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Enug
01-04-2015, 06:44 PM
For the last three days bushfires have been raging out of control not far from where I live. We are safe here in our town though the smell of smoke has infiltrated inside even with all doors and windows closed. There are half a dozen water bombers flying over our house back and forth to our local airstrip for refilling with water and chemicals to douse the fires. One has gone over just now.

The weather has been extremely hot and windy making conditions intolerable for the firefighters.

The fires are in an area where there are a lot of small holdings and while some stock have been lost, our local racecourse has become a refuge for horses that have been brought down from the hills. There are also a number of people being looked after in community buildings until they can get back to their homes to see what remains.

Estimates are that over 30 homes have been lost but until the fires are brought under control no one really knows. Fortunately no human lives have been lost but sadly a boarding facility for cats and dogs has been lost along with all the cats and some of the dogs. About 40 dogs were saved and are being looked after at various veterinary clinics.

The weather is cooler today 29C and very little wind - back in the 30's tomorrow and 40C on Wednesday - so hopefully some ground will be gained today. There are a number of little townships still in danger and the fire has got into a large pine forest.

I know bad things are happening all over the world but when it's close to home........

copespeak
01-04-2015, 08:44 PM
It was an awful couple of days, wasn't it June? So nice to get some cooler days, but you obviously have more to bear yet. I think midweek hots up for us again for a day, but not so much as SA.

I keep thinking "Autumn is on it's way, autumn is on it's way ........"

Re: the boarding kennels cattery, what a dreadful event! Imagine all the families on holidays and coming back to that news. :( :(

Stay cool June.

Enug
01-04-2015, 09:56 PM
It looks like the fires in your state are under control and Victoria and NSW have sent fire crews and a Hercules aircraft to help over here. There are now 18 aircraft in the air. A sad report on the TV news just now - two elderly people missing.

D Akey
01-05-2015, 01:27 AM
Gee whiz, June. Sounds nasty. Blessings to you all and your land and living creatures of all kinds, and especially the ones fighting the fire. We know all about fires here in the LA area. It being the 'wet' season here, it didn't even occur to me until a moment's rethinking that you are in your dry season, just the opposite of us here. Be well.

Enug
01-05-2015, 02:28 AM
We do get to hear about the fires in your part of the world so I know you are familiar with the destruction these terrible fires wreak on all that lie in their path. I'm happy to report that the missing couple have been found alive and well. Homes can be replaced but not lives. It's now late evening and quite cool now but the winds are very strong and will be fanning the flames. I've opened up the house for some fresh air but alas, it's more smokey than fresh.

justjean
01-05-2015, 04:04 AM
June, so sorry to hear of all the fires and sending good thoughts and prayers that you all are safe

stevemawmv
01-05-2015, 07:40 AM
Take care and stay safe June.....

Enug
01-05-2015, 02:00 PM
Thank you both - I don't hear the water bombers this morning so that's a good sign even tho the fires are still burning.

Enug
01-08-2015, 06:31 PM
We had a violent thunderstorm with heavy rain last night and this morning, resulting in 95% of the fire front being under control - still weeks of spot fires and cleaning up.

People are gradually being let back to their homes to see what remains. However power has to be restored before it's safe. Still no human lives but sadly a native animal sanctuary and a cat/dog boarding facility were destroyed as well as sheep and wildlife lost.

Over 100 firefighters suffered injuries but none serious. Where would we be without these courageous men and women?

An estimated 32,000 acres burnt in the seven days this fire was out of control. Still some hot spots and new fires from lightning strikes but the worst is over.

This is a cropped version of a photo that featured on the front page of our newspaper. I couldn't find a credit anywhere so I hope I'm not doing the wrong thing by posting. It shows the owner of the wildlife sanctuary with a surviving kangaroo.

I'm guessing to 'The Advertiser' photographer.

85024

D Akey
01-10-2015, 03:45 AM
We had a violent thunderstorm with heavy rain last night and this morning, resulting in 95% of the fire front being under control - still weeks of spot fires and cleaning up.

People are gradually being let back to their homes to see what remains. However power has to be restored before it's safe. Still no human lives but sadly a native animal sanctuary and a cat/dog boarding facility were destroyed as well as sheep and wildlife lost.

Over 100 firefighters suffered injuries but none serious. Where would we be without these courageous men and women?

An estimated 32,000 acres burnt in the seven days this fire was out of control. Still some hot spots and new fires from lightning strikes but the worst is over.

This is a cropped version of a photo that featured on the front page of our newspaper. I couldn't find a credit anywhere so I hope I'm not doing the wrong thing by posting. It shows the owner of the wildlife sanctuary with a surviving kangaroo.

I'm guessing to 'The Advertiser' photographer.

85024

Forest fires are wretched and super destructive. Sorry you all have had to go through it. And yes, the firefighters are heroic. A brother of my friend was a spotter for fires. It was a lonely occupation which suited him just fine being that he was a bit of a hermit -- same consciousness as a lighthouse keeper I guess. He would spend seasons up in a lone tower with his jar of peanut butter and a set of binoculars and a radio looking out over the forests. He spoke of lightning being the most common cause of fires in the wild, and it wasn't just carelessness or arson on the part of humans. Oddly enough, and this is not to diminish the destructive aspect of fires, but we have certain strains of trees (sequoias? can't recall exactly) that only re-seed after a fire, that it's part of the ecology in those cases. Of course we're talking about trees that are centuries old as well so there's not a whole lot of need for them to have baby trees.
But it speaks of the nature of fires from lightning being adapted to in one case.

That photo breaks my heart. I can read into the look on that kangaroo's face and body language the trauma of surviving that. I don't have much interaction with them (read: no familiarity whatsoever). And I don't know if they're human-like in their mannerisms when they've been around humans a lot. But that's a photo worth a Pulitzer Prize in the story it tells. The poor thing looks frazzled like some war photos I've seen of refugee camps.

Tragic about the animals. Well, glad you're safe, June.

Enug
01-10-2015, 03:58 PM
Well it never rains but it pours! Apparently we now have a very unusual and unstable weather pattern and record breaking rains are forecast - it has been raining for the last two days. We would normally get very little rain during the Summer. some areas of the Outback are flooded and roads are unusable but the upshot of this is that some stations that have not seen rain for a couple of years will now experience the miracle of the land turning green. Waterholes will fill and bird life will return. One station owner said some of his cows had never seen rain.

The fires have dropped out of the news with this rain but now they have to track down the cause. Right from the start it was rumoured that a property owner had used his incinerator on a fire ban day - he of course has denied this but the forensic people are investigating.

I don't think we have fire spotters here, at least not the type of job that your brother has.

D Akey
01-11-2015, 07:12 AM
Well it never rains but it pours! Apparently we now have a very unusual and unstable weather pattern and record breaking rains are forecast - it has been raining for the last two days. We would normally get very little rain during the Summer. some areas of the Outback are flooded and roads are unusable but the upshot of this is that some stations that have not seen rain for a couple of years will now experience the miracle of the land turning green. Waterholes will fill and bird life will return. One station owner said some of his cows had never seen rain.

The fires have dropped out of the news with this rain but now they have to track down the cause. Right from the start it was rumoured that a property owner had used his incinerator on a fire ban day - he of course has denied this but the forensic people are investigating.

I don't think we have fire spotters here, at least not the type of job that your brother has.

It's actually my friend's brother but I get your point.

We have mountains, don't know if you do or not. I don't think I've ever seen pics of Australia with mountains -- deep ravines from river erosion yes, but not mountains. Around me they have some modest mountains but enough hills to make mudslides an issue after the fires when it rains.

Do fires bring on rains? Not sure if they're connected to make them seem to follow each other. Probably the lightning that starts the fire indicates a change in the pressure which means rain could be coming, so which came first, chicken or egg.

I'm not a weather focused person because in Southern California we have one weather - hot and dry 90+ percent of the year. And then we have the odd sudden rain which can be heavy enough to cause instability with the hillsides. You can see in some of the hills around here that some people put up burlap or plastic sheeting to keep the rain from over-saturating the hillside to avoid mudslides (I assume), even if there's been no fire. Property in the hills tends to be valuable and they're protecting their investments, not to mention their lives.

A few years back, because property values are so high, developers have been building everywhere they had not before because it was unstable or whatever. We even had a whole hillside let go and cover a whole development area that covered many homes and streets, trapping entire families. And let us not forget people building in areas that are at great fire risk as well. So that development surge is the dynamic in some of the outlying areas that usually make it onto the news owing to one calamity or other. But the normal areas are well out of harms way for that kind of thing that you've been experiencing. . . except for the occasional earthquake which of the damaging kind isn't really all that common.

So blessings to you all out there, and there's nothing quite like freaking out the cattle with rain and mud. That's an interesting image. Would make a funny cartoon.

Be safe.

Enug
01-11-2015, 05:01 PM
Sorry for giving you a brother, additional or otherwise.:o

We do have mountains - even alpine regions where we have snow and a ski season! I'm not sure what height a hill or range has to be to be classed as a mountain. If you Google mountains in Oz you will find some beautiful images.

Here is a list of the ten best mountains for climbing in Oz. http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/travel/destinations/2014/08/ten-of-the-best-australian-mountains-to-climb

Note that there is only one listed for Sth Aust (my state) but we do have the Flinders Ranges http://www.southaustralia.com/regions/flinders-ranges-outback.aspx Have a look in Google Images for some georgeous photos there too.

I'll have to stop now - this has gone from the weather channel to a geography channel.;)

D Akey
01-12-2015, 07:19 PM
Sorry for giving you a brother, additional or otherwise.:o

We do have mountains - even alpine regions where we have snow and a ski season! I'm not sure what height a hill or range has to be to be classed as a mountain. If you Google mountains in Oz you will find some beautiful images.

Here is a list of the ten best mountains for climbing in Oz. http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/travel/destinations/2014/08/ten-of-the-best-australian-mountains-to-climb

Note that there is only one listed for Sth Aust (my state) but we do have the Flinders Ranges http://www.southaustralia.com/regions/flinders-ranges-outback.aspx Have a look in Google Images for some georgeous photos there too.

I'll have to stop now - this has gone from the weather channel to a geography channel.;)

From Wiki:
"For a while, the US defined a mountain as being 1,000 feet (300 m) or taller. Any similar landform lower than this height was considered a hill. However, today, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) concludes that these terms do not have technical definitions in the US."

Best leave that to the geologists and those folks to get worked up. They never listen to artists about such things, so why quibble.

I daresay, to me that measurement is not very tall, though and changes my notion of the world around me. By that standard the hills directly around here are mountains.

So you have mountains and skiing and all. Well yodelayeehooo to y'all. Now all you need is shielded banking and you have Switzerland down under.

Pretty sites to be sure, but the areas around the mountains are absolutely gorgeous. It's a toss up whether I want to grab ArtRage and a portable device, my French easel and oil paints or just my hiking boots.

I enjoyed the travel log. Worked for me especially when everything else is so holiday season everybody's on vacation quiet.