News > Current Severe Emergency Situations

Australian wildfires and heatwave

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prayers for him and his household

Mr. Bill:
Sunday 12/22/19 morning:

--- Quote ---Back home. The active fire front escaped containment to the east and ran unimpeded for several hours. We're just to the south. It was a horrible, horrible day but turned out better than expected.

The fire is still growing and there's still a patch of green across the street for it to consume with no significant rain forecast until possibly March or April. So the fine print: we'll have to evacuate again. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe repeatedly over the next several months. But not today.

Just to document this for the future, the majority of homes and lives lost over the last week were the direct result of two back-burns that got away. The first one was a freely admitted mistake. The second has not been acknowledged, even though it was obvious to anybody watching the events unfold.

As mentioned in an earlier post, humans need to learn quickly about dealing with mega-fires. Mistakes will be made, no doubt about it. We need to have a hard look at every mistake and learn from them. We can't afford to assign blame because this will cause critical information to be lost or corrupted.
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A BBC article gives some scale: the land area burned in New South Wales in the past 6 months is 1½ times the area burned in the 2018 California wildfires and 3 times the area burned in the 2019 Amazon fires.

Just a thought, but maybe terrorists are setting fires in America and now Australia?

Mr. Bill:

--- Quote from: Gamer on December 25, 2019, 01:41:09 PM ---Just a thought, but maybe terrorists are setting fires in America and now Australia?

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It's not impossible.  But it's SO easy for a fire to start accidentally.  You can't really appreciate this until you've lived in a wildfire-prone area.  Last summer here (southeast Washington state), a huge fire was started just because a towing safety chain was dragging on the road and throwing sparks.  A fire in 2002 that came within a hundred feet of our house was started by a squirrel that got electrocuted on a power pole.  There are all sorts of trivial things that start fires, and with the insane heatwave that Australia has been suffering, fires were practically inevitable.

Mr. Bill:
AFP, 12/30/19: Thousands trapped on Australia beach encircled by fire

--- Quote ---Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were trapped on a beach in fire-ravaged southeast Australia Tuesday, as blazes ringed a popular tourist area leaving no escape by land.

As many as four thousand people are trapped on the foreshore of the encircled seaside town of Mallacoota...

Authorities had for days been warning up to 30,000 tourists enjoying Australia's summer holidays to leave the area, which is just one of the hundreds ravaged by this devastating bushfire season. ...

On Monday, around 100,000 people were urged to flee five Melbourne suburbs as the spiralling bushfire crisis killed a volunteer firefighter battling a separate blaze in the countryside. ...
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