bushfires again..........

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:19
ThreadID: 65794 Views:3084 Replies:16 FollowUps:22
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Pardon my ignorance, but why does this tragedy keep occuring every summer?

Yes backburning harms a bit of fauna. Yes containment lines clear some precious land. Yes 4wd'ers burn dead fuel. yes driving on fire trails keeps them clear and open.
4wd'ers can even relay info about tracks and maintenance needed long before a fire truck gets to it in a fire and says "Oh sith" we can't get through here!!!

What the hell is this government doing bowing to the greens for a few votes?
Bushfires are a reality, when are they going to realise this.
The cost to the community is huge.
Lives have been lost.

Build containment lines. Let 4wd'ers travel them to keep fuel down, tracks open and info available on demand.


Am I completely ignorant??? Is it not a viable solution to this yearly problem.

Before I climb off my soapbox, can we also introduce public flogging and then a life sentence for anyone caught delibarately lighting a fire?
Oh sorry about that last comment, I may have been slightly politically incorrect.
Perhaps we should counsel them, offer them sympathy and perhaps a few handouts because they weren't breastfed or their father was an alcoholic!!!
They still know right from wrong.
Flog the besturds.

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Reply By: Bekali - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:25

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:25
Just a guess that this tragedy keeps occuring not only by natural disasters but absoloute morons that light the damn things.

They caught one guys last night and word at this end of town (Doreen/Whittlesea) is that the kinglake fires were also deliberate - has not been confirmed by any means and could possibly be rumour.

I have no doubt however that at least some of these fires have been lit.
AnswerID: 348107

Reply By: Member - John G- Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:26

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:26
G'day Brian

Hear what you're saying and can understand your frustration and exasparation, but at the end of the day you nailed it with your statement "bushfires are a reality", and for Victoria at the moment, a human tragedy

AnswerID: 348108

Reply By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:27

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:27

Your dead right on what you say.the problem is the ones like National Parks,the brain dead greenies and the ones who are responsible for all maintanance.

And yes,the fire bugs need to be hung from the nearest tree.

As an ex firie i have seen the damage they cause.

AnswerID: 348109

Reply By: glids - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:35

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 09:35
Our thoughts and prayers to all in Vic and NSW currently suffering the fires.

In SA yesterday, we were very fortunate, There were a number of small fires and one medium sized, which the CFS and MFS got on top of quickly.

One action that I was pleased to hear about and may have had an impact was that the police visited known arsonists and kept them under surveilance.

Yesterday reminded me very much - no, too much! - of Ash Wednesday, 1983. I'm also an exfirey.

AnswerID: 348110

Reply By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:07

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:07
We made it. There are smouldering stumps and logs on the slope below our house, but stable.

Fires are normal part of living in this part of the world.

I have seen fuel reduction burns... only to be followed by a raging bushfire in the same area that summer.

The only real annoyance to me is that lots have been intentionally lit.

People have died. If they catch the person/s then at least a manslaughter charge should be laid.

I'm pretty wrecked at the moment and feel kind of guilty that we have ended up okay when others haven't.
AnswerID: 348118

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:15

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:15
its hard not to feel guilty.. I do and Im not near fires.

I remember in the Como/Jannali fire in bleep ney, we were the 3rd truck into Como..
We drove down the road, all houses over the cliff edge were gone upto a large brick garage.
As we drove towards it, the door to garage opened... 2 families came out... one looked left, to see just ash where their house was, the other turned right, their house was fine, blistered paint and cracked windows.

We checked them out, all were fine, no burns or injuries just a lot of shock...

What do you say to people in that situation... specially if you were in the shed with them.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:44

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:44
Good to hear that you and your family are safe, Royce

As far as we can ascertain all our family are safe after a number of calls to Victoria.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 13:22

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 13:22
Glad you got through it OK Royce.

Arson is 'potential mass murder'.


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Reply By: Member - Craig M (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:17

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:17
My thoughts and sympathies go out to those down south. I know how hot and nasty the weather can get. Maybe we could swap for a while?

We couldn't light a fire up here at the moment to save ourselves!

I even have to dry out the gas to get the BBQ lit :-)

AnswerID: 348121

Reply By: dags666 - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:26

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:26
its funny that the greenies dont like back burning becuse it causes damage to the forrest. well i lived for a while doing maintenance on the aboriginal houses on groote eylandt and they just burn off the grass before it gets too long.they just get out the car and lite it. doesnt allow the fire to get so hot that it destroy the tees and the animals have time to move on and eventually burns it self out. a lesson to be learnt no damage to the saplings and have no raging fires dags
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Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 15:52

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 15:52
From what I saw of fires up north in the dry, there is a mix of dry vegetation (mainly grasses) and semi green vegetation - one burns and the other survives, making an overall slow burn. Down here, the countryside is covered with tinder dry grasses and dead bushes and trees (from the drought) - and the green trees are highly flammable too.
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Reply By: wendys - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:32

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:32
Don't know that any amount of backburning or fuel reduction would have prevented a lot of what happened this weekend. e.g. Bendigo - fire in suburbs! A number of the fires were grassland - not pre-burnt because of stock needs. Fire service guy said on radio that, yesterday morning, they were expecting problems in Otways, Dandenongs and Mornington Peninsula. These turned out to be the least of their problems! Fire is unpredictable and a "natural" part of our environment. Or it would be if not helped along by sick morons who should be shut up for a long time and then electronically tagged for life!
AnswerID: 348126

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:34

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:34
I firmly believe the reason for fires lit by firebugs stems from the continued action of the media and the fire authorities them selves.
You only have to listen to the radio or watch TV and you will hear them broadcast "Today is a Total Fire Ban" so the F/bugs hear that and it helps to put in motion their one tracked brain and off they go and light a fire, There would be less fires if the media could learn to SHUT UP,
But of course we all know most fires are started natural , either by storms or broken bottles lying in the sun, maybe a fried possum drops from the power lines ,

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Follow Up By: Matt Watson - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:47

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:47
Then you would just end up with idiots setting the fires by mistake. Some people have no sense, if the government does tell them its not safe to light a fire, they will assume it is.
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Follow Up By: Louie the fly (SA) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:49

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:49
Doug, I think your assumption is probably not far off the mark as to why some people light fires. Encouragement!!!

"Potentially the worst day on record for bushfires" So the fire bug says you beauty, I'll light a fire and watch it all on the telly.

We had it in SA Friday and yesterday, where the media said the same things. But in our recent run of days over 40° and strong hot northerlies, I thought yesterday was an average (albeit hot) day. I agree, the media just need to keep their gobs shut a bit more and not encourage these imbeciles.

Last year we had a local in an adjacent town charged with lighting over 20 fires in this area. Put her away for good we reckon.

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Follow Up By: Louie the fly (SA) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:55

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:55
Matt Watson, there's a bloke that lives about 5 km down the road from me, on the main road thru our area. A couple weeks back my son & I were coming back from somewhere in the afternoon. It was a total fire ban that day and this joker was outside his shed, which is basically on the side of the road, using a friggin arc welder. Can you believe that?. A few days later two of the guys from work, who travel together and go home that way, saw him using an angle grinder and oxy, again on a total fire ban day.

Some people just have shyte for brains.

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Follow Up By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:56

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:56
We vote for who runs the country why cant we vote to have these fire bugs put to sleep for ever. People power.
Travelled through that country end of Dec i can understand how people were cought out. My thoughts are with the people affected.God Bless

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Follow Up By: Matt Watson - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:01

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:01

Absolutely can believe it, the guy that lived next to us (on 5 ache bush blocks) did the same thing with an angle grinder about 15 years ago. Stinking hot day, he is out in the middle of the bush with a freaking angle grinder cutting up some metal. Of course, he started a fire, lucky for him we saw it almost as soon as it caught, and were able to put it out before it had got any heat up.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:35

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:35
Doug your comments have a ring of truth to them. A classic example was a few weeks back when FESA announced that the next day would be an Extreme fire weather day and for everybody to be vigilant.

Yep it brought out all the morons and Kings Park went up in smoke, then Yanchep NP, then around the Armadale area, and then Bridgetown/Manjamup area.

I'm a Fire Control Officer for our Shire and we are on standby and will have standby crews on station today and the rest of the week due to the current strong winds and the forthcoming high temps. We prepare ourselves as volunteers and our community to prepare and prevent fires, that is all we can do. No amount of brow beating or media advertising will stop a dick-head with a match. Only the public and that is the non-arsonist public's vigilance and continual outrage will stem the instances of deliberately malicious fires.

With respect to hazard reduction burning; DEC here in Perth have a huge political fight on their hands. Not only with the "Green ' movement, or environmentalists, or the politicians, but with every mum and dad etc who raise merry hell every time there is a controlled hazard reduction burn. Problem - smoke causes visual pollution, hard for asthmatics and other breathing problem people, smoke stinks, visual pollution of the burnt ground, environmental effect of loss of habitats, the odd dead tree and shrub, introduction of weeds, etc etc.

Benefits of HRB is obvious. Mosaic burns reduce the possibility of large fires being generated, low fuel areas reduce the fire intensity, burning promotes growth in some species. But most importantly HRB in the correct regime and along rural/urban interfaces save lives.

Stay save.
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Reply By: Member - Kevin J (Sunshine Coa - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:55

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 10:55
We must all feel for the people who have lost their lives in these disastrous fires and those who have lost family and friends. The magnitude of the grief is not necessarily in the numbers.

While the obvious questions are being asked it is difficult, if not impossible, to build firebreaks which would contain fires such as there were in the last few days. Certainly there may have been a bretter outcome if the access was better and if more backburning was done in the 'off' season however nature is a powerful beast and once fire has been released on the environment in conditions like yesterday there is little that can be done but run.

The issue of what to do with those caught lighting fires is yet another issue for the wider community to take on board. When I was younger there were no crocodiles in the creeks and rivers near the towns because everytime one came close someone took a shot at it so it went away. Not suggesting that we shoot the arsonist - even if they do deserve it - but the charge IMHO should be murder with a penalty- not jail, but serving 5 years in a burns unit full time. Then set about policing the lesser crimes of throwing cigarette butts out of the car window. 99 times it may be ok but if the 100th time causes a fire like yesterday??

Just a thought. A 2.5m pipeline from Nth Qld to Vic to fill all the dams along the way. Then we could put spray lines around our towns to be used when the fires were coming. How's that for an idea to take up the recession slack. A Snowy Mtns scheme on a grand scale. Think of the employment building the extra dams with the surplus mining equipment. Using our own iron ore for the steel pipes. Building houses for the workers along the way.

Ok off the soap box and all that aside just how do you console or help those who lost special people yesterday?

Kevin J

AnswerID: 348131

Follow Up By: Member - Wayne David (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:22

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:22
Kevin J

Not sure if your idea of a pipeline is a 'pipe dream' or not. However I've had similar thoughts myself and wondered 'is it possible'?

Crazy isn't it? Here we are with water galore up North that could come in very handy right now. But then how to reverse it when Qld needs the water and South are in flood? Mmm.

But I like where you're coming from & the recession could be just the excuse we need for such a grand project.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:44

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:44
I'd be happy for a pipe from Nth Qld to the NSW/Vic/SA river systems...
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Follow Up By: Member - Wayne David (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:01

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:01
Truckster (Vic)

Too right!

The question for me is 'why aren't we doing it'? Expensive yes. But the benefits seem enormous (to me anyway). Is it do-able?

Then of course we have the other plus that the Snowy River could then have more water - that currently goes West - diverted to it to restore it to it's former glory. Well........closer to it's former glory.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 13:41

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 13:41
Agree totally on the pipeline. This has been a source of frustration to me for yonks!!

During and after the wars, we built the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Great Ocean Road, the Snowy River scheme just to name a few. With the billions that KRudd is giving away, there would be enough to get a pipeline started (and finished???). As KevinJ said, BHP would sell pipe, people are employed, small towns and communities grow (taking the pressure off cities) ... so many benefits, and we end up with a massive and valuable piece of infrastructure.

But, sadly, politicians these days have less foresight than Stevie Wonder. What can we do? Nothing, I fear.

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Follow Up By: solo20 - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 13:50

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 13:50
What?? You want us to work our way out of the recesion and actually put usable infrastructure in place??????lol Sounds like a good idea to me but then do you think Kevin would do that if there is a chance he would run out of money to buy ice for his Chardonnay ha ha
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Follow Up By: Angler - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:40

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:40
Probably easier for the qld pipeline than the WA one as it would only have to be pumped over the range and into the darling river headwaters.
Now that would do lots of good all year round.
Providing of course the cotton farm was closed down.

Pipe dreamer
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Follow Up By: Axel [ the real one ] - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:49

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:49
solo20 , Kevin will never run out of money to buy ice for his Chardy , Therese has plenty of the folding stuff, and truth be known Kevin prefers a beer ,,,,
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:38

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 11:38
The dream of a pipe line from Lake Argyle to Perth has been on the books for donkey's years. Bean counters on both sides of the political fence at various times have pooh barred it. MAYBE ONE DAY
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:17

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:17
The only environment that can survive conditions like they had yesterday in Victoria is a barren wasteland. Backburns - cleared corridors etc are useless in the face of such wind and the showering embers way in front of the actual fire. Nobody wants to live in a treeless moonscape, so everyone is effectively gambling with nature, daily. Sometimes we lose.
AnswerID: 348138

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:33

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:33
Thankyou - I'm glad there's at least one person here, who undestands the reality of the extreme weather in Victoria yesterday.
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Reply By: Member - Kevin J (Sunshine Coa - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:26

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:26
It is well documented in Queensland at least that a bloke by the name of Bradfield once suggested that all the northern rivers be turned inland instead of pouring out to sea.

One of the foreseen problems was that this would/could cause lasting damage to the Great Barrier Reef and decrease the sea levels because the water was being diverted.
How the world changes. We now have environmentalist screaming about the rivers causing damage to the reef and the sea levels flooding everything because of global warming.

I don't know if it is do-able but Qld's Capt Bligh has already spent $9 billion on pipelines between the puddle holes in the SE corner. One good dry and they would all be out of water. We are building desalination plants which are a problem before thay are commissioned and pipelines which have leaks before they are used. Is it do-able? Ask a visionary because politians would not have a clue and their advisors only tell them what they want to hear.

As I hear it there have been plans drawn up to increase the Burdekin dam wall by 6m but all indications are that it will be increased by 3m when funds become available. Did not see any allocation in $42B package so assume it is still on the waiting list. 6.2 million litres per second going over the existing wall to flood another lot of people out of their homes as I write.

I've got to get a life ---- or a beer, and I think I should give up reading/watching the news.

The only thing I can change is me and what I'm doing.

Kevin J.

AnswerID: 348140

Reply By: Member - Kevin J (Sunshine Coa - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:45

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 12:45
Just had another thought.

With all our coal miners digging these massive holes and then having to fill them in again to leave dirty great de-graded landscapes just maybe we could insist that they leave them as dams for irrigation or just because...

Some of the holes are the size of Sydney Harbour and twice as deep.

More surface moisture usually means more rain?

Ok I think too much.

Kevin J
AnswerID: 348143

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 13:32

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 13:32
"Am I completely ignorant?"
In yeterdays case well...... No containment line, no amount of back burning was going to stop this one going with those conditions, in fact many fires started in suburban grassland & once in the trees were spotting 5 to 10 km's ahead of the front! How wide do you suggest the containment lines should be?
Yes more controlled burns could have lowered the intensity & permanent cleared areas (not unlike along the Thompson Dam ridge) would give fire fighters an edge but yesterday nothing was going to stop that.
I honestly think that those who choose to build houses in the bush need to take more resposibility & put a few more precautions in place. Standing on their roofs in their shorts & thongs cleaning the gutters out as the flames come into view is not a fire plan.
In the coming weeks & months these unfortunate people are going to need a hand to get back on their feet. In the past, 4x4 clubs have assisted in fence repairs & property clean ups & suggest everyone vollunteer where they can.

Best of luck to all those directly involved. Craig.............
AnswerID: 348149

Follow Up By: Nargun51 - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 14:15

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 14:15
I live in the Dandenongs, and for most of us in our street, the preparation for summer commences in September. Our block is as free of fuel as it can be without making a moonscape.

Doesn't stop the next door neighbour having blackberries growing along the fence line

The CFA spends quite a lot of time and energy educating the community about fire plans in the hope that people will take responsibility. One of the fire plans they promotes is that if you can't protect your house is get out at a 7 am in the morning and spend the day away from the area in air conditioned comfort.

Yesterday was bad, as the fires started and took hold in a couple of hours. People hadn't the time to impliment a fully thought out response.

Today, I took the dogs for a walk to shop and still watched the Sunday morning progression of modded 4WDs and cars towing trailers with off road bikes heading up the road to Gembrook (the eastern end of Bunyip State Forest)
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 14:33

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 14:33
Amazing how with the weather conditions as they were that people were still going camping, driving & riding like there was nothing wrong. I was working up in Murrandindi area restoring power yesterday & Liney's mentioned there were bike riders heading up behind the mill less than 10 minutes before that fire started there. To go riding today in the bush one would have to be an ignorant fool.
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Reply By: x - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 21:19

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 21:19
For those advocating 'backburning', and blaming greenies have a look at Victoria on Google Earth. Most of it covered in eucalypt forest. Are you really advocating the back burning of the whole state?

Have you ever experienced the intensity of a firestorm racing toward you at 100 kph with embers blowing km's ahead of the firefront, starting spot fires with flames leaping 100s of meters into the air. If you have then you would realise how ridiculous the suggestion that containment lines, and firetruck access along 4WD tracks is.

With high winds, temperatures in the high 40s and very low humidity the only defence against bush fires is clear felling the whole state. You don't need to be a greeny to see how stupid that idea is.

'Am I completely ignorant???' Yep

AnswerID: 348230

Follow Up By: briann532 - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:14

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:14
Encouraging words bob.
Do you by any chance write childrens books for a living?

Greenie or just rude?
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:37

Sunday, Feb 08, 2009 at 22:37
. . no, just someone who understands the reality of how extreme yesterday's weather was.

Firetrails and hazard reductions help greatly in ordinary and in bad fire conditions - not in extreme conditions.
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