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Forum Index : Other Stuff : BushFires

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Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
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Posted: 12:04am 12 Dec 2019
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You can do a lot with containers now.  There is a place down the road that has 2 40 Footers with an arched canopy over the top.  The containers can be secured and machinery or whatever put under the canopy for weather protection. There are a number of sellers  doing these.

I need another shed myself and am thinking of a container or 2 If I could get them in here.  Instant erection and saves the expensive bit of a floor.  For what I want them for in storing mowers and yard machinery, they would be great. Might look at 2 side by side and joined so I had some width as well.

I think to have any chance of fire protection you need 100 M clearance to anything much over a pot plant as a minimum and PLENTY of water and pumps. Siting a building lower down a Hill rather than on top is also a good idea if bush is around.

My mate that lost his house had been having issues with the council not letting him push the bush back. He tells me a lot of others in the area had too and there was already talk of a class action against the council.  He also tells me that in initial enquiries about re building, they want him to have someone come in and do an environmental impact study on the surrounding Flora and Fauna to build the place where it was. There is nothing left. He could set off Nuclear devices and the place would look and be no different. It's literally scorched earth.

I told him to take a photo, send it to the idiot town planer and councillors  with the simple caption " What fking flora and Fauna?"  These people really are arse clowns.

He said at the best of times, Da's take a year to go through up there. I told him, put in a DA, get one of those Kit homes that are pre complied and build the thing. Then if they say anything or want to fine you which will be in 2 years, threaten to go public and tell the story how you and all the other people in the area got burned out and the council has been stuffing around all this  time doing simple Da's.
They are useless and inefficient.I told him, my wife is a manager for a council and handles these DA's and can tell you all the loop holes and what to say to Pull the rug from under them.

The Drought is very evident here. I'm on the outskirts of Sydney and there has not been 1/4 of the annual average rainfall since we came here 2.5 Years ago.
Despite watering my plants every day ( I collect the Bog water ) it's impossible to give things enough.  I'm no scientist or gardener but the only thing I can put it down to is the lack of Humidity. The next door neighbour has been here 15 years and is a keen gardener and he is having the same trouble I am.  He waters morning and evening and says he still can't keep up with things. There is no moisture in the soil no matter how deep you go. Any water you do put in us generaly blown off by the wind within 24 Hours. The other BIG problem is because the soil is so fry, it's very difficult to get water into it. It runs off like concrete.  I have used a LOT of that soil wetter and just added Dish soap to the water I use and it helps but it's a LONG way from the soil absorbing the water as it should. Plants are dying that I water every damn day!

The ground here is getting cracks in it that have to be seen to be believed and are getting dangerous. I was on what's left of the front lawn yesterday and my foot went in a crack that was deeper and wider than my foot and about 10M long. I saw the crack before weeks ago but it's quadrupled in size.  I'll have to go get a load of dirt and fill it and others in before someone Does their ankle or breaks a leg. Either that or when I do put the tractor over it ( Just to clean the leaves and sticks off) I'll bust the steering or a hub on the thing.

I normally go to a lot of effort to make the place look nice for Christmas but not even really bothering this year. Everything is Brown, dry and barren. I have a strip of lawn from the back door to the shed I normally have like Bowling green but this year despite pumping water and fertiliser into it like never before, it's completely Miserable looking like it's never been touched.  Even last year I was mowing it every second day.

Whatever you rebuild, you will at least have the chance to Build it defensible from the start.  My Mate built a Huge shed a couple of years ago and incorporated sprinklers on the rood and the walls from the outset. Matter of fact it was the first  thing on the list when he was planning what he wanted.  If you are going to be off grid you will have the ability to use electric pumps as well that won't be reliant on air to operate.  Another mate has a battery powered pump for sprinklers on his roof.
Thought that was a great idea until thinking about it recently. If the fire is that close and there is that little air to run an engine, maybe the place is already lost?

In any case Plumbing in sprinklers and designing from a defence POV has to give one a good head start. I wouldn't have anything closer to 100M to the place either and if the Greenwashed PC lefty councils didn't like it, Tough.

THEY are the ones responsible for a lot of people loosing their homes in my book.
 
johnmc
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Joined: 21/01/2011
Location: Australia
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Posted: 05:50am 12 Dec 2019
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Davo99 quote;

"The Drought is very evident here. I'm on the outskirts of Sydney and there has not been 1/4 of the annual average rainfall since we came here 2.5 Years ago."

I suggest that the this website. " www.TheLongView.com.au"  offer's a insight  on the reasons, for the change in our weather.

cheers john
johnmc
 
Davo99
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Posted: 07:48am 12 Dec 2019
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Interesting.
He puts Climate change down to sunspots and Lunar activity. Makes more sense than the usual Green moronic rubbish we are brainwashed with.

Also interesting to note 10 years ago he was talking about global cooling.

I certainly hope he is wrong about a Mega drought lasting decades. Guess we'll be moving north to Qld after all.
Anywhere else actually getting rain atm?
 
mackoffgrid

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Posted: 07:38pm 12 Dec 2019
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  Warpspeed said  Would it be possible to bury a container as a safe "fire proof" storage for some of your more valuable and portable possessions, in the event of an approaching fire ?



I think so.

Bushfire has always been on my mind when planning.  I was always going to install large water tanks, and a 2" pipe from a permanent source we have.  Have sprinklers everywhere.

The old story, family stuff has delayed plans significantly  

After this whole episode, and it's not over yet,  I saw the value in moving expensive machinery to safety.  In this process I also saw the benefit of fire proof (resistant) store buildings.  Earth and masonry being the best material but shipping containers could be made defendable.

I think certain other actions we took may have helped our situation, Glenn may be able to comment.  We have a number of lesser value machines, an enclosed box trailer with a petrol genie  and compressor (next to shed); an old 4wd dumper converted into a forklift (was inside shed) ; not so cheap excavator grapple sitting on large steel trailer;  --  we moved these into the open where the ground was worn from driving to the sheds, spaced apart by 10m.  We believe these were saved.  A broken down machine with a 50hp deutz that was left with wattle growing around it was burnt (50m from shed).  Did we help the firies with our actions??? Dunno but they survived.


cheers
andrew
 
Davo99
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Posted: 12:50am 13 Dec 2019
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Putting the machines in a clear worn area and spacing them apart was very clever Thinking. If there was a place you could set up with a big irrigation sprinkler going over the top and creating a barrier around them and keeping them cool as well, so much the better.

My mate last week scraped a clearing in the middle of a horse paddock where there was only short dead grass and parked his loader there.  Other machinery went in the shed.  He has sprinklers on the roof and 60K L worth of tanks right beside it.
He put another pump on high flow sprinklers aimied into the neighbours place where the bush was closest and the threat the greatest.

His plan was to wait till the fire was there, Fire up all the pumps and leave in the loader.  Followed my Fathers Idea a month before. On the loader he could basically go anywhere, through fences, across paddocks or clear anything across a road.
Fortunately for him it amounted to nothing more than an over size Bon fire night and actually helped get rid of a lot of rubbish he had already cleared. Gave him some anxious moments along the way but he was lucky in the extreme.

Don't know about the weight loadings, but if you have the equipment, maybe putting in some underground concrete tanks and building the sheds on those might be workable?
Maybe having them well clear of any bush and sprinklers all round that soak the walls and the roof may be a cheaper and more effective option than specific fireproof buildings?  I'm sure the colourbond type buildings could be greatly improved for fire resistance and with the addition of sprinklers all over would be very safe.

Ultimately I think the main thing is clearance from the bush and then the ability to whether an ember storm.

I'll bet my mate has had his backhoe out doing over time.
He told me last week he was going into the neighbours and clearing along their fence line to push the trees back from his place. I asked what the do gooder greenie said  when he asked him about that? He said I didn't ask, I told him and added if his bush caused me to loose anything, I'd make damn sure he didn't have a cent left to his name after I dragged him through court.  Mate has the resolve and money to well do that and his father certainly has the connections in the legal field.

Really, I think that is fair enough. People like my mate and my father spend the money and put in the effort to protect their places and take precautions.  Why should they suffer or be put in danger by those too lazy or stupid not to do the same especially when it puts others at risk of loss?
 
mackoffgrid

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Posted: 08:00am 14 Dec 2019
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Caution:  this post contains rambling.

It was a rare, cool, overcast 26 degree day yesterday so I went to the property to inspect.

Along the main road approaching my turnoff, where the second fire did it's damage.  It was a surreal and oddly beautiful scene.  The road was once heavily tree lined, now fire affect trees have been removed, thinned greatly.  The tree line is now covered with what looks like autumn leaves similar to a English autumn.

The little road I use to get entry to my property was fire affected and had fallen trees closing it off.  So entry was gained through my neighbours property.  The whole area was fire affected.  To varying degrees the total landscape was burnt.  Thousands of hectares.  Funny enough the only property which is possibly not affected is the national park bordering my other two boundaries.  They cheat, they used bull dozers  

Getting entry to our property proper is either through National Park or more quickly over a corduroy road we built through a swampy area.  This year is the first year it wasn't wet with water.  It's never been dry.  It's now burning.  Okay, we'll repair it with rock when it stops burning.  I suppose it'll flood now before we can get trucks to it   - then we'll have to wait until next spring.

The sheds were good, nothing burnt closer than 10 metres, same goes for the gear we spread out in front.  We did slash around the sheds in September and I suspect that did a lot to keep the sheds and gear safe.

A lot of very old trees, three+ footers, have fallen to this fire, and many trees have been burnt three quarters into their trunks. Their will be a great loss of habitat trees from this fire.  One such old tree did fall somewhat near the shed area, and was still actively burning up its pipe.  There I committed my first act of bushfire fighting    That trailer with the generator also has an elcheapo water pump and 200 litres of water. We hitched it up and put out that log.     There will no doubt be lots more of those but I had to be back in Brisbane.  Even after a week, the whole area, not just our place, is littered with spots with smoke emanating from the landscape.

On leaving I noticed just how many trees near our tracks are dangerously burnt through.  It could do with some good strong storms not just to put the fires out but to fall some of these trees.  Lot of careful tree removal is on the cards.

We had two structures at the cabin site, the cabin and 6 metres away was the Plant room (Solar controller, inverter, batteries / laundry with obligatory chest freezer and misc storage)  aka Laundry.  Both built in the very local hardwood.  The ground mount 10kW solar array, 3 high x 13 + 1, was one metre in front of the laundry.  Both buildings were totally consumed.

This aluminium tresle will give an idea of hot it must have been.





I think most panels are write-off.  I think it would have been a very different story had the plant room been built in masonry.  I had 2 by 100mm2 and one 50mm2 copper cables in a bundle connecting to plant room - melted through.  I used 100x100 timber posts for the uprights, one gone but the others are holding.  I used Z purlens going across and they held up well.

We built the cabin on 10 inch universal beams.  At least one of them has a significant droop.

Then the strangest of things survive



 
Davo99
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Posted: 12:23pm 14 Dec 2019
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I feel for you mate. This must be very hard.

Years ago when the fires went through the national park in Sydney, I went in a week after doing a photoshoot.  I was standing amongst the Monochromatic scene of ash and char and got this really strong wiff of smoke like one would standing near a camp fire.

I looked around a couple of times before I caught sight of where it was coming from, Right out the ground.  I kicked at it with my boot and the ground caved in and then this tunnel which must have been 3 ft deep and Diagonal all lit up as bright red Charcoal as the air hit it.

I had heard about tree stumps burning for weeks under ground but never really believed it could be real. I learned Different.

My friend said there have been a lot of trees falling where the fire went through his place.  Some weakened by the fire as it went up the middle, others continuing to burn as you describe. He said he was nearly them coming down for nearly a week afterwards. He was clearing some out with his backhoe and  when he looked behind, other had come down. He said clearly he was not in a safe place so got out of there and was giving it time till it all stopped.  He said he was also hoping for some strong winds that frequent the area to get any weak trees down before he goes back in.

He joked about being able to clear a lot of tress out the council would not allow under the guise of them being dangerous the day after the fire. Speaking to him the other day he said he is going to HAVE to clear a lot more than he even wanted due to so many being burnt out and weakened.  He wasn't expecting near as many as are badly damaged.

He said I thought the fire helped in getting rid of a lot of rubbish and trees I had already taken out but now I'm going to have literally 10X as much to get rid of if not more. I said the bright side is you will never have to the risk and danger like you had ever again. Time the bush grows back to what it was, we'll both be long gone.


I have one of those exact aluminium Benches.  Aluminium isn't that hard to melt but none the less, I bet one would have to put in effort to get something to melt like that if you wanted to.  Ironic, I also have the same little Garden cart.

I saw on the news there was rain in qld.  Did you get any in the burning or burnt out areas?  There has been cruel teasing clouds here the last 2 days and last night there was a light but definite mist falling. Almost like giving false hope for rain.

I see on my flight Radar app the water bombers were flat out again today around warragamba  where the fires still are. They are sure clocking up the hours and must be dropping some water. There must be spotter planes flying circles for hours on end as well. I also notice a LOT of different US registered aircraft flying around that must have been brought in.

These fires are going to have Huge costs in so many different, widespread and very unfortunate ways.
 
mackoffgrid

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Posted: 06:50pm 14 Dec 2019
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Dave

We got 50mm out of a storm on Wed or Thur night in Brisbane but only 2 to 3 mm where the property is - sheeh.   On Friday, driving home through the Gold Coast we got very heavy rain, and again later back in Brisbane we got another 22mm in a storm.  I don't think the property saw much of that either.  
 
Davo99
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Posted: 10:24pm 14 Dec 2019
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I don't consider anything under 10mm to be rain.  Anything less than that and it's gone as soon as the sun comes out again and does the ground no good at all.

We'd need 250mm over a week to even make an impression here.
 
zeitfest
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Posted: 07:03am 01 Jan 2020
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The Guardian is reporting 3.6 million hectares burnt/burning for NSW,
4.4 million for the combined east states and SA, last year.
That's more than Belgium, or twice the size of Wales.

ed - 900 homes in NSW. Just awful.
Edited 2020-01-01 17:04 by zeitfest
 
Davo99
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Posted: 09:28am 01 Jan 2020
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The yanks thought it was the end of the world when they lost 80,000 acres in California.

The bit that gets me is they have stopped people clearing tress back from their homes ( know 2 people personally that were not allowed, one DID loose his home) but in the context of it, the amount of acreage of trees that would be removed and SAVE a lot of homes is totally and utterly insignificant to the amount of bush lost  anyway.

Same with all the green crap about not burning or clearing.
What has been lost now with these crowning fires that nothing can escape from and will have to travel 100Km to find food or water if it does survive?

I was talking to a mate the other day who's property got burned out but luckily he lost no property. He cleared a lot of trees Illegally after getting knocked back from the council. was the only thing that saved his home and sheds.
He's clearing every damn thing he wants working his backhoe overtime and is PRAYING one of the do good Neighbours who's jungle threatened his house calls the council and they come and fine him.  He has the means, the  connections and is well and truly pissed off enough to make them very sorry if they even set foot in the place.

I don't think they will ever stop anyone again for the next 5 years at least. This has all left a very bitter taste in the mouths of all the non greenwashed community and after what has happened, only the most moronic of councils would even think of stopping anyone taking fire risk minimization measures after what's happened.

I'll bet my backside they go the other way now and enforce a far wider clearance of trees and shrubs.

So many of these green do gooders and councils etc need their arses well and truly kicked till their nose's bleed.
 
Gizmo

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Posted: 01:39pm 01 Jan 2020
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Lot of finger pointing with these fires. As a member of the local RFS, I can tell you most of it is BS. Its true the last few years we've done very little hazard reductions burns, but it's got nothing to do with the local council or the greens.

The main reason is its been far too dry to burn, even in the middle of winter. Locally we had 167mm for the entire year in 2019, that's less than most deserts, and you cant burn when it's that dry, it's just to dangerous. I say it again, it was to dry to do hazard reduction burns.

The other issue is land owners. Most of these fires are on rural plots, farmland. Have you ever tried to convince a struggling farmer he needs to burn off part of his grazing land? Not going to happen. While many land owners do take precautions, many dont, and you only need a overgrown fire break and a cluttered farm shed to keep the fire going. We are also seeing fires in wet forests, which just doesnt/didnt happen. You cant hazard reduction burn rain forest, because it can take decades to recover, but they are so dry now they are burning anyway.

The only way we could have stopped these fires was to prepare better for them. For whatever reason, Australia is currently very hot and dry, and we knew this fire season would be bad. But when the PM refused to meet with fire chiefs, after they begged for a meeting several times, what hope do you have. If you want to point the finger, he's the man.

We needed water bombers, more volunteers, and better education of the public. It's ridiculous that the water bomber used to fight the Stanthorpe fires had to fly all the way to Newcastle to reload with retardant. If we had political leaders who pulled their heads out of the sand and took the time to talk to the experts, we would have had the reloading equipment at every major airport in time for this fire season.

Glenn
People say 2020 is a terrible year, with the bush fires, COVID 19, and riots. But I see it as the year we woke up to ourselves.

JAQ Software
 
Davo99
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Posted: 06:36am 02 Jan 2020
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  Gizmo said   I say it again, it was to dry to do hazard reduction burns.


Mate of mine that lost his house didn't want to burn anything. He wanted to take out trees close to his house that posed a threat to it in event of a fire and was unfortunately proven right. The council stopped him and had heavily fined others for removing said trees.

Other well heeled make said screw the council and did push everything back 100M  from any buildings where he could.  When the Fires and the RFS came, they said nothing they could do for the neighbours that probably obeyed the 10M rule and they set up on his property and said we can defend this. Biggest threat was the neighbours properties up the sides of my mates place.

I think burning is only part of the sensible management. Pushing the bush back a good distance is also crucial and many councils HAVE stopped that.  Local council here with their tree preservations orders taken to the point of stupidity is a classic case. It's backfired well and truly now with the millions of acres lost not to mention the animals and peoples homes.

The current  allowance for clearing to be 10M away for trees and 50m for anything else is ridiculous. Should be 100M at least for everything.
The amount of bush that would be lost if that was a llowed would be insignifican't to what has burned now but there would probably be a lot of people still with roofs over their heads.

  Quote  While many land owners do take precautions, many dont, and you only need a overgrown fire break and a cluttered farm shed to keep the fire going.


And again, MANY landowners are NOT ALLOWED to clear trees near their homes nor fire breaks. It's well documented how many fire trails have been blocked off and allowed to become like the rest of the bush around.

I can well see and understand back burning can be a risky or impractical thing to do BUT, keeping the bush away from properties can be done at any time with no risk and should be mandatory not frowned upon like it is in so many places these days.
No, having bush pushed back may still not save every place but when the bush is only 10M away, a building has ZERO chance of survival. Having clearance does give things a much better fighting chance though.

  Quote   But when the PM refused to meet with fire chiefs, after they begged for a meeting several times, what hope do you have. If you want to point the finger, he's the man.


I'm not sure which fire chiefs you are talking about but the ones I heard about giving press conferences, Mullins and Co, wanted to talk to the PM to bitch about him doing more fire climate change and were merely using the fires as an excuse to push their ultimate agenda. I would have said no too. I'd like to see a detailed list of what Interests those 4 Fire chiefs have.  There is no way in hell they are all up in arms over this climate change BS without they have some vested interest, kickback or something financial motivating them, I would guarantee it! Maybe they are on the payroll of some fire fighting equipment company or some other big business that stands to make a buck out of the climate change Hysteria. I'd put significant money on there being some profit in it for them.

Don't forget, morrison had been in what? 6 months if that? Even if they wanted to talk to him to order new equipment, I doubt much would have been able to be delivered  in any numbers for this season anyway.  From what I know, things like tankers and the  bigger equipment is mainly built to order, there are no dealers lots of it sitting there you can walk in, buy and drive out of the lots.

  Quote  We needed water bombers, more volunteers, and better education of the public.


Agreed but none of this would have been in place in time if morrison had done whatever was wanted anyway. Waterbombers are very specialy built, training takes time  and the RFS won't let people on a fire ground till they have put is quite some hours training. Educating the public.... faster to train sheep.... which is a close analogy anyway.

Out of interest, what do you propose the public be educated in?
Everything I can think of would be common sense and things that were instilled in most of us as kids.  If you have to educate adults in a lot of the things I can think of, then they aren't intelligent enough to ever be educated.

And one thing that comes up a lot I also have suspicions of.... how many of these fires are deliberately lit? You can't educate people that are that stupid not to light fires but you can shoot the bastards which might send a message to the others suffering from similar mental defect.

  Quote  It's ridiculous that the water bomber used to fight the Stanthorpe fires had to fly all the way to Newcastle to reload with retardant.


I'm not sure if you are refering to fixed wing/ jets or Choppers but I was watching before Christmas on my flight tracking app the jets going back and forth to Richmond to refil for the fires around Bargo etc.  Don't know if they were using retardant or just water but it was a 30min round trip for them. 10 min to the fire, 10 min back and 10 min to refil. And this was of course a pretty close fire and doesn't account for the time they spent at the fire. From what I saw they had to make a circle or 2 at least probably working out which directing to hit it from and being directed exactly where to hit it.

OTOH, the Erickson's were stationed at Picton which is minutes flight away and were travelling a few min if that to get water from dams and the nepean River.
I looked up and saw the Elvis choppers carry 9500L of water. The new RFS 737 Holds 15000L. Thing is the Elvis choppers can reload in 30 sec from a dam 500M away from the fire if there is one, the planes have to go back to Richmond.

The other thing with the big planes maybe bar the c130 is they can pretty much only use military or international length runways. The small airports haven't got enough tar mack and probably isn't rated for the weights either. I am of the opinion that maybe the 737 was too big for the job? Might have been better sticking to something like a c130  that had a shorter runway requirement and could get into regional airports the big jet can't.

For this reason I think we would be far better off with Choppers. What they lack in outright capacity they can make up for in speed of reloading and the amount of water they can put on fires and the accuracy they can do it more than makes up for the capacity shortfall.

I was watching one of the elvis Choppers and a little Long ranger on Boxing day from my friends verandah. things were back and forth about every 7 Minutes. Seemed to take about 2 Min to reload but they were obviously flying a little further than we could see them but still.... Richmond would be at least a 40 Min round trip for the DC10 or 737 from there and nowra would be at least the same. No where else other than Sydney to get the things in and out and they would have to negotiate some traffic at the international airport even on the ground if they were given priority there.

I fully realise choppers are expensive to buy and more expensive to operate over fixed wings but I think we should be buying them and leasing them out to make money on the things during our off season rather than paying to hire them off someone else.
The Erickson's we have here now are not the actual Elvis we had before due to him being used elsewhere and unavailable.

I don't think any country has greater need for water bombers than we do ( although after this season there may not be much left to burn in the next 10 years) So to me it would make sense to invest in this gear and have it when we want it.
I can only imagine what the cost is going to be for the hours these things are racking up now and at the rate they are going, it won't be long before they are going to need some time in maintence and can't fly. Time they get back to the states the things are going to need some major maintence and overhaul.

Even if we use Military Choppers and fit them with water bombing equipment it would put us in a better position.  We have plenty of Blackhawk and sea hawk choppers and I'll bet they could sling a couple of thousand litres OK.

In any case, no shortage of things like Iraqoi's that could be overhauled and converted as several of them on the job are now.
Edited 2020-01-02 16:53 by Davo99
 
Gizmo

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I was referring to the jet water bombers, which are the most effective appliance to fight fires. The round trip from Newcastle to Stanthorpe and back was 920km. There is a big airport only 100km away, but it wasn't equipped. There were also choppers fighting that fire, but Stanthorpe has little water and all the rural dams are dry, they were struggling to find water.

The PM's refusal to talk with fire chiefs......

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-14/former-fire-chief-calls-out-pm-over-refusal-of-meeting/11705330

Nuff said. Now, no more politics. Quit frankly I'm sick of it.

Glenn
People say 2020 is a terrible year, with the bush fires, COVID 19, and riots. But I see it as the year we woke up to ourselves.

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M Del
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Posted: 11:18pm 06 Jan 2020
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And now Tassie has a few fires going, not as big as the mainland but bigger than any recent fires and some in areas that have never burnt for a long time, if ever.

Still a long way to go unless we get rain very soon, just enough rain, not a flood, just enough.

Good luck every one.

Mark
 
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