2009/2010 Fire Season - News

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2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Sniper on Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:11 am

Taken from Herald Sun online

Black Saturday bushfires could hit again, John Brumby admits

JOHN Brumby cannot guarantee Victoria will not suffer another catastrophic fire season with high causalities and property destruction.

The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) has warned that fire conditions this summer will be even worse than on Black Saturday on February 7, when 173 lives were lost and more than 2,000 properties destroyed.

Asked if he could guarantee there would be no repeat of that disaster, Mr Brumby said only that efforts would be focused “100 per cent'' on making the state fire ready this summer.

“I can't be clearer about the single objective that I believe we all have, as a state, as a community, and that's to make our state fire-ready,'' he told reporters.

“We may be lucky, we may get a wet winter and a wet spring and we may have a relatively good fire season, but all of the advice at the moment is that this will be as bad, if not worse than anything that we've seen in the last decade.''

Mr Brumby was speaking at the Whittlesea Secondary College, where 60 students lost their homes on Black Saturday and 20 members of the school community died.

He said controlled burns would accelerate during spring and the fire services would benefit from more resources and improved communications.

The bushfires royal commission is due to hand down its interim report on August 17.

“The prognosis in terms of this year's fire season is that it's going to be a very, very tough fire season again,'' Mr Brumby said.

“If there's one single task that the state's got between now and January/February (it) is to prepare for the next fire season and that is going to take an intense effort right across the state.''

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  hillybilly on Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:34 pm

There's a measure of fuel dryness which the "firies" use to measure the potential for fuels to burn called the KBDI (Keetch Byram Drought Index). As used in Vic it goes from 0 which means the soil is saturated to 200mm (which means that the soil needs 200mm to reach saturation). There's more about it here - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keetch-Byram_Drought_Index (though keep in mind different countries have different "versions").

Anyway values higher than 150mm are typically associated with severly dry conditions and highly stressed large vegetation/trees. Values above 100mm are typically indicative of vegetation which may burn under the right conditions. In a normal year the whole of Victoria will see values get close to 0 in winter (which means the grounds pretty wet - at least in the top layers) and then slowly approach 100-150mm through the peak of summer.

Anyway - to cut to the chase the values just to the Melbourne are currently 133 while in Mildura they are 151. These value imply underlying dryness which is typical of the peak of a hot dry summer.

It is no understatement that we desperately need rain.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Sniper on Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:34 pm

And those indexes were out of this world on Feb 7 with some areas over 300.

Does anyone have any Vic maps with historical burn info, say from 2000 onwards. This along with KBDI indexes will determine what areas will be in the highest fire danger this season. I know the answer will be most areas, but communities need to be targeted by authorities to again raise awareness. We humans are very resilient and progress from life changing events, ie. September 11, Black Saturday etc.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Sniper on Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:15 pm

I should have read the Herald Sun website before I made comment about targeting communities.

A HIT list of high-risk towns, fixing radio black spots and changes to the "stay or go" policy are in a new CFA action plan.

But the Country Fire Authority (CFA) has also admitted the $54 million for a new radio system, and $20 million for a new paging system would not be ready for the coming bushfire season.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  hillybilly on Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:58 am

And those indexes were out of this world on Feb 7 with some areas over 300.

Almost but not quite sniper. You are talking about the Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI) or Grass Fire Danger Index (GFDI) which measure the intensity of the fire weather (or the the difficulty of controlling a fire if it gets started). The FFDI values got above 300 west of Kilmore on Black Saturday. Unbelievable the GFDI got to 800 in western Victoria.

A number of 50 is extreme (it's darn hard to control a fire) and 100 means it is essentially impossible. 800 means???

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Sniper on Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:17 am

Thanks for the pick-up HB! Smile

800 = Hell on earth.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Karl Lijnders on Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:44 am

There is no doubt in my mind it is going to be a shocking summer. We need whopping spring rainfall or cool summer otherwise there will be further tough times to come.
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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Power Storm on Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:37 pm

Karl Lijnders wrote:We need whopping spring rainfall or cool summer otherwise there will be further tough times to come.

I think it will be a shocker too. I cannot see cool temps, infact above average likely, though I think we will see a fairly active storm-season, better then the last anyway...

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  hillybilly on Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:38 am

Some nasty fire activity currently going on in the NH. The western US/Canada event has been a scorcher smashing records by large margins.

Kamloops in British Columbia has been in the high 30s for the last week. Also a July record (33.2) as far north as Whitehorse (this is a pretty impressive number for 61 N and 700m elevation).

A few more tid-bits...

CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/07/30/bc-090730-heat-record.html

"... Vancouver's heat wave as the mercury hit 34.4 C Thursday, beating the old mark set just the day before.
On Wednesday, Vancouver baked under a high of 33.8 C, shattering a record that went back to 1960.
'It's incredibly rare for something like that to happen,' CBC meteorologist Claire Martin said in reference to
all-time temperature records falling on successive days..."

and

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2003/08/03/916064.htm

Also has been extremely bad in southern Europe and north Africa with temperatures upto 47C in southern Italy.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Karl Lijnders on Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:52 am

Also some fires raging through Turkey as well with gusty winds and high heat. Hopefully not a sign of things to come.

47-48C is deadly as we know!!!
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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  hillybilly on Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:49 am

Sadly, it appears that fire activity is noticeably increasing in all the areas on the edge of the westerlies as summers get hotter and dries out the forests. In Canada the area burnt by wildfires has increased by about 50,000km^2 per annum (that's 5 million hectares) over the last 40 years in response to a 1-1.5C warming in summer temperatures. For the nerds more can be found in GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 31, L18211, doi:10.1029/2004GL020876, 2004.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Sniper on Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:23 am

It has been announced today that the following towns where enhanced township bushfire protection plans will be implemented.

Aireys Inlet (Aireys Inlet/Moggs Creek/Fairhaven/Big Hill)
Andersons Inlet (Inverloch, Venus Bay, Waratah Bay, Walkerville)
Anglesea
Barongarook, Barwon Downs, Bemm River, Bendigo
Blackwood, Blairgowrie, Bolwarra, Breamlea,
Cann River, Carlisle River, Castlemaine, Cockatoo, Creswick
Dandenong Ranges, Daylesford, Deans Marsh (Bambra/Pennyroyal)
Dereel, Dunkeld,
Eaglehawk
Forrest
Gembrook, Greendale
Halls Gap, Hepburn
Jan Juc (Jan Juc/Bellbrae), Junortoun
Kangaroo Flat, Kawaren
Lavers Hill, Loch Sport, Lorne
Macedon, Maiden Gully, Mallacoota, Marengo
Mt Helen/Mt Clear, Mt Macedon
Nelson, Noojee
Peterborough
Rye
St Andrews, Sandy Point, St Arnaud, Steiglitz
Trentham
Upper Beaconsfield
Warrandyte/North Warrandyte
Woodend and Wye River (Wye River/Kennett River/Separation Creek)

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  droughtbreaker on Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:38 pm

Should go without saying that these towns will have protection plans. Seems like they did a lot of environmental analysis to come up with a list of towns that 'Blind Freddy' could pinpoint as being of the highest risk.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  hillybilly on Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:22 am

Worth keeping a close eye on things in NE NSW and SE QLD the next 3 days. Record high temperatures, low humidity, a long dry spell, and high winds could make for some nasty conditions.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Karl Lijnders on Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:20 pm

I noticed a large scrub fire coming back from the western suburbs this afternoon towards Ascot Vale. Looked quite large.

Anyhow also saw a forecast of smoke haze for Sydney. Not sure if there are any active fires, but perhaps more burning off in the region??
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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Karl Lijnders on Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:17 am

Fire Weather Warning
for the Mallee forecast district.

Issued at 9:46 am EST on Saturday 12 September 2009.

A fire weather warning for Saturday is current in parts of the Mallee forecast district. Temperatures up to 32 degrees, relative humidity down to 9% and winds to 45 km/h will cause extreme fire danger.

CFA advises people living in areas at risk of fire to activate their bush fire plan.

The next warning will be issued by 5:00 pm EST Saturday.
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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  hillybilly on Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:46 pm

A very large number of incidents today. Quite amazing to see a series of grass fires in central Vic despite all the rain of the last week http://cfa.vic.gov.au/incidents/incident_summary.htm .

Just shows how hot and dry the winds have been today.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  hillybilly on Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:55 pm

Not sounding too good in NSW today - http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sunday-telegraph/lucky-escape-as-bushfires-rage/story-e6frewt0-1225772369693 . Amazing to see Sydney well into the 30s so early.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  hillybilly on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:47 pm

Turns out that the FFDI reached into extreme at Melbourne on both Friday and Saturday with the "heatwave" Shocked That is the earliest this has happened on record.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Power Storm on Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:16 pm

Thought the following might be interesting.

-------------
Changes to the Bureau's Fire Weather Warnings and Forecasts
About weather services | Safety | Definitions
The Bureau of Meteorology is changing the way fire danger is rated within its weather forecasts and warnings.

What's changing?

The Extreme category is being divided into three levels - Severe, Extreme and Catastrophic (Code Red). These new levels are based on the Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI) and the Grass Fire Danger Index (GFDI).

The new Fire Danger Ratings.

Severe fire danger will be indicated when FFDI/GFDI is between 50 and 74;
Extreme fire danger will be indicated when FFDI/GFDI is between 75 and 99; and
Catastrophic (Code Red) fire danger will be indicated when FFDI/GFDI is 100 or above.

FIRE DANGER RATING

Category Fire Danger Index

CATASTROPHIC (CODE RED)
100 +

EXTREME
75 – 99

SEVERE
50 – 74

VERY HIGH
25 - 49

HIGH
12 – 24

LOW – MODERATE
0 - 11

(Note that in Western Australia the threshold between High and Very High will remain at FDI = 32)

Where to find fire weather warnings from the Bureau.

Fire weather warnings for all States and Territories are available in the warnings section of our website http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/warnings.shtml

Click on your State for information about what to do in a bushfire.

| ACT | NSW | QLD | NT | SA | TAS | VIC | WA |

More details. http://www.bom.gov.au/weather-services/bushfire/fire-warnings-oct-2009.shtml

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Power Storm on Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:08 pm

From, http://www.bushfirecrc.com/news/releases/outlook0910.html

Victoria
Above normal fire potential is expected for all of Victoria; a result of a persistent long-term rainfall deficit over the state. Forested areas in the Dandenong Ranges, Otway Ranges, the Grampians, the Macedon–Bendigo corridor, East Gippsland, and the water catchments of Melbourne are areas of particular concern. In all regions an early start to the fire season is likely. While recent rainfall totals in many areas of the state have been about average, it is not expected to mitigate the longer-term drying in the state.

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Karl Lijnders on Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:23 pm

Fire Weather Warning
for the Mallee forecast district.

Issued at 4:15 pm EDT on Sunday 1 November 2009.
Monday:

Extreme Fire Danger [75-99] is forecast for the following forecast district:
Mallee
Maximum temperatures around 39 degrees, relative humidity down to 10% and winds averaging 40 km/h are expected. CFA and DSE advise that some fires will be unpredictable, uncontrollable and fast moving.
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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  firestorm on Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:13 am

a few significant fires around today in the states east 150ha one at cape conran and a 550ha one just 2km west of mallacota. i fingd it strange there is no real info on dse an cfa websites regarding this fire! Anyone have so info?

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  Power Storm on Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:20 am

I was about to post the same thing up mate, but I could not work out whether or not they were planned burns or not. The DSE site is confusing, it has the fires shown, but its also on the 'planned burns' section.

But anyway, 62 trucks are in attendence the fire west of Mallacoota, only 6 for the other large blaze near Orbost.

Found this story from Sky News:

Two bushfires have broken out in eastern Victoria as heatwave forecasts raise fears of a horror fire season.

A 700-hectare blaze broke out near Mallacoota in East Gippsland on Saturday and a fire stretching 50 hectares has been burning for several days southeast of Orbost.

Both fires are burning in national parkland and are not threatening properties at present, Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) state duty officer Peter Billing said.

He also said he expected DSE firefighters to bring the blazes under control relatively quickly.

'The fires are going but conditions are benign and they should be contained in a little while without too much trouble,' he told AAP on Sunday.

However, the current heatwave - the first of the season - that will see temperatures above 30 degrees hit much of Victoria over the next week would 'rapidly change the bushfire situation', he said.

'The rain that we had in September and October is rapidly drying out and will do so over the next fortnight,' he said.

'We can't see when the next rain event will be, there is nothing forecast at the moment.

'It was still raining this time last year, it didn't get dry until January, and the hottest part of the year is not far away.'

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Re: 2009/2010 Fire Season - News

Post  stormysky on Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:00 am

apparently there are strike teams being sent to Mallacoota. I think it is concerning that there is not a lot of information regarding these fires on either the cfa site or the dse site. even if they are not threatning private property a fire of this size should have more info listed about it.
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