Dear Aussie CamprFirers: Our mainstream media here in the United States of America has been blinded by and overwhelmed by "Trump Derangement Syndromme" and impeachment insanity for weeks now. So I have not heard a single word on your plague of fires for the last 10 days or so. Last I heard about was the three Americans who's firefighting plane crashed at a fire. Has it rained there? Do your firefighters have a handle on this monstrous trouble? Last I heard 28 people had perished - I don't know if that included the three airborne firefighters or not? Thanks for any updates. Praying for you and your country. Hold into the wind VarmintGuy
Still a problem in southern NSW and Canberra the latter being started by belly strobe on military chopper.
A lot of hired in and local firefighting aircraft plus a fantastic job by our Rural Fire Service volunteers and some very welcome foreign volunteers! Need to hazard reduce more plus extraordinarily bad year with drought.
Google February 1968 Black Tuesday fire in Tasmania and see how bad it can get before all this talk of climate change. One of many big fire events in Australia’s history since European settlement.
Rockdoc: Will do and thank you for the update - nothing again today on the American news. I keep forgetting that the internet is connected to the WORLD and not just the U.S., and I will google your recommendation and some guesses on fire updates in Australia. Stay safe - thanks again. Hold into the wind VarmintGuy
Thanks for your thoughts, prayers and concern. South Australia is all clear now as far as I'm aware. Kangaroo island took a beating from fire with two people perishing in the blaze, a father and son. Father was an acomplished explorer, and his son a respected surgeon. Nearly half of the island has been burnt, mainly the Western end where the national parks and wilderness areas are located. The fire in the Adelaide hills took a few weeks to extinguish, and while the area burnt pales compared to the rest of the country, a friend of mine who was involved in fighting the fire told me it was the most intense bushfire he has ever encountered. Finding cars with their alloy engine blocks and rims melted an running down the road! Another friend of mine in the Canberra area recently bought a house and then had to worry if it would still be standing when he was due to move into it. Fortunately it is still standing, but there are new fires in their area and they aren't out of the woods yet. We have had two days of storms come through last week iirc. Massive rain dump. Of course it came on the bsck of temps in the mid 40s to high 30s (degrees Celsius) with 90% humidity. Not pleasant and hard to keep cool, but the rain was most welcome. Take care, Aussielad.
Heavy rain in much of eastern Australia has now put out most of the fires, at least for the time being. Now we're coping with widespread flooding. There are about 50,000 homes in NSW without power, and warnings of further severe storms and flooding in the days ahead.
The situation was the fires were bad, but worth noting it was grossly exaggerated by the worlds media and the climate change crew. I had friends in Europe who had seen a sattelite map of the entire country aflame asking me if there were islands offshore I could escape to!
The fact is the fire as bad as it was, was still only a couple % of the land area of the continent. The fire maps were completely faked. The majority of the northern states, (which are in fact hotter and closer to the equator than the states with the fires) have in fact been enjoying a largely fire free and mild summer, not to mention the standard onset of the monsoon wet seasons. A lot of the southern fires are as usual due to those states having 5x the population density and a new generation of people who now all have 4x4 vehicles to access, light fires and create accidents in all corners of the outback. I think the police reported something like 200 cases of accidental and malicious firelighting for the season in these states.
Again, the fires were bad, and still are, but this idea Australia had become a flaming island cooking in the fires of climate change was about the most absurb world media reporting I have seen in my 45 years. It was up there with Well's war of the world radio play. In fact it scares me a little that the governments of the world can get a fewl billion people believing an entire continent is on fire..
I kinda felt guilty and didn't say anything but we've had a mild summer here in Brisbane and with some rain over Christmas too.
The thing wrong with the published fire maps that I saw was the size of the marker - there were plenty of fires but the markers covered an area significantly larger than the actual area making it appear as though most of the East coast was ablase
Contained yes is what we are hearing. And still a big area yes. I still think the biggest reason for more fires is accessibility to the outback and creating fires inadvertently or otherwise. 30-40 years ago, most folk here didn't own a 4x4 like now. These days the whole population has a SUV and access to offroad areas, camping grounds, walking tracks, not to mention a generation of retired boomers cruising about the bush each season. Again the hottest parts of Australia dont go up in flames as badly as the south(south being cooler in this hemisphere). But the south has much higher population density, which means more careless campers and firebugs.
And sorry I got my math wrong on the burnt areas. I just read a source saying about 11 million hectares burnt, Australias land mass is 789 million hectares. Thats only 1.3% then. I think the 9% figure I read relates to the total forest lost, being Australia has about 134 million hectares of forest.
Lack of accessibility is part of the problem trying to fight the fires. Lightning also started some of them and is extremely difficult if not mpossible to fight in a remote area, Not all started by careless people off 4wd tracks.
The majority of land burnt was burnt by fires that were started by lightning strikes.
The NASA hotspot data is quite clear when assembled backwards, ie. from major fire to ignition point. The large fires can be traced to a single spot that is correlated with lightning strike data. This has been backed up by ground based inspections of the initiation points.
The fires appear to have been as bad as they were, not because of the fuel load, but because of a trifecta of the ultra dry conditions across the continent, the higher than normal temperatures (2.7 deg F above normal) and the abnormal winds.
Like it or not, these are the result of a number of factors, the Indian Ocean dipole being negative, the El Ninio Southern Oscillation being negative, the Southern Annular Mode also being negative, real average temperature increase of 2.6 def F since 1910 and 10-15% reduction in cool season rain.
Most of these are measurable changes in climate which are attributed to a warmer atmosphere.
The Australian weather prediction for Summer 19/20 published on 28 November 2019.
The climate debate(yawn) is another issue. The point was the worldwide belief Australia had literally caught fire and we were almost jumping into the see was about the biggest media sham since war of the worlds. And it was.
As to meteorogical studies and NASA, LOL, these guys cant get anything right. My hometown is listed with top temperatures offically about 5 degrees lower than independant records here show, we have one of the worst global regions for cyclones( hurricanes).Several Cat 3 storms, 2 x Cat 4 and 1 x Cat 5( the biggest and rarest storm) have hit my hometown in my lifetime.
Yet without fail, within 10 years the data starts to 'downrate the cyclones'/ Cyclone Larry the largest ever at the time, a cat 5 clocking up 200mph winds, and US universities were even saying the cyclone was so fast when it hit the inland mountains it created additional tornados within itself(an unheard of phenomenon in Australia by the way). Now its barely cat 4, sometimes even listed as Cat 3 on some reports, no word of tornados, the top speeds listed have dropped 50mph and our news services dont even mention it. They sort of skip over it totally when we are talking past disasters.
We fight a constant battle in this region, (which is the size of a small European country for the record) with our weather data officials because its in the states better interests to downplay severe weather for tourism and agricultural investment!! The tourism board says Cat 5's look bad for investment and they find other studies to support a less expensive version of events.
So I dont have much faith in studies supporting what is a political viewpoint. The idea all fires are caused by lightning strikes(good heavens) , nice one climate change crew. But sorry Im not buying a pen from your cup.
Dry lightning is a real issue and I've seen it myself - it's weird but it exists. I had a strike near my vehicle that I think was partially initiated by the dust cloud behind my moving vehicle - scared the crap out of me. (No sound but an almighty blinding light - happened at night time.)
Fairly common in certain areas.
Seems most of the fires in Vic were started by (dry) lightning. Of the fires in QLD, 3% were ascertained to be deliberately lit, 6% due to accidental or natural, and 72% undetermined.