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Dusty Plains

Living with Bushfires 2019-2020.

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If you live in Australia, then you are usually aware of the danger of bushfires. We have all been bombarded with a myriad of advice and warnings etc, of what to do, such as to make our own plans etc. in the event that we are threatened by bushfire.

This thread however offers more useful information, on a continental basis for newcomers to Australia.

Generally, the bushfire threat can be anticipated quite accurately (and historically) on the basis of latitude across the continent. That is, fire activity in August and September tends to be in the higher latitudes such as Queensland and Northern NSW.  If that occurs, as it is currently occurring, then it can ba a precursor to serious situations later on,further south.

October to November tends to see fires along the mid North Coast of NSW and parts thereof within inland NSW. November / December and early January see bushfires most active in the Sydney Region the Blue Mountains,  January typically sees fire activity on the South Coast of NSW , the Kosciusco Region, Brindabellas and Canberra, with fire activity moving south into Victoria extending into February and March.  This means that regional Victoria  and semi-regional areas such as the Dandenongs reach their peak danger periods.  At the same time, fire activity tends to enter dangerous phases in in South Australia, especially the Adelaide Hills, and in a similar latitude, the South West corner of the continent around Bunbury/ Margaret River area and some areas to the west of Perth.The Bunbury Margaret River area has had significant rainfall recently however, but hopefully that sustains the region through February march 2020 

March / Ápril is Tasmania's turn.

So that this is a discussion, for those of you that have a story to tell under the subject, or have an inquiry, then please jump in.

 

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My daughter and husband and 2 children lost everything in a bushfire and there has been long lasting effects on all of us. I would never live in a bushfire area, ever. It is a truly dreadful thing. My advice to anyone anywhere near a major bushfire is to get out- fast. Don’t think you can fight it because you can’t. Unpredictable, deadly and just generally heartbreaking.

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Tasmania can also encounter dangerous bushfires on an unseasonal basis, as early as February.

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13 hours ago, Dusty Plains said:

March / Ápril is Tasmania's turn.......Tasmania can also encounter dangerous bushfires on an unseasonal basis, as early as February

No,  January and February have traditionally been the bushfire months in Tasmania - they are the warmest and driest months.  All the most serious bushfires have occured in either of those 2 months.    However, with a drying climate in winter and spring, the danger period is starting earlier.  Several years ago there was serious bushfire on Hobart's eastern shore as early as October 11.  

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I was here in Canberra for the January 2003 bushfire/tornado.  Scary time, but it brought people together like never before.  

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On 02/10/2019 at 12:11, Skani said:

No,  January and February have traditionally been the bushfire months in Tasmania - they are the warmest and driest months.  All the most serious bushfires have occured in either of those 2 months.    However, with a drying climate in winter and spring, the danger period is starting earlier.  Several years ago there was serious bushfire on Hobart's eastern shore as early as October 11.  

The 2013 fires in Tasmania were still active and destructive in late April 2013

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55 minutes ago, Dusty Plains said:

The 2013 fires in Tasmania were still active and destructive in late April 2013

That year was very unusual - probably unprecedented until then - to have any fire of  concern after the end of summer.  Though it may not be so unusual in the future as we are in unchartered territory.  In 2016 and again last January we had fires (caused by dry lightning) in rainforest which was previously too wet to burn.    I'm very conscious of this as I live in bushland in Hobart and have lived through several fires here including the  February 1967 one which killed 60+ people and destroyed 1300 buildings.  Until recently we only had to worry about fire from Christmas until the end of February but the climate is definitely getting warmer and drier here so, if this continues,  it will extend the fire season.

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Posted (edited)

Australia, is the land of drought and flooding rains, and bushfires.

For the information of newcomers and new arrivals there are a number of designated areas that are deemed to be prone to bushfires. This does not mean that such areas and locations are expecting any fires soon, necessarily, and it also does not mean that Australia is wholly bushfire prone. It is not. 

The designation of a bushfire prone area (BFPA) is a measure taken whereby dwellings within such areas may be required to have some form, or numerous forms of fire resistance, significantly (often) above a standard dwelling in non-prone areas. This applies to new dwellings and usually to renovations, additions and similar structural works undertaken in respect of existing dwellings. Such measures are outlined in the Building Code of Australia, and in various state planning laws.

The bottom line is that building and construction costs associated with dwellings in BFPA can be significantly higher than normal. 

Another consideration is that during the cooler months fire authorities commonly carry out hazard reduction burning in BFPA. In the area where I live, the lingering smoke may hang around for days and some schools are closed due to the health hazard.. Bushfire smoke especially that emenating from hazard reduction burns can be dangerous to human health due to, in some circumstances, the high concentration of micro carbon particulate carried in the smoke. This is known to affect asthmatic people as well as those having similar respiratory issues.

If you are proposing to live in areas that are obviously "bushy" or there are Eucalypt forests which interface with urban areas, then it may be worthwhile contacting the local council enquiring if the vicinity is designated as bushfire prone.

Many people who do live in BFPA join the local Rural Fire Service, or the Community Fire Units (CFU) establhed by the Fire and Rescue services in most states. The groups also act as a great way to meet and socilaise with the locals.

During actual fires there are numerous sources available for you to access information.  The ABC, TV and Radio, is the official emergency broadcaster and public information during bushfires. You can also use the app. Fires Near Me.

If you have queries or want to know the experiences of Poms in Oz in relation to bushfires then you may find this thread helpful. If in doubt, always contact the local fire authorities on their business phone number, website, twitter or Facebook. They are very happy to provide the informtion you need. Its what they do.

Edited by Dusty Plains
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This applies to high cyclone prone areas, too.

Cheers, Bobj.

 

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On 02/10/2019 at 06:52, Bulya said:

I was here in Canberra for the January 2003 bushfire/tornado.  Scary time, but it brought people together like never before.  

Me too, very scary especially when they evacuated the evacuation centre, and over 3000 people, without a heads up that they were going to do it. A very dark day, literally and figuratively. I also did recovery in the Gippsland fires 2009 - miles and miles of Martian landscape and all sorts of horror stories from survivors. Then  my son and his family were totally burned out, losing everything, when the Snowy National Park went up in around 2014. Personally, bushfires scare the sh!t of of me. The problem with Canberra in particular is the green veins  that feed into pretty much every suburb. 

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Quoll you might remember the Boolarra fire then down in Gippy

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30* houses damaged or destroyed in the Rappsville area. There have been several news Items reporting one of the families that lost their house to the bushfires in Rappsville,  northern NSW, had actually moved there from Canberra after losing their first house in the Canberra fires in 2003. Those poor people? How do you come back from a double whammy like that?  

The fires did not even reach the tops of the trees in many areas.  They were low, wind-driven fires and obviously very destructive.

Edited by Dusty Plains

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5 hours ago, Dusty Plains said:

30* houses damaged or destroyed in the Rappsville area. There have been several news Items reporting one of the families that lost their house to the bushfires in Rappsville,  northern NSW, had actually moved there from Canberra after losing their first house in the Canberra fires in 2003. Those poor people? How do you come back from a double whammy like that?  

The fires did not even reach the tops of the trees in many areas.  They were low, wind-driven fires and obviously very destructive.

Poor buggers. I've met that before - actually in the Canberra fires iirc - one family had lost all in a fire in a more bush place and come to Canberra because it was safer and they didnt live right on the edge either. I guess bouncing back the second time might be easier than the first - you've done it before, you've replaced stuff and you're all still alive (just my theory) and hopefully you've learned the value of good insurance policies.

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On 04/10/2019 at 08:47, starlight7 said:

Quoll you might remember the Boolarra fire then down in Gippy

I worked on the Traralgon/Churchill fire back in 09/10 (cant remember which, any more).  Never seen such a martian landscape for miles and miles. Dont recall Boolarra, we were just west of that around Jeerilang, Koornalla and Traralgon South.  Was that where your daughter's place was? That scared me so much that I insisted that the DS make a fire shelter on his place at Cabanandra - he did but he didnt use it for people just his kero, ammo etc - it was the only thing on the block that survived, apart from a couple of ducks and an apple tree.  

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On 01/10/2019 at 23:21, starlight7 said:

My daughter and husband and 2 children lost everything in a bushfire and there has been long lasting effects on all of us. I would never live in a bushfire area, ever. It is a truly dreadful thing. My advice to anyone anywhere near a major bushfire is to get out- fast. Don’t think you can fight it because you can’t. Unpredictable, deadly and just generally heartbreaking.

It's not just Bushfires now ,here in Queensland this week, we were so lucky not to get burnt out ,And we are not in  Bushland  it was dead grass catching alight or some are saying  set alight by kids It's time they jailed them.Thank god for the Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade. And the Volunteer NES people. .They are the Legends of this Country .Not Millionaire Footy Players , Cricketers or any other sports people.And they get no reward at all .Some have even been sacked from their workplace for taking time off to fight fires and floods And ..AS usual   what follows  drought is the floods to come ,as sure as day follows night.

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14 minutes ago, Zack said:

It's not just Bushfires now ,here in Queensland this week, we were so lucky not to get burnt out ,And we are not in  Bushland  it was dead grass catching alight or some are saying  set alight by kids It's time they jailed them.Thank god for the Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade. And the Volunteer NES people. .They are the Legends of this Country .Not Millionaire Footy Players , Cricketers or any other sports people.And they get no reward at all .Some have even been sacked from their workplace for taking time off to fight fires and floods And ..AS usual   what follows  drought is the floods to come ,as sure as day follows night.

...........  and those bushfires in NSW apparently deliberately lit.  What is wrong with people.  You're right. Jail them for years.  Don't know how old the kids are who started the Qld fires but what happens to kids in this case?  Slap on the knuckles and behave yourself in future.  Pathetic.

With regard to volunteers being sacked from their workplace, State Law prohibits employers, including the state and its political subdivision, from discharging or discriminating against employees who are volunteer firefighters. 

Edited by Toots
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