May be indirectly car related - hope not.

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alan s
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May be indirectly car related - hope not.

Post by alan s » 19 Jan 2003, 06:22

As some of you may have read or heard, we are presently in the middle of the biggest drought in history over here. Unfortunately we have had just enough rain over the fast growing period to cause the grass to grow rapidly & then wither & die just as quickly which has presented a new hazard; fuel for fires. As of yesterday, we have been hit with the spectacle of fires raging through our National Capital with a reported 400 homes destroyed and 2000 families evacuated. Amongst some of the strange feats of nature have been fire storms burning so fast & fiecely that they are travelling above the tree canopy in the forests, fuelled by resins & gasses from the trees below them which means they can't be fought; all they can do is stand and watch as the fire races towards its next victims.
Canberra, the capital, is the home to a lot of very keen motor car enthusiasts and collectors & fears are that a lot of very valuable classics have been or are in danger of destruction from this rampaging fire menace. Records show these as the worst fires in over 100 years, the time that records have been kept and hardened fire fighters are appearing on TV with mouths almost quivering in fear of what they've seen and what could still happen. It's not nice!! I am approx. 1000 miles away & we have been covered in a smoke haze for 2 days; that might give you some idea of the size of this disaster.
I realise it's not a car subject but often when on the other side of the planet living in an entirely different set of circumstances, it's hard to comprehend the enormity of these things so I thought I'd pass it on out of interests sake. Also spare a thought for those thousands of motoring enthusiasts who are sitting & praying that they'll come out the other side of this.
Here's the news item from Todays TV news.
And the only website I can get to go today to give a small insight into a car crazy territory (which may not be everyones cuppa tea) but it's big believe me, is...
Hope a few of you find that a bit of general interest.
Alan S

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Post by allmond » 19 Jan 2003, 19:01

It is being reported over here, caught a bit of it on the news last night. I saw a clip of some desperate people throwing kitchen rubbish bins of water at a burning tree on the other side of the road from their house - pretty ineffectual. Your account of the fire above the tree tops brought it home a bit more though.
Thanks for the insight!

alan s
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Post by alan s » 19 Jan 2003, 19:17

The picture has become even scarier. At one point yesterday, it was considered a possibility that the entire Capital was going to go.
I don't know how up to date that news link is but they have lost medical centres, fire stations even an observatory that is an historical piece. All of their infrastructure is in tatters.
I have friends down there & the fire came to within 100 metres of their home. This might sound like a long way but those fires were really fierce so much so that I have been near them at various times and I can tell you at 100 metres, the heat would almost cook you alive. It's shaping up as one of the greatest disasters in the Country's history and there is no sign of any rain up to next weekend. The conditions were so rare that it is the type of event they claim that a variety of contributing factors makes it only happen every 100 - 200's what they refer to as a "fire storm." Rains fire instead of water.
Alan S

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Post by Dave Bamber » 19 Jan 2003, 22:31

I've been following this on the news over here all week and my thoughts are with you guys.
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Post by shaunthesheep » 20 Jan 2003, 02:05

i also have been following the news over here, my thoughts are with you all over there,
but don't worry you will all be ok.
hope you get some rain before next weekend.
take care

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Post by B_Draper » 20 Jan 2003, 02:40

I've not been following the news for the last few days and so have heard nothing of this.
I'm sure forum users of Andy Spares will join me in saying our thoughts are with you in this crisis. I hope the fire-fighters get on top of it soon.
Has Australia requested fire-fighting help from the international community or do you reckon it is simply a case of waiting for the fire to die?

alan s
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Post by alan s » 20 Jan 2003, 03:21

Thanks for that everyone. As I say, I'm a thousand miles away from it but have a lot of friends in the vicinity so the phone bills are on the up.
As far as any other help goes, due to our location and the enormous area of scrubland we have here, there are thousands of volunteer firefighters, well trained in bushfires available countrywide, but as one of the pollies said yeaterday, if we'd have had thousands of firefighters & thousands of fire engines available, there was still no way it could have been handled. They already had imported from US a couple of mega sized purpose built helicopters to water bomb and they were even somewhat ineffective. NZ firefighters experienced in fighting mountain bush fires arrived yesterday.
There's always a few unusual stories come out of these things that boggle the imagination; must be where movie script writers get them from, but it was reported that a fireball parked itself on the roof of one house and the horrified owners knew this was "it." The roof area started to burn when all of a sudden the solar hot water system on the roof exploded and............put the fire out. If I were them, I wouldn't be buying any raffle tickets for a while; they've used up a life time of luck in one go there. When you're fighting impossible odds you need a bit of luck occasionally.
As far as the density of the smoke went & why it is now covering a large proportion of the Country; at 3 pm, it was so thick that the area of the city it was passing over went so dark that it was literally like night time and street lights triggered, automatic night lights turned on & cars were all driving with headlights full on. It's first hit on Saturday, burnt out 65,000 hectares which = approx. 165,000 acres. That's a lot of real estate!!
Alan S
Edited by - alans on 20 Jan 2003 01:19:12

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Post by tomsheppard » 20 Jan 2003, 14:43

Best wishes to you all. Our fingers are crossed and our hopes are with you.