What starts a Bushfire?

Submitted: Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:00
ThreadID: 29420 Views:3331 Replies:16 FollowUps:27
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Further to my post 29344, I am actually wondering what are the main causes of fires?

Listening to the news (ABC Radio) and reading the paper (in Melbourne we only have one Newspaper, The Age), I typically note the following causes
-lightning strike
-gigarette butt
-arson
-broken glass causing a maginifying effect

I've yet to hear a news flash that said.........

"A Mob of drunken campers were burnt to death as their campfire raged relentlessly and cremated them as they sat sipping their Cognac"

When was a bushfire last officially put down to responsible citizens enjoying a little evening warmth?

Any official figures kept?
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Reply By: bazza - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:07

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:07
Ignore that report Jimbo - 'tis those bldi Bunyips & Greenies that have the ears of ABC . they want all our beautiful bushlands/parks/beaches locked up for themselves. Errr have u tried the SUN-HERALD ? :-) bazzaoz
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:10

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:10
The Herald Sun is not a newspaper, it's a grubby little tabloid rag.
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Follow Up By: jduckmanton - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:21

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:21
Jimbo, the "Age" newspaper is more like a table cloth...only good for lighting campfires with.

John D
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:11

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:11
Welding.
Grinding.
Slashing.

All of the above are farm related.

I do recall a post about a chick, who tried to burn dunny paper, and it caused a large fire.

For the life of me Jim, I cannot see the reason to have an open fire in the hotter months. If it was allowed, can you imagine ALL the campers, burning their fires?

Shlt, it's hard enough to get them to deflate their tyres, and bury toilet paper, let alone leave them in control of say.... hundreds of little fires throughout the state.

Simple..... Fire Bans.

No exceptions.

I have lived through some horrendous fires, and seen a lot of death because of them.

I have rocked up at campsites late in the afternoon, and found smouldering fires from the mornings.

There is a time & place for everything.

Wolfie
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:16

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:16
Slashing????

I've always thought having a slash is a good way to put a fire out LOL.

Having a grind on a 42 degree day??

Perhaps when I was younger, but these days I'll settle for a cold beer.
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Follow Up By: ShnogDog - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 08:57

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 08:57
LAMO @ Jimbo, but agreeing with you wolf
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Follow Up By: ShnogDog - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 08:57

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 08:57
LMAO actually....
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Follow Up By: gramps - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 11:46

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 11:46
Are you into it already ShnogDog or is it just the lingering effect of last night's tipple LOLOL
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Reply By: Shaker - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:15

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:15
My theory is that they should NEVER declare days of Total Fire Ban!

It seems to be a trigger for braindead morons to light fires, you will note that most fires on days of total fire ban are in fact, deliberately lit.
It has been found that often fires are lit by firefighters, that is, mental deficients, who get their rocks off through fire, that have joined the fire fighting authority in their State purely for the purpose of being able to be in close proximity to the fires.
Sad, but true!
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Follow Up By: Member- Rox (WA) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 14:07

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 14:07
Yes I have always thought that too. If they declared a TFB & not told anybody just to get the stats I think there would be less fires. but I supose that is big brother.
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Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:20

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:20
Jimbo, I saw a police officer on the news tonight say apart from a lightning strike 3 things start a fire:

Men
Women
& Children.....

glad you're back safe and sound.....and

how much of the wood got burned :))

Lyn
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:44

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:44
Stupid cop to think theres only those 4 things.. Thats scarey that a cop could be so stupid as to say that publicly!

Cops... blow em....
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Follow Up By: Member - Andy Q (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:50

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:50
sorry guys it wasn't a cop but a fire officer
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:51

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:51
Even WORSE!

whats worse, Lyn cant tell the difference! LMAO!!!!
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 08:54

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 08:54
Men in Uniform are all the same, now Women in Uniform, theres a good thing
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Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:21

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:21
What's even WORSE Trucky is that you can't see his point....

and I'm sorry I didn't pay too much attention to the badge, I was listening to what was being said and cooking dinner....a woman's life is such a hard one...hahaha...

cheers fellas

Lyn
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:46

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:46
That was Bob Barry, local fire chief
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Reply By: simple - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:27

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:27
there was a fire mid last year in the top end, somewhere on the csr if i'm right caused by a campfire not properly extinguished.

yes thats great to abolish total fire bans because its the ban that encourages the arson not the weather conditions....?

the total fire bans also inform members of the general public that its not safe to do things such as have open fires, slash paddocks etc. and maybe even discourage irresponsible smokers.

try this
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:10

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:10
Thanks Mate,

That was exactly what I wanted to know.

Some Facts.

10% of fires are caused by unattended campfires.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:47

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:47
Most of these fires start when the campfire is left unattended or not properly extinguished
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Reply By: Member - David 0- Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:38

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:38
As Ann from Drysdale River in the Kimberly will testify, campers have started fires by incorrectly extinguishing fires.

Another one to add to the list and it is a real starter of fire in the Townsville region is tracer.

ie tracer bullets. The Army now has sgns advising troops when they must not use tracer on the practice range (a huge area of bushland west of Mt Stuart and Herveys range).
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Reply By: disco driver - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:42

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 20:42
Jimbo,

Haven't you said enough on this matter?????

Just because it is not illegal to have a camp fire in the middle of summer does not mean that it is a sensible option to have a campfire, just because you can!!!!!
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:01

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:01
Boring and Off Topic
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:07

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:07
A friend of mine had most of their farm pasture burnt out a few years ago - early summer and lost most of their summer feed. Picnickers (not locals) by the river thought it safe to light a campfire on the bare river bank - but it was a bad fire day and they couldn't have accounted for sudden wind gusts - nor the fact that campfires are illegal in the region in summer, nor the fact that it was a high risk day, and there was probably a fire ban on movement of vehicles in paddocks as it was that type of a day. No the picnickers were not incinerated, but a lot of someone else's property was.

In WA major fires have been started by power lines being struck by vegetation, or by shorting out causing pole top fires. This is very common cause of fires, small and large - probably several each years which have been extinguished quickly, but one just after Christmas year before last burnt out half our Shire, was encroaching on the town when several houses were lost. On the the same in other Shire a huge amount of pasture, property, etc, 2 lives lost. Western Power copped the blame for both of these.

When we were in SA just after the Pt Lincoln area fires, we were told that in the Eyre on high fire danger days they just turn off the power supply. We saw a fire started by lightening when driving through the Gawler ranges.

Don't light a fire - it is just not worth the risk.

"Paranoid about fire because i live in the country and have seen so much devastation" Motherhen
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Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:20

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:20
sparks from roaring great camp fires getting into dry overhaed trees or dry grass around area it doesnt take much of a spark
and its not normally the campers who perish

also spontaneous combustion in hay stacks
and even hay bay bales in the paddocks
thats why the bales need to be dry before stacking

steve
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:26

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:26
Fair point Steve,

But this was not the physical surrounding we were in.

On a more important note, how is Denny going with the non smoking? I hope she is still doing well, we've both been off them for about the same time. Is she using the inhalers?

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: GOB & denny vic member - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:31

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:31
goodday jimbo
yeah still off them and using both but prefers the chewy
i think she may have snuck a couple of smokes in while i wasnt around but its bloody hard thing to give them away

steve
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:41

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:41
As long as She's still off them most of the time it's got to be better for her and you.

I'm lucky so far and haven't had one. Jenny has the odd one when around smokers.

If you email me your postal address to jimbest at internode dot on dot net I'll burn a copy of a hypnotic disc which can also help. It helps with non smoking and also helps give you a good night's sleep.

Cheers,

Jim.
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 22:01

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 22:01
4 mths since my last one and my will to never touch another just gets stronger, used patches for 3 weeks but found I was getting through most of the day without them after forgetting to put one on so I ditched them.
Had numerous failed attempts to stop but something is different this time.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 10:13

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 10:13
Good on yer Ray!

My understanding is that the addiction to nicotine is stronger that the addiction to heroin. I stopped (I was a 30 a day man) 20 years ago and I rate it as one of the two most difficult things I have done in my life which is why I get a bit miffed at the holier-than-thou brigade (usually never been serious smokers) who think everybody should just stop.

As I said; it's 20 years but I could still smoke a cigarette without any problems at all - in fact I still enjoy the occasional whiff from someone else's cig :)

I think the secret is, once you've stopped for a month or two, to _NEVER_ have another one. I know for me it would only take one and I'd be back on 30 a day within 12 months.

Hang in there mate :)

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 10:33

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 10:33
Yes I know what you mean Mike, I could go one right now but that's where I've come off the rails in the past..."I'll have just one, it wont hurt"
before ya know it you're having just one every hour..arhh...hooked again
Well this time it's different, I stopped 4 mths ago and haven't touched another. My mind is like a rock on this...you could'nt pay me to have just one smoke......but really I'm just a wimp, my two little daughters are so happy I'm not smoking that I just couldn't face them with a fag in my face :)
congratulations on the 20 yrs, a great effort and so much more $$$$$
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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:56

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:56
When two chemicals explode due to their non compatibility with one another ....LOL
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:59

Friday, Jan 06, 2006 at 21:59
Ah, and isn't that the cause of the majority of the World's issues??
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:42

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 00:42
This was always one I pounded into kids heads when I was running DG Training in the RFS...

Dont go throwing masses of water at it cause its a truck on fire LOL..

As for causes they are so wide spread, it could be a list 100's long.

As for you have never heard of a campfire starting fires, believe me, it happens quite often, sometimes we are lucky, and the brigades get ontop of them early enough to save things, othertimes, we are not so lucky and people lose houses, cattle, fences, 100's of acres of crops, etc.

You have never been out wheeling and come across a campfire thats not been extinguished totally? bleep we have come upto Huts with fires blazing away with nobody in sight.. Crazy bleep .

As said above, reason for total fire ban, is to stop plonkers thinkin its ok for them to burn off that rubbish, or that log BBQ. Blanket ban is the best way to do it, even if the wording isnt the best.

This was always a good one.

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Reply By: fisho64 - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 01:47

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 01:47
Mate it may be that 10% only (or whatever the heck it really is) are caused by campfires, but this is the easiest 10% to eliminate (but after listening to the attitude here though it might be easier to ban lightening??)
Just like with speed limits, just cause it is 110 kmh max doesnt mean its smart or intelligent to drive at that speed when its foggy etc.
As has been said here already, it is pretty well accepted here in WA that you dont light fires in the summer.
The way you carry on, you expect CFA to get a lawyer to examine if your fire is legal or not?
Get over it, find who the fire guy is and apologise to him, you never know he might even accept it, being the festive season and all.!!!
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Reply By: Notso - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:08

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:08
And Finally, Catalytic Converters are a classic cause of fires. They get extremely hot and if you drive over Grass etc that comes into contact with the Catalytic Converter she's away.

Some diesels have them now as well, but on the Nissan it is right up near the turbo so shouldn't be a problem
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:09

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:09
Jimbo, as I recall the large fires west of Ballarat at Dereel around 4 years ago were caused by a campfire left unattended and there were lots of locals looking for blood. Mostly the bush was burnt but it did heaps of damage.

I don't think any drunken campers have ever caused a bushfire, but theyve fallen into fires many times, seen heaps of burnt feet and thongs (not the type you're thinking of, the ones you wear on your feet, the others would be painful if burnt)

Trees falling over power lines is also a cause but very much less these days than in the past.
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AnswerID: 146949

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:41

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:41
oh dear you have fired up the jaded memory of a bad experience long ago when 3 sheets to the wind I stepped bare foot into a camp fire on the beach....badly burnt foot, one month off work, had to use a crutches to get around could not drive, daily visits from a nurse.
Please do not remind me again.
Have a nice weekend Geoff
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:48

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:48
I do recall sitting around a lovely fire at Red Rock onthe Norder Ttrack Ray and melting the soles of my boots which I still wear, ahhh yes memories, thanx for that one Ray
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:53

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 09:53
hahaha, yes that is still a very strong memory, bloody funny when I think about it, looking at your boots and seeing smoke...nothing like a nice warm campfire Geoff...hehe
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Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 17:45

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 17:45
I dunno Jimbo, drunken mobs do funny things with fire. On the bright side it's idiots like these that keep me in a job.

Last one out is the loser.....



Dave
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Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 23:15

Saturday, Jan 07, 2006 at 23:15
In my experience it's not normally the big roaring fires from "A Mob of drunken campers" that gets away but rather a pile of ash left unatended the next day with a bit of wind blowing embers 5 to 10 metres into some dry grass. Have found at least a dozen unnatended fires left to burn on dangerously on hot days in the Vic high country with 1 that had actually started to burn the adjacent bush. The campfire is not normally the problem when people are around. It's the fact many can't be bothered poaring a bucket of water over it before they go to bed or leave next morning because it looks out.
Cheers Craig......

Caledonia fires were from a camp fire.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 00:12

Sunday, Jan 08, 2006 at 00:12
We can't stop lightening, and we can't change the weather, but the PREVENTABLE factors are all human.
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