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Australian Bush Fires

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Paul Lousick06/01/2020 09:48:14
1491 forum posts
568 photos

I am unable to operate my traction engine because of the total fire bans across Australia. I don' know how much has been posted in the news about the bush fires, they are the worst ever recorded. Recently, one of the suburbs west of Sydney recorded a temperature of 49 degrees celcius (120 F).

The news tonight said that more than 60 million hectares (600,000 sq km) has been burnt across Australia.

Reports in excess of 2 million head of cattle and 8 million sheep have been lost. Esimates of more that 400 million birds and animals lost. The total length of all the fire fronts was more than 6000 km. The fire is still burning and will continue unless we get a lot of rain which is not likely.

Kangaroo Island at the south of Australia, a pristine tourist location has had half of the island burnt. As an island, they had many animals which are free of many viruses because of their isolation and quatantine restrictions including a colony of 50,000 koalas. Half of these have been lost to the fires.

Paul

Edited By Paul Lousick on 06/01/2020 09:49:11

Edited By Paul Lousick on 06/01/2020 10:12:18

Brian Wood06/01/2020 10:05:31
2240 forum posts
37 photos

I think we have all watched the news broadcasts with true horror at the destruction and savagery these fires have brought upon your country.

You are now just going into the Aussie summer when no doubt matters will only get worse. What will be left when rain finally arrives to quench it all can only be imagined.

The thoughts and hopes of our country goes out to you all at this desperate time

Brian

Douglas Johnston06/01/2020 10:09:39
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699 forum posts
34 photos

This is one of the main items of news here in the UK. The situation seems dire and perhaps it will make more people take climate change more seriously. I can only imagine the terror experienced by people caught up in the fires.

Doug

Paul Lousick06/01/2020 10:20:11
1491 forum posts
568 photos

I am fortunate that I do not live in the fire prone areas but have friends and family that do. We are affected by the smoke and also dust, blown from the dry drought regions.

Paul

XD 35106/01/2020 11:35:54
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1460 forum posts
3 photos

Douglas ,

Climate change has little to do with the fires as they are part of the natural cycle of things here in Australia .

The indigenous people here have been lighting fires for 50-60,000 years to control the bush and many of the plants and trees need fire to germinate- even they have told the Government that they need to do the backburning !

The real issue is that the Greens , national parks and the climate change activists have locked the bush fire brigade out of most areas and pretty much stopped them from doing the vital work of backburning and maintaining fire breaks to protect the towns .

It is not over yet and if we get some rain all that ash will find its way into the local rivers killing the already drought stressed fish .

Don’t get me wrong i’m all for a cleaner and greener planet but i just find these people who carry on with this climate change stuff seem to do more whining than supplying realistic solutions.

A question i want answered is how can we put man on the Moon , probes out into space and rovers on Mars but we can’t fix simple pollution like plastic bags ?

JasonB06/01/2020 11:58:58
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Moderator
18609 forum posts
2047 photos
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Lets keep away from the politics as I don't want to start deleting posts or locking threads.

J

Oldiron06/01/2020 12:11:50
481 forum posts
22 photos

@ Paul Lousick. I have been following the fires in Aus' as I have friends in Victoria and Tasmania. Our thoughts go out to all who are affected by the fires. We hope that rain comes soon to help alleviate the problem. Best wishes & good luck in the coming weeks.

regards

Limpet06/01/2020 12:36:19
135 forum posts
5 photos

Paul, XD351 & all our friends from down under, the devastation you are suffering is truly alarming irrespective of the true cause. We hope that you get rain soon (however unlikely) and your situation there improves. Best wishes and good luck for the immediate future

Lionel

Neil Wyatt06/01/2020 12:49:57
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Posted by XD 351 on 06/01/2020 11:35:54:

Climate change has little to do with the fires as they are part of the natural cycle of things here in Australia .

I won't get into the politics, clearly emotions are going to be running pretty high with such a terrible tragedy unfolding in slow motion, and most people's instinct is going to be to point the finger at 'the other side'.

As a Chartered Environmentalist and qualified ecologist with thirty five years' experience (including going out with a beater to help control a forest fire and seeing backburns both work and go horribly wrong) I would make a few observations.

First I have to underline my sympathy to everyone struggling with the bushfires and their consequences, it really is heartbreaking to see these events.

Backburning is unpopular with most interests, not just tree-huggers; the problem is that 'saving wildlife and habitats' gets used as an excuse as it's convenient for many different interests.

No doubt better management of habitats would have helped mitigate the fires, but Australia has been suffering some of the most prolonged droughts seen in recorded history; it may well be that some parts of Australia currently under agriculture will no longer be viable into the future.

The hottest temperatures on record have exacerbated the situation by making habitats less likely to burn more flammable.

No disaster has a single cause, it's naive to pin the blame just on opposition to backburning. In the long run there will no doubt be a full and detailed public investigation; hopefully it will get to all the underlying causes and what can be done about them.

Equally certainly, some of those actions will be unpopular with some people, whether they are more backburning, less coal mining or other changes.

Neil

KWIL06/01/2020 12:56:54
3289 forum posts
63 photos

I too have watched with horror the plight of Australia in the present times. I have only just found out that the flame front can be 60m or more high, a truly awesome sight.

Steviegtr06/01/2020 13:35:04
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1354 forum posts
140 photos

Yes absolutely tragic for the people & animals of Australia. The worst we seem to get is a moorland fire like the one last year. The size of the fires in Australia would consume the whole of the UK & some. Terrible.

Michael Gilligan06/01/2020 13:36:58
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16186 forum posts
706 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 06/01/2020 12:49:57:
Posted by XD 351 on 06/01/2020 11:35:54:

Climate change has little to do with the fires as they are part of the natural cycle of things here in Australia .

[…]

Backburning is unpopular with most interests, not just tree-huggers; the problem is that 'saving wildlife and habitats' gets used as an excuse as it's convenient for many different interests.

[…]

.

I posted this on the ‘What did you do ... 2020’ thread, but I think it worth repeating:

[quote]

We are currently watching a wonderful series on BBC iPlayer

First shown in March 2019, and narrated by Barry Humphries

Australia: Earth’s Magical Kingdom

[/quote]

.

For those that have access ...
Please watch episode_1, which features the ‘FireBird’ [Karrkkanj] [Black Kite] in action.

MichaelG.

ChrisH06/01/2020 14:08:50
872 forum posts
29 photos

Thanks for the 'heads up' Michael - downloading all episodes as I type and looking forward to viewing them

Chris

Zan06/01/2020 19:42:52
178 forum posts
12 photos

My sis lives in Auckland is so bad that it’s affecting her there in New Zealand , 2000 or so miles away. The sky is orange and stinks of smoke..

XD 35106/01/2020 23:11:21
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1460 forum posts
3 photos

Now we have a Cyclone forming off the Western Australian coast ! I tell you we just can’t win!

I am watching the news as i type this and some of the figures they are stating are truly horrific

even with the human losses aside the loss of wildlife and livestock are into the many millions and continue to grow .

One real problem that we will face after this is over is the wildlife that has survived will have no food and those in the care of the various animal shelters will have to be relocated .

The livestock that survived also face a similar problem as the stations that were barely able to survive because of the drought lost what little feed they had , some have had to sell all their livestock so they don’t starve or die of thirst.

Sadly some of the fires have been deliberately lit , some by dry lightening and some may have been from some twit flicking a lit cigarette out of a car window .

Interesting doco Michael!

Can’t say i have ever seen an echidna swim ! That is one of the best things about camping here in Australia the local wildlife is free to come and go as they please , just got to watch out for snakes ,dingoes , goannas , spiders , giant centipedes and wombats !

 

 

 

Edited By XD 351 on 06/01/2020 23:42:00

phil gardiner07/01/2020 04:28:39
16 forum posts

We only reached 47 degrees on the 4-1-20 that was hot enough, i feel for the people who have nothing left.

Danny M2Z07/01/2020 09:36:39
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892 forum posts
283 photos
Posted by Zan on 06/01/2020 19:42:52:

My sis lives in Auckland is so bad that it’s affecting her there in New Zealand , 2000 or so miles away. The sky is orange and stinks of smoke..

Here are a few before and after photos taken from my verandah. The trout was from a few years ago. - After, still from the same location but just taken a few days ago.

yummy trout_1.jpg

view from veranda 5 jan 1230.jpg

This forum is not the place to talk politics, it's about Model Engineering. There are probably a lot of places online for people so inclined to discuss the whys and wherefores of what is happening.

My immediate problem is how to help the victims.

Managed to score/beg a heap of board games and packs of cards (from local business's that I shop at) which went down very well at the local evacuation center, As I learned in the Australian Army, people get bored just sitting around doing nothing.

There is a bit of a lull at the moment so warnings are being downgraded a little but things are set to get a bit warmer later this week.

TV showed a map of the fires in Vic and overlaid it with a map of Belgium which fitted in easily.

Still rather live here than in Belgium though (I have been there). Terrible beer!

* Danny M *

Neil Wyatt07/01/2020 11:07:45
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Moderator
18108 forum posts
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Posted by Danny M2Z on 07/01/2020 09:36:39:

Still rather live here than in Belgium though (I have been there). Terrible beer!

* Danny M *

Whooo! Fightin' talk! The beer is the best thing about Belgium.

I can see why you might prefer ice cold Fosters at 49C, cut you really ought to come over and enjoy some nice warm Hobgoblin

Seriously though, glad you've found ways to help people, I hope you stay safe.

I'm more than a little nervous that if we have a dry summer in the UK we will get copycat fires, they won't be as devastating but we have had some big moorland fires in recent years.

Neil

Paul Lousick07/01/2020 11:26:46
1491 forum posts
568 photos

XD,

You warned everyone about dangerous wildlife in Australia to watch out for while camping (snakes ,dingoes , goannas , spiders , giant centipedes and wombats) but you forgot to mention drop bears and yowies.

Paul.

Hopper07/01/2020 11:43:07
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4768 forum posts
104 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 07/01/2020 11:07:45:
Posted by Danny M2Z

I'm more than a little nervous that if we have a dry summer in the UK we will get copycat fires, they won't be as devastating but we have had some big moorland fires in recent years.

Neil

 

Thats been part of the reason why not enough preventive burning was done here. An exceptionally dry year so the window of opportunity for controlled burns between end of the reduced winter rains and the start of major bushfires was almost nil. Our bushfire season started months early - again. Usually February is the horror month. So its not over yet.

Luckily i live in the wet tropics and it's raining here. A couple of cyclones floating around should bring more. I'll take a cyclone over a bushfire any day thanks.

(Except when they blow the drop bears out of the trees.)

 

Edited By Hopper on 07/01/2020 11:45:09

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