC MJG New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Australian Bushfires update (O/T)

I can assure the fires are not out. We just got another extreme roll in of hazardous smoke on Australia Day this evening in Canberra. Summer this year has been depressing with not being able to breath fresh air and with only having evaporative cooling I have had many restless nights without air conditioning. Last Monday Canberra had a hail storm that pummeled my car to a pulp. Then we had those crazy winds on Thursday that whiped a fire near the airport and were responsible for taking down that fire fighting aircraft near Cooma.

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 41,960
Re: Australian Bushfires update (O/T)
1

IC MJG wrote:

I can assure the fires are not out. We just got another extreme roll in of hazardous smoke on Australia Day this evening in Canberra. Summer this year has been depressing with not being able to breath fresh air and with only having evaporative cooling I have had many restless nights without air conditioning. Last Monday Canberra had a hail storm that pummeled my car to a pulp. Then we had those crazy winds on Thursday that whiped a fire near the airport and were responsible for taking down that fire fighting aircraft near Cooma.

There was good rain on the NSW North Coast and the temporary hiatus of national news on the southern state fires lead me to think that the  worst of the fires were over. Not so and you have my sincere sympathy.

The slightly annoying thing is the seeming general perception that the fires in Northern NSW and Southern Queensland are yesterdays news - almost as if they had not happened. Even a map on television last night only showed the “extreme destruction” south of Sydney. It seems that the northern fires are being whitewashed from history despite being just as damaging and ferocious right up to almost New Years Eve when the southern end really only started to do serious damage.

Support from the army navy and reserves were only invoked after the New Year?  Despite the fires raging for months before and destroying 2+ million hectares, and causing substantial property damage and some loss of life. The NSW Government had already thought the fires in the North bad enough to declare a state of emergency. I agree that fire fighting at its basics is a state responsibility.

To be fair South and West Australia have had their share of very serious fires and the fires in Victoria have been an extension of those in Southern NSW.

What is surprising and part of the disconnect was that after months of very serious fires “up north” that were obviously marching steadily south that so many chose nevertheless to have their annual holidays as usual on the South Coast of NSW and in Victorian Gippsland in what were very obviously very fire prone areas this season.

The fact that so many city holidaymakers were caught out in bushfires in the Southern parts might  be one of the reasons just why the current plight of these burned areas is so (currently) more newsworthy than the earlier areas.

There seems to be a certain NIMBY (they are not in my back yard so don’t worry ... yet) attitude until the flames are coming over the nearest ridge.

I will admit to a certain feeling of relief that our local 180,000 hectare sideshow fire was stopped pre-New Year 12 kms away by dedicated professional band of volunteers and some serious help from aerial tankers which also were based near here and were flying regularly overhead.

We had our own weeks of sun-obscuring bushfire smoke haze.  Now gone - NIMBY

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 41,960
11th February - weather fun
4

Sorry to add to this off topic thread but there have been some of our overseas friends who have expressed concern on the bushfires.

We has enough rain late January and early February to put the last of the fires out - in fact in the northernmost part we had something like our normal wet weather - the sort that makes sure that our forests here are usually too wet to burn. Up to the 9th February in February we had 261.6mm or over 10” (mainly over two days).

The fires in the southern part of the state have only recently been extinguished - further north (where the wildfires started) they have been under control for longer.

Some parts further from here have had even more rain and some flooding - but around here the places that flood do so regularly and it usually subsides pretty quickly - we know where the floodwaters go and it does not usually cause more than nuisance value.

It seems that the bush burns and the city floods ....

Hardly any rain yesterday. But this pm the heavens opened again and in a few hours we have had a real lot of rain. Whether it keeps going all night is hard to say - but if it does then we might have some real water about in the morning.

The weather forecast shows a cyclone forming off the coast and its path is said to be much further south than normal. But the back-story is that it is more likely to end up as a tropical low. If so there is even more rain on the way.

Last year our rainfall was 55% below the long term mean and the lowest ever recorded we also have had the hottest year on record. Hence the bushfires.

They are not an issue in NSW for the moment - the southern parts are more prone to bushfires anyway and I believe that Victoria, South Australia andWest Australia are not yet out of the fire woods yet.

Thank you for your concern - I think things are now well into recovery mode - it might take some time for many.

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads