Fires in Australia

Carolla

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I'm thinking of our friend @Pilgrim's Progress as I'm watching coverage of the bush fires in Australia on TV ... coming closer to Sydney now. So I just wanted to say "stay safe" PP - thinking of you.

Australia, California .... so many fires. :cry:
 

PilgrimsProgress

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Thanks, bushfires are a constant threat here in Oz. (Unlike our North American friends, we say bushfires not wildfires).
Today the warning is "catastrophic" - the first time its been used for the Sydney region.

I rang my sister yesterday - who lives in outer Sydney bordering on a National Park and she and her husband have hoses ready on both sides of the house........
I asked my neighbour Sam what should we do in the unlikely event of the fires reaching us? He said to jump into the bay and swim. (Being surrounded by water is a blessing, that many can't avail themselves of in this dry, dry land.)

Climate change is already with us. Our "normal" fire season starts in Summer - not Spring. California has had an extended fire season this year, too.

I've only been in a bushfire once - and it was terrifying. My husband and I were holidaying with family at Wombeyan Caves. I was alarmed when we saw the smoke - but as we neared the caves there were trees on fire on both sides of the road. It happened very quickly, and we were fortunate to make it in the car to the caves. The Rangers came down to the camping area and told us it was too dangerous to travel out on either road, but we would be safe in the caves -and, if necessary, they would take us deep into the caves..
 

Carolla

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Thanks Pilgrims for checking in ... keeping you in my thoughts, as we have a very early snowfall here today!
 

PilgrimsProgress

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So far, so good -the national radio keeps us up to date in fire season.......
Seems the strong winds will come in about four hours time.
It's important not to leave your home at the last minute -as, in the bush, there's often just one road in and out. In the past, that's what happened, and many lost their lives in their vehicles.

The rule now is, if you decide to leave -leave early, taking your meds, and a few day's clothes to the nearest evacuation centre.

If you decide to stay, have a fire plan. Get rid of leaves in the guttering, hose your house down, shut all the doors and windows -with wet towels to block out any gaps. Go to the opposite side of the house, and find a room that should offer the most protection from the fire, wear fire protective clothes, and have water available.....
 

Northwind

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Thanks for the update @PilgrimsProgress. Fires are terrifying. Large fires in Alberta in the past few years created similar conditions where there was only one road in or out. It's amazing to see evacuations go well under the circumstances.

I hope the fires are contained soon with minimal loss of life and homes.
 

Carolla

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And meanwhile, here in my neighbourhood, we've had unprecedented snowfall on Nov. 11, with record low temperatures forecast for tonight. The city has issued its first 'cold weather alert' of the season & opened warming centres.
 

Seeler

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I too have been thinking about Pilgrim – I follow her on Facebook. Some of her stories about being caught in bushfires, or what to do if you decide to stay in your house and try to save it, are downright scary. I don't think I could do it; I would likely panic and try to run away – probably the worst thing a person could do. Stay safe, Pilgrim.
We've had snow and cold weather in New Brunswick to. It looks like another early winter; last year winter set in an October before we had the leaves raked. Usually it's late November or sometime in December before we see the final freeze up. Climate change is affecting different parts of the world differently. And it seems more extreme in whatever direction it is going, and changing faster than we can adapt.
 

Waterfall

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I suppose it doesn't help that Australia has a prime minister that refuses to see the link of the bush fires to climate change and continues to support the coal mining industry. Of course we have our own climate change deniers in Canada, as does every country.
 

Waterfall

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If you decide to stay, have a fire plan. Get rid of leaves in the guttering, hose your house down, shut all the doors and windows -with wet towels to block out any gaps. Go to the opposite side of the house, and find a room that should offer the most protection from the fire, wear fire protective clothes, and have water available.....
I'm remembering the Grenfell Towers apartment fire in the U.K......the tenants were told to stay in the apartments while firefighters fought the blaze.
There is no chance for escape IMO if a roaring bush fire is coming towards your home...the gov't needs to say the only plan to stay alive is to get out....there is no plan B.
If you need to leave, please do so Pilgrims.
 

PilgrimsProgress

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I'm remembering the Grenfell Towers apartment fire in the U.K......the tenants were told to stay in the apartments while firefighters fought the blaze.
There is no chance for escape IMO if a roaring bush fire is coming towards your home...the gov't needs to say the only plan to stay alive is to get out....there is no plan B.
If you need to leave, please do so Pilgrims.
The Grenfell Towers were the result of faulty cladding material - I doubt, since that disaster, anyone would stay inside if there's a fire.
Bushfires are more complex. What often happens is that mothers and their kids leave - but the men are often members of volunteer rural fire brigades and stay to save lives, houses, etc. It's often embers -that can travel far in strong winds - that burn down houses. Firies on the scene save many houses by being alert to embers. Often, after a fire has passed through, you see some houses saved - and the house next door or across the street is lost......

That said, I'd always leave - but I live by the water and can afford house insurance. Many others are not so fortunate.....
 

PilgrimsProgress

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I suppose it doesn't help that Australia has a prime minister that refuses to see the link of the bush fires to climate change and continues to support the coal mining industry.
Our Prime Minister, who is a Pentecostal Christian, is only interested in "the economy".........
Oh, and he often wears a baseball cap - sound familiar?
 

PilgrimsProgress

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Climate change is affecting different parts of the world differently. And it seems more extreme in whatever direction it is going, and changing faster than we can adapt.
Exactly..... I'm quite pessimistic about where we're heading.......
 

PilgrimsProgress

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It's also disturbing the way the media exploits the fact that fear sells......

In the U.K. Daily Mail, it was reported that up to 200,000 homes COULD be lost in Sydney. There are a helluva lot of British folks who have relatives in Oz. I have an English brother-in-law who lives here now. He was inundated with concerned emails, phone call, texts from relatives.

And, as for me, even that atheist chansen, was concerned...... ;)
 

Luce NDs

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It's also disturbing the way the media exploits the fact that fear sells......

In the U.K. Daily Mail, it was reported that up to 200,000 homes COULD be lost in Sydney. There are a helluva lot of British folks who have relatives in Oz. I have an English brother-in-law who lives here now. He was inundated with concerned emails, phone call, texts from relatives.

And, as for me, even that atheist chansen, was concerned...... ;)

Gotta love the Ire Attic ism ...
 
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