pnut

Australian wildfires

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Stay safe, all the best. Praying the big fella upstairs sees fit to send more rain, even for some respite for the brave firefighters and to help protect against further fires.   Hope he guides your officials to give the right help and support to all affected by this tragedy.

 

 

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Just letting you know the intensity of the bushfires down here in Australia .

This what's left of a BMW after it's been through a fire .

The snaking rivers that have run away from it are what's left of the engine block .

Dale Russell

BBYOZ6f.img?h=582&w=1119&m=6&q=60&u=t&o=

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Good eye. And it looks real, not fabbed. No flatspot at the beginning of the scroll.

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We are not doing too badly here in the tropics, but our hearts go out to those caught up in the 'mega blaze'  (journo term) in the southern states. We do have serious fires up here from time to time, but not as explosive as those being experienced at present. A firefighter said that the concentration of eucalypt oils is much higher down there, and those crown fires and ember attacks are just unstoppable. We count our blessings here in the north, where we have more rainforest trees and a wetter climate.

And I concur totally with Marc's comments about hazard reduction burning. Don't want to make anything political out of this tragedy, but the Greens have a lot to answer for, and their time will come a the next election.

Meanwhile the fires go on and on. We thank those of you on the other side of the world for your concern and kind thoughts.

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23 hours ago, ausfire said:

Meanwhile the fires go on and on. We thank those of you on the other side of the world for your concern and kind thoughts.

I had an email recently in reply to some comments I made in relation to hazard reduction, 'telling'  me that fuel loads are "constant" due to decomposition and that therefore it is useless to back burn. In your area, decomposition is much faster due to higher moisture and temperatures. Down here, with drought and lower temperatures in winter, fuel accumulates for 15 to 30 years before the accumulation levels out. It is this kind of misinformation that makes it possible for local authorities to get away with blocking fuel reduction efforts. 

It is a sad state of affairs. The coming royal commission will most likely provide some answers ... but as usual too little too late. 

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The Aboriginals have practice controlled burning for well over 40 thousand years. It worked fine under for them. They knew the land. North American Indians did the same in at least the north-eastern part of the continent.

The "green gargoyles" are besotted with earnest belief and spurious anecdote.

It is apparent that most of them have never studied ecology, nor educated them selves in the subject.*

Regular,  small scale,  controlled burning of slash at the most appropriate time of the year, eradicates fuel buildup and prevents  vigorous, disastrous crown fires.

The alleged balancing of fuel decomposition, without clearing of the undergrowth, is a nonsense.

SLAG.

*  "I saw it on the net somewhere"

p.s.  regular controlled burning destroys  more of the introduced invasive plant mass,  than the native plants.

 

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In the early days of the US Forestry Service they adopted a policy of trying to extinguish all wildfires within 24 hrs of spotting them. The inevitable result was an overabundance of fuel after many years that when conditions were right erupted into a conflagration iirc that became  known as "The Big Burn." It cost firefighters lives and changed US Forestry Service policies. Fire is natural in many landscapes and climates and we forget or ignore that fact at our own peril. 

Pnut

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Of course even prescribed burns can get out of hand---a good chunk of Los Alamos burned due to one--the Cerro Grande fire; 400 houses and US$1 Billion in damages.

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Controlled burning does not consist,  solely,  of setting fires and retreating to watch the fun.

The Aboriginal tribes employed elders that were highly skilled in fire setting.

So did the northeast American Indians.

In the latter case fire setting was done in the relatively wet spring, so the fire(s) would not spread too far nor get out of control. The former group assess the relative moisture of the brush and slash before burning. They use many other indicators to determine when fire setting will give optimal results with a minimum of damage.  (enumerating many, here,  is overkill to this thread).

It is time for Australian,  European, Canadian, and American forestry scientists to profit from their knowledge gleaned over millennia, of empirical  native observation and putting into practice.

They can teach us a lot that will accompan forestry research and experimentation.

Just my two cents.

Regards to all the i.f.i gang,

SLAG,

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On 11/15/2019 at 1:56 PM, Marc1 said:

Then you read once again that 50% and probably more are deliberately lit.

Firstly, thanks to all for your kind thoughts and eternal thanks to our American brothers and all the others who have volunteered to join the fight here.

Secondly, Marc1, please mate, don't get your news from social media like fakebook.

It's the biggest source of fake news, silly rumours and malicious lies on the planet. 

The various fire services, the CSIRO and the parks services have all have soundly debunked that as nonsense.  The vast majority of the fires have been started by dry lightning, ember attack from existing fires, accidents or stupidity.

Yes, some have been deliberate, according to those in the business about 1%, not 50% and certainly not the 80% some are claiming.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-11/australias-fires-reveal-arson-not-a-major-cause/11855022

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2 hours ago, Gaznazdiak said:

Secondly, Marc1, please mate, don't get your news from social media like fakebook.

Presuming to know the source of my information is a bit rich from someone quoting the abc.

Google arson or go to NSW BOCSAR, and please refrain from making assumptions. 

Relying on abc or worse ... "the guardian" for this sort of information is a bit out there ...

 

This paper provides a summary of the key findings and implications from an analysis of approximately 280,000 fire incidents attended by 18 Australian fire services, typically within a five-year period (Bryant 2008). It focuses on the extent of, and potential factors responsible for, the temporal and spatial distribution of deliberately lit fires across Australia, particularly as they compare with non-deliberate fires.
Differences in the way fire causes are attributed - including differences in the number and proportion of fires of unknown cause, the way fires lit by children are classified (accidental versus malicious), as well as genuine differences in the principal causes of fires - may hamper effective integration of information across jurisdictional and interagency boundaries. While detailed knowledge of fire causes is necessary to implement efficient and targeted arson reduction strategies, there is a strong correlation between the increased incidences of deliberate fires and greater densities of fires generally. Even in the absence of rigorous causal information, total incidence data can provide a valuable guide to deliberate fire hot spots.
Number Of Fires

Fire services attend between 45,000 and 60,000 vegetation fires in Australia every year. These fires typically account for 40 to 50 percent of all fires attended. Most occur in New South Wales (36%), Queensland (21%), Western Australia (15%) and Victoria (12%; 2002-03 to 2005-06; APC 2007).
Causes Of Fires

While Australia is particularly fire-prone, natural fires account for only six percent of known causes of vegetation fires attended by fire services. Over 90 percent are the result of people's actions, and more often than not the result of deliberate ignitions; incendiary (maliciously lit fires) and suspicious fires account for one-half of known fire causes in Australia, and are the largest single cause of vegetation fires (Figure 1). However, if we consider in this analysis that accidental fires, which account for 35 percent of all known vegetation fire causes, include those accidentally lit by children and smoking-related fires, the proportion of preventable vegetation fires is much higher. Forty percent of all fires attended across Australia do not have a cause assigned by the responding fire agency.
Figure 1 : 'Known' vegetation fire causes (percent)

350-figure_01.png
Source: Combined Australian fire agencies [computer data file]
 

[Typically crime statistics become better with age. After a few years, the need for polishing, massaging and distorting the truth becomes less attractive for obvious reasons. As you can see, 85% of fires are started by human hands. half of them by negligence, half maliciously. Masking this reality is the full time job of the abc and other people out there.] 

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5 hours ago, Marc1 said:

Presuming to know the source of my information is a bit rich from someone quoting the abc.

 

5 hours ago, Marc1 said:

Relying on abc or worse ... "the guardian" for this sort of information is a bit out there ...

 

Sorry old mate, didn't intend to offend your sensibilities, or start a fight with you.

Your attitude to what the far right believes are unreliable sources of fake news tells me all I need to know. Best we leave it there, eh? This isn't the place for that "discussion".

The only reason I mentioned social media was that my nieces have been getting all manner of false information from there, ranging from the 80% arson foolishness to WW3 has started in Iran, and it's a disturbing trend.

My apologies to everyone else for digressing from the spirit of this well intentioned thread.

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Social media is one posters personal opinion, which start to attract each other and form a group.  Then the groups become polarized and divided and things go sideways.  But it is still personal opinions.  

The facts are Australia is on fire.  That fire is fed by high temperatures, lack of rain, high winds, and abundant fuel.  The fires path is based on the winds and fuel. Anything in that path is at risk. 

The current task is controlling the path of the fire and then controlling the fire to put it out.  There will be enough time after the fire is out for personal opinions and finger pointing.  Our hope is that steps can be taken so other fires do not happen again.

Let us align our anvils to north and offer support to those in harms way and those affected by the fire. 

 

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2 hours ago, Glenn said:

Let us align our anvils to north and offer support to those in harms way and those affected by the fire. 

I second that sentiment. Well said Glenn.

Pnut

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Trying to be as gentle as possible while suggesting political opinions do not become discussions. 

Thank you for your feedback and support

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Fought fire with the Payson ranger District of the Tonto National Forrest, for a wile. There are no “controlled burns” lol. We call them prescribed burns. 

I do pray for the people effected, and I thank the men and women in harms way.

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18 hours ago, SLAG said:

Controlled burning does not consist,  solely,  of setting fires and retreating to watch the fun. The Aboriginal tribes employed elders that were highly skilled in fire setting.  So did the northeast American Indians.

Good post Slag, and you are right of course.  Unfortunately actions or inactions are motivated by an array of reasons, the last being a practical, logical, or even cheap solution. 

The main reason usually taking advantage of a crisis to push totally unrelated agendas.

I quoted the bureau of crime statistics and research to remain apolitical and show the truth. Of course facebook your neighbour or the ABC are another possible source. I stick with bocsar.

5 hours ago, Glenn said:

Trying to be as gentle as possible while suggesting political opinions do not become discussions. 

Thank you for your feedback and support

Thank you Glenn ... wouldn't the anvil have to point south this time :)

Thank you for your prayers ... the rain has just started and will allegedly be with us for a few days. 

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR711.loop.shtml#skip 

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I don't know about down there but we celebrate any rain out here in the desert! It's a mixed blessing as it usually comes as part of thunderstorms and so more lightning.

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Two of the worst fires I'm aware of in Alaska were "controlled" burns, now more accurately called "proscribed". Last summer's enormous fires approx. 6.6mil acres or 10,300 sq. miles, 27,000sq.km. Most were lightning strikes during a record heat wave and drought. However the FWS thought it'd be best to not try to contain or otherwise control them as the forest hadn't burned in some 50 years give or take depended on where in the state.

In the last couple dozen years human caused fires have been the result of careless burns from trash fires to camp fires. If caught they'd get something like a $500 fine. Recently however, since the Miller's Creek fire that took some 400 homes, the state bills the perps. Ayup, even a little fire will have you sleeping in a homeless shelter and in dept for a couple generations. The Miller's Creek fire was caused by bottle rockets and now the firework stands aren't open very often, usually a couple weeks before New Years. They were found partially responsible too, used to be a 10 yr old could buy virtually anything. 

I grew up in S. California and can remember seeing flames on the mountains around the San Fernando Valley. A air of binoculars and you could see flames blowing off the crests and more fires starting. The Borate Bombers used to fill up at Hansen's Dam a few miles from us. The family drove down to watch the PBYs fill up by opening scoops on the boat body and skimming the lake. As I recall they could do 3 water scoops before having to land for more borate, fuel, crew change, etc.

If you get the chance to see a PBY do a water scoop I HIGHLY recommend it, brings new meaning to the word courage under fire. There's a scene in the movie "Always" but it's not the same as being there.

I cringe every time I see a fire report and ask some favors from higher. 

My prayers go out to all in harms way.

Frosty The Lucky.

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