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Forum Index : Other Stuff : BushFires

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Boppa
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Joined: 08/11/2016
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Posted: 04:09am 20 Nov 2019
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The sun was like that down south- you could literally look directly at it without discomfort (not that I would recommend it of course)- it was a dull red spot in the sky, at 10am... it looked like dusk...
 
mackoffgrid

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Joined: 13/03/2017
Location: Australia
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Posted: 09:04pm 21 Nov 2019
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I was browsing FB and came across this photo.  No idea where this photo was taken.





This looks like the view of the sun I saw, except I remember a even shade, it was bright like at the top. You can see why I instantly thought it looked like a giant LED in the sky.

cheers
Andrew
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
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Posted: 02:18am 22 Nov 2019
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That's exactly what it looked like here yesterday evening.
Neighbour and I were out the back talking and looking at it. He does not seem a superstitious man but he seemed very concerned it was a sign of things to come. With Sydney running out of water and no rain on the horizon, Might get bad here.

Where we are everything is so dry it's ridiculous. we were both commenting on how we can't get enough water into plants to keep them alive in the ground and watering pot plants morning and night isn't enough either.

Lots of those that subscribe to the Weather change clap trp will tell you it's all to do with Globull warming.  The reason I reckon we are running out of water is they haen't built a new damn for sydney in 50 years but Increased the population about 800% since the last one was built.

Not going to be pretty when the rain does come as drought is inevitably broken by flood and flood it will. Neighbour and I were both saying how the dirt is so dry it won't take on water and how much soil wetter we have put around the place for mediocre effect.

Hard to imagine now that only 4 years ago the place was in severe flood and many parts cut off. Also difficult to imagine how the ground will re absorb the water content it needs. When you see huge old trees dying, You know it's not good.
 
Gizmo

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Joined: 05/06/2004
Location: Australia
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Posted: 03:23am 22 Nov 2019
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The other day I noticed my battery charge cycle was slow, then I realised all the smoke has reduced solar input  

This is a smoke cloud that came over a few days ago when the wind changed direction. It was in the afternoon, only took a minute to cover the whole valley, and stayed around all night. This is from the fires north of Toowoomba, about 50km away.



The other day I read a article about wildlife carers going into burnt forest to see if they can save anything. They said it was heartbreaking to find so many animals burnt alive, and some still alive but in agony and needing to be put down. They said the cries of the animals was haunting. Very sad.

Glenn
"Treat the earth well, it was not given to you by your parents, it was lent to you by your children"

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Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 297
Posted: 05:16am 22 Nov 2019
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I noticed a couple of days ago the amount of dirt covering my solar panels. It was THICK and had come in a couple of days.  It's easy for me to notice the ground panels and I thought it must have been the wind blowing dirt on them because they were virtually on the ground. Looked up to the ones on the roof and they were considerably worse. I thought to myself, so much for flat panels not being self cleaning.  The ground panels are at 5o if that and the roof ones are 35O west and were worse.
Atypical circumstances I suppose.

Got the hose and as soon as I hit them, I could see the Black and brown washing off. Combination of dirt and soot I think. I have always ridiculed and questioned washing panels but giving them a hose  of late certainly isn't a bad idea. Don't know how much difference it makes, very hard to tell on mine but the amount of crap on them would have to have some measurable effect on output.

I went out earlier and noticed my Bio cycle Pump had tripped out and the thing was full.  Re set it and dumped 2500L of water onto a patch of garden about 10M long and 3 wide.

It went no where. Didn't even make it from one side to the other when I left the hose there for a good while.

Just got an alert to a fire in my fathers road.  Rang him and it's a couple of KM away at least on the other side of the highway, not next door as indicated and no where near his road.

I think this fire alert is a step in the right direction but does not seem accurate enough.  If it shows fires where there aren't any, good chance it does not show fires where there are.
 
mackoffgrid

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Posted: 07:13am 26 Nov 2019
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Dave, I hope your father was alright.

I agree, the alerts and websites are a move in the right direction.  I'd also like to see the RFS etc to train local volunteers (who are unable to fight fires) to provide more detailed information.
 
Davo99
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Posted: 12:12am 27 Nov 2019
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Yeah, he was fine.
I think he has been EXTREMELY lucky.  Everything has burned around him but he has been untouched.  I think its greatly reduced his chances of having a problem for years to come. The only risk now is the 60 acre block he is on but I think he has the house isolated enough to survive it.

Given that if it does catch, he may also be lucky enough that it will be a bit more isolated and there will be services available to come fight it and save the shed and protect the house.

One neighbour at the side has put in a bunch of 10000L water tanks. Dad can't figure out why but I'm pretty sure he is thinking of having the water disconnected to save the cost being the impractical tight arse he is.
Dad has a 500L tank which could easily be tapped into and is beside the driveway so perfectly accessible and would be a big advantage in fighting a fire up the back or around the house being in the middle of the two.

Hopefully his luck hold out while he is there.
One thing for sure, there will never be fires like that again in the area in his lifetime, probably  mine too.
 
Gizmo

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Joined: 05/06/2004
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Posted: 12:37am 27 Nov 2019
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  Davo99 said   I think its greatly reduced his chances of having a problem for years to come.


Depends. If we get a good wet season, but the drought continues, could be back to square one.

Couple of years ago the grass field next to my house was overgrown, it was upwind and stopped only 15 meters away from my house. The grass was tall, dry. It was my neighbours place, so I asked him if we could burn it off in winter as part of the training for RFS, plus I wont have to worry about it burning next fire season.

The burn took place, and my stress level went down during the next fire season, as I have a brand new 200 meter fire break upwind of me on the nasty fire weather days. In late summer we had 50mm rain, and within a month the field was again covered in tall grass. But the drought wasn't over, and the grass turned brown, and I was back to where I was a year ago. Since then we've had cows on there, overgrazed a bit, and its now barren, so stress gone down again.

Glenn
"Treat the earth well, it was not given to you by your parents, it was lent to you by your children"

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Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 297
Posted: 01:00pm 27 Nov 2019
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You may be right!
Spoke to my father tonight.  He said there have been more fires. I said how, Where?
Apparently there have been more fires where the other ones were stopped at the main road. The embers caused another fire on his side further down the road. Another isolated block but the sparks carried and a house was almost lost.

He's now worried about Trees Dying. He said trees that were there 40 years ago when they moved in are now dying before his eyes for lack of water.  He said he tried watering them  but now there are restrictions and he can't.

Looks like more tall Timber felling come winter.
 
Davo99
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Posted: 12:42pm 30 Nov 2019
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I found out today a Mate near the border lost his house a couple of weeks ago.
I had been trying to get in contact with him but could not and there wasn't much else I could do.  A mutual acquaintance had a bit more smarts than I did and contacted a Place he volunteers at that was still standing and got a message through to his Mrs.

They are In good spirits, far better than I would be that's for sure. There were 94 Houses that were lost on their road alone. Apparently being so Rural, there were a lot of people living in structures classed as sheds and they are not in the tally of homes lost.

Speaking to his wife who is somewhat bitter understandably, they were let down incredibly by those in charge of the fires. The fire that took all the houses was deliberately lit by a fire crew who then 2 hours later, " Clocked off" and let the fire get away. A fire crew was coming back to help my mate back burn and defend his place which they said was easily defensible but failed to return or let them know they wouldn't return. mate was planning to back burn from his property back into the bush so the intensity near their place was minimal but were told to wait till the fire fighters returned to help. He had pumps with plenty of water ready and also a couple of generators with electric pumps.  His wife said they could have easily defended the place on their own but were told to wait till the fire fighters returned to help them when the fir was closer and to start their back burn.  She said they would have done it themselves if no one came but were ordered to wait.  

They waited and the next thing  His wife said a 200Ft wall of flame descended down the hill at them and they had barely enough time to get the dog out the house and get in the vehicle at the rate it came and they narrowly got away on a back road driving  through walls of flames many times.
His wife said they did not think they were going to make it and that they would die in the old ute they had just bought a week before.  I said  maybe it saved your lives? She said no question, he drove hell for leather and they were hitting and driving over things her little car would not have had a chance of making.

His wife said there is a lot of serious things being covered up by the media and they are spinning a very different story to what happened and the incredible shortcomings in the way things were handled.  She says there are a lot of angry people and once they get their lives back together somewhat, there is going to be a whole different story come out.

There were a lot of resources that were under utilised and a lot of personnel that refused to go in to help others when people were already there fighting the fires.
This adds up with other first hand stories I have heard from a very different area where fires occurred.

In what I think was a cruel Irony, while their house was completely incinerated, his tool shed was pretty much untouched. With lots of fuels and flammables in there, some scorching  was about the some  total of the damage.  Sure would have been a lot easier  to replace tools and machinery than lifetime memories.

Apparently Looters have been a huge problem and one covered up. His wife said places that were evacuated  but survived were ransacked while the fires were still burning and residents were not allowed back into the areas. Shooting is too good for pathetic bastards like that.  They simply should be tied to a tree in the path of a fire and left.  People like that don't deserve to live and I don't care what any softcrock  pathetic do gooder wants to make BS excuses for them.  

They have both been through a hell of a lot this year alone. Both had serious medical procedures they only just recovered from and I found out tonight, his wife's father died just before  the fires came. They both recently Nursed a Neighbour through the final stages of cancer. Maybe best he went only weeks before his house was also burnt  to nothing. I guess the lucky thing for my mate and his wife is they had both regained some fitness after their medical problems and had this come sooner or their operations later, maybe they would not have been able to make it out at all.

They have decided they will not live there again and are going to sell up and go somewhere else. Clearly his wife is Traumatised and with bloody good reason thinking they were both going to die.  
One thing that I picked up on is how proud my mates wife is of him. If nothing else, their relationship is in a real good way. Mate was in a car accident not his fault a couple of years ago and was put through the ringer by the insurance co and the workers comp mob which left them beans to live on. He became very depressed and still was after his operation to correct damage he had suffered in the accident.
His wife said this has snapped him out of it and she had her old husband back. I wonder if he has been too busy for things to set in yet and when he slows down, reality will hit him like a ton of bricks?

He is working around the area helping people fix machinery especially pumps and generators and wiring things up for people being an electrical engineer. He has been run ragged by people wanting his help to do different things and his wife said he is exhausted and will join her up in the hinterland next week for a break.

She will get him to give me a ring when he gets there.
I am glad they are OK, just, and they did not become statistics. That said, loosing everything they owned would be a nightmare in itself I could neither comprehend nor cope with myself.

They are not young people so starting over I can't Imagine will be easy.
They are alive and well, no thanks to the people that should have been there to help them but let them down.
 
Boppa
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Joined: 08/11/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 807
Posted: 06:19am 01 Dec 2019
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The bushies themselves tend to be a pretty good lot, but their upper management is a completely different story...

I used to do the electrics etc for a bushfire mob down south, and they were never particularly um impressed, by the upper management levels

Many of them are very 'uncomplimentary' about them indeed
Edited 2019-12-01 16:19 by Boppa
 
Davo99
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Posted: 09:53am 01 Dec 2019
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I think it's like anything, It is EXTREMELY rare to find any organisation where the Management is in touch with and has the full support of the membership.... From the local footy club on up.

The competency and good sense of the management also seem to proportional decline with the size of said organisation. The higher people get, the more distracted their priorities and and real world knowledge of the grass roots problems become.

I was once "elected" to be the head of a small group... because no one else would take on the job and they had to have someone.  After A while I got a lot of compliments on the way things were run. I did jack. All I ever did was ask the membership what they wanted.  I pointed out things I saw one way or the other and then let them decide by majority vote.

Worked pretty well and the little group grew pretty quickly and there was VERY little bitching or complaining. We brought in a lot of new ideas that a lot of other clubs in the same association copied.  Wasn't my doing, just bringing things to the fore other smarter people suggested, giving them a run, tweaking where needed and going from there.  

All of it is listening to people, finding workable solutions and changing things for the better to address the problems you have. Often don't have to re invent the wheel, just give it a balance and alignment and things run much better.

Friends wife said there is going to be a lot come out of what has happened and foresees enquiry's and investigations. I said they have done that after all the big fires so far, you think they would have got it pretty much nailed by now.

She was very critical of the Fires near me app/ warning thing.  They got NO warning at all, in fact it was several hours after the fire had ripped through that a warning  was issued. Part of the reason they only just got out.

The idea is great but if they are going to promote it and people are going to rely on it, it needs to be dependable and accurate or it becomes worse than not having anything at all.

I also found it lacking in my fathers area. It was inaccurate and not updated for over a week. When a secondary fire did come a couple of weeks after the main fires, they were no where near where they were indicated. We got a warning, rang my father concerned and he said oh yeah, got that, the fire is about 3km away and heading in the opposite direction.

May not sound a lot but it's a lot different in an area that encompasses small holdings and many roads and it certainly makes a big difference if you are in the area where the fire is but have the all clear.

I don't know how they get their info but clearly there is plenty of tweaking to be done on it.
 
Davo99
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Posted: 08:56pm 05 Dec 2019
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Fires went through a friends place last night not far from here.
Again, the Fires near me map was completely useless.  Never showed the fires anywhere near him even while the place was burning. This fire wasn't particularly fast moving, they have known it was coming for days and had packed a lot of things and taken them away. The fires map has never borne any resemblance to where the fire actually was.

Luckily he was prepared enough and the neighbours either side who weren't, didn't cause him to loose anything.

Mate has been wanting to clear more trees and scrub around his property but of course the do gooder council have been stopping him. He did a lot Illegaly and I'll bet that's what saved his house because seeing the vids of how well what was there burnt  which was well beyond my expectation, would have meant if he hadn[t thinned it out, the house would not have any chance of being there. Don't know how his neighbours got on.


I guarantee he'll have the backhoe and chainsaws working over time now and will simply  say the trees were unsafe after the fire and had to come down. Given the pictures I have seen of the fire going through, I doubt anyone on the council will be stupid enough to push the issue with what has happened all over the state. Would not surprise me in the least of ol mate went and bought a Dozer or a decent excavator to help the job along.


The fires near me thing was inaccurate and out of date with the fires round my father up north and seems to have been just as useless on this occasion.  If people relied on that to evacuate, they would stand a real good chance of dieing.

The name is pretty false for a start. If your place IS on fire but it never does show the fire as being anywhere near you at all, It's doing way more harm than good in my book.
 
mackoffgrid

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Posted: 05:09am 11 Dec 2019
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I've been waiting for news before I posted again.

I have mixed news.  Last Friday (6th), fires flared up again in a neighbours property.  I was blissfully ignorant in Brisbane of what was going on.  I was actually feeling alright about it, after having told a mate that the fire front was quite some distance away.  It wasn't until Sunday that I checked "fires near me" site and saw they covered my property.  I checked the RFS facebook site and saw photos that showed fires but smoke clouds in the distance that looked like it could have been on my property.

Weeks earlier we took all our heavy machinery (toys) to our neighbour's  (different neighbour) property as his place had direct access to bitumen road and very defendable.  Monday morning I called my neighbour.  Fires had gone through his property, thankfully , he incurred no damage to assets including my machines.  He commented that he never seen a fire like it - so fierce and fast. He said the fires went my way and would check the next day.  Well fallen trees were in the road so deferred that reconnaissance until this morning when he could use his loader.

I was very pleased to hear our sheds survived, the bush all around was burnt so it is apparent either RFS or National Parks fire people or water bombing had looked after our sheds - so pleased, those two sheds are only three years old and cost a little bit of coin.  We had quite a bit of cleared space around the sheds and was hoping it was defendable - apparently it is    

What didn't survive is my cabin which is surrounded by bush and not defendable.  







We have a 10kW solar array here and I'm not sure if there is anything recoverable of them.  Luckily we made a trip down there a few weeks ago and grabbed the inverters (yes the warpverter is safe   ), batteries and any tools we thought of.  Thank goodness we did.   We did however lose an awful lot of stuff.  There was another little building just out of the photo which was where the batteries, inverter lived, but also diesel genie, washing machine, freezer, loads of hand tools, plumbing - electrical spares.  The cabin had fridges, split aircon, all the cooking gear, bedding , so on and so on.  

We are not going to re-build at the cabin site.
 
Gizmo

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Posted: 05:42am 11 Dec 2019
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Sorry to hear you lost the little cabin mate. This fire season is certainly taking its toll.

I think the era of living among the trees is behind us unfortunately. Land that shouldn't burn is, even the rain forests are tinder boxes at the moment.

Glenn
"Treat the earth well, it was not given to you by your parents, it was lent to you by your children"

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renewableMark

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Posted: 07:01am 11 Dec 2019
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Bugger, well at least you didn't loose it all.
Cheers Caveman Mark
Off grid eastern Melb
 
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