AuthorTopic: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires  (Read 35359 times)

Offline RE

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https://www.npr.org/2019/11/22/781941219/in-australia-stubborn-fires-shroud-cities-in-smoke-and-menace-koalas

In Australia, Stubborn Fires Shroud Cities In Smoke, Char Terrain And Menace Koalas
November 22, 20192:16 PM ET
Colin Dwyer 2018 square


Residents defend a property from a bushfire earlier this month in Taree, north of Sydney.
Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Fires are laying waste to wide swathes of land across Australia on scales that are tough to comprehend. In the southeastern state of New South Wales alone, where about 60 fires remain ablaze, the infernos have consumed some 4,000 square miles of land — or an area roughly eight times the size of Los Angeles.

Authorities say the fires there have left at least six people dead and around 600 homes destroyed, and New South Wales is far from being the only region racked by fire. Scores more bushfires have torn through thousands of square miles in the states of South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, where a single blaze — among many — has claimed dozens of square miles and continues to burn.

All this, and Australia still hasn't reached the peak of its traditional fire season, which usually doesn't happen until January and February.

This year has seen "the second driest January-October period on record" in Australia and the driest in more than a century, according to Andrew Watkins, senior climatologist at the country's Bureau of Meteorology.
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"And unfortunately that's been compounded by the fact that we've had a very warm year to date," he added, calling the first 10 months of the year the "hottest on record."

It's no fluke: Authorities say most parts of New South Wales, where fires have raged hardest, have been suffering drought for more than two years. Coupled with high winds and temperatures, this has created what one fire official earlier this month called a "tinderbox-like conditions across much of the state."

Much of New South Wales, Australia, including the Sydney Opera House, lay under a shroud of smoke Thursday. The state remains under severe or very high fire danger warnings as more than 60 fires continue to burn within its borders.
Cassie Trotter/Getty Images

It has also made for a rather surreal — and downright unhealthy — scene in the state's biggest city, Sydney. For days, the metropolis has been draped in the cloak of a thick, smoky haze beneath a blood-red sun. And local officials have advised vulnerable residents to stay indoors whenever possible.

Outside city limits, another population has found itself in danger: koalas.

A dehydrated and injured Koala receives treatment at a koala hospital in Port Macquarie, after its rescue earlier this month from a bushfire that ravaged an area thousands of acres large.
Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Social media has been flooded with images of the distressed marsupials, battered and burned by the raging fires. The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in New South Wales put out a plea for help late last month, saying even then that hundreds of koalas likely had already died because much of their habitat in that area was claimed by fire. Earlier this year, the Australian Koala Foundation estimated that there were no more than 80,000 of the animals still in the wild.

In a bright spot, since publishing its call for donations, the hospital has received more than $1.2 million from supporters on GoFundMe — far exceeding its original $25,000 goal. But the long-term effects on the koalas' prospects are far less hopeful, according to ecologist Stephen Phillips.

"You're left with a very small group that survive," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last month, saying it was likely that up to 70% of the breeding populations in some areas had already died.

"It has certainly set the general recovery objectives of conservation back a long time, probably 10 to 20 years in some instances depending on the scale of the impact."

A firefighter walks through the haze produced by a wildfire racing through Hillville, Australia, earlier this month.
Sam Mooy/Getty Images

The widespread disaster has put pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Critics say his government hasn't done enough to address the impact of climate change on Australia, a major issue in last spring's election.

Morrison himself, despite acknowledging the effects of climate change on the fires, recently denied a link between the country's carbon emissions and the blazes charring large swathes of its landscape.

Such a response isn't likely to satisfy advocates such as the Climate Council, which published a report on the subject last week.

"For more than 20 years scientists have warned that climate change would increase the risk of extreme bushfires in Australia. These warnings have now become reality and we are seeing communities paying the price," Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said in a statement accompanying the report.

"We need the Federal Government to urgently develop a plan that prepares Australian communities as well as health and emergency services for escalating fire danger," she added. "We must also rapidly phase out the burning of coal, oil and gas which is driving more dangerous fires."
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Offline RE

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🔥 Cave Fire in Southern California forces thousands of people to evacuate
« Reply #181 on: November 26, 2019, 04:04:10 PM »
CA BBQ!

RE

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Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #182 on: December 05, 2019, 07:24:26 PM »
Info on How we measure fire ratings in Oz.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McArthur_Forest_Fire_Danger_Index

https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/bans-and-rating-faqs/#Differ

Info for the scholars:
https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/21914760?q&versionId=26402708

JOW

Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #183 on: December 09, 2019, 01:50:41 PM »
Sydney and North coast of NSW still copping it with fires.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-10/nsw-bushfire-fears-as-weather-forecast-to-deteriorate/11780390
https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me

First warm day in Melbourne yesterday and power dropped below 210v. (Aus supply is 240). Signs of what we can expect when grid put under severe pressure once heat waves hit in summer.
Still quiet on fire front in Vic. Some down South East of state.
https://www.emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/

JOW

Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #184 on: December 09, 2019, 04:54:44 PM »
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2019/12/10/nsw-fires-threat-heat-warning/
Sydney not good.

JOW

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #185 on: December 09, 2019, 05:36:24 PM »
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2019/12/10/nsw-fires-threat-heat-warning/
Sydney not good.

JOW

I wonder how my old neighborhood is doing?

RE
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Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #186 on: December 09, 2019, 11:34:10 PM »
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2019/12/10/nsw-fires-threat-heat-warning/
Sydney not good.

JOW

I wonder how my old neighborhood is doing?

RE

Pretty sure all the low end brothels around the Rock area are fine. ;D

JOW

Offline RE

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #187 on: December 10, 2019, 01:04:08 AM »
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2019/12/10/nsw-fires-threat-heat-warning/
Sydney not good.

JOW

I wonder how my old neighborhood is doing?

RE

Pretty sure all the low end brothels around the Rock area are fine. ;D

JOW

Howz Bondi Beach doing?  That was our regular beach to pick up girls.

Simon who was 16 and had a  license to drive took us in his "Rolls-Cannardly".  Rolls down the hill, can hardly get back up again.  lol.

RE
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Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #188 on: December 13, 2019, 11:12:37 PM »
Bondi is still a plastic beach full of plastic people and tourists. Fires not near the coast. Most are out in the Western suburbs where the non-beautiful people live...
Sydney is covered in smoke due to the lay of the land. Its a big basin surrounded by mountains so smog and smoke can get really bad on clmer days.
https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me

Perth and WA is copping it right now:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-14/yanchep-and-two-rocks-bushfire-could-burn-for-days/11800060
https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au/

Hot weather in West is coming our way later in the week.

JOW

Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #189 on: December 14, 2019, 11:17:36 AM »
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2019/12/14/nsw-bushfire-conditions-to-worsen/

Yah....

JOW

Offline RE

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🔥 California governor rejects PG&E bankruptcy reorganization plan
« Reply #190 on: December 15, 2019, 01:02:33 AM »
Privatize the Profits, Socialize the Losses.

Capitalism Strikes Again!

RE

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-wildfires-pg-e/california-governor-to-decide-on-pge-bankruptcy-plan-idUSKCN1YI038

December 13, 2019 / 6:00 PM / Updated 3 hours ago
California governor rejects PG&E bankruptcy reorganization plan
Tom Hals, Steve Gorman


(Reuters) - California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday rejected a bankruptcy reorganization plan submitted by PG&E Corp (PCG.N), the state’s largest investor-owned utility, saying its proposal fails to meet the requirements of a recently enacted wildfire law.

The decision by Newsom, sent to PG&E in a letter, complicates the company’s push to exit bankruptcy and provide billions of dollars to victims of devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018 sparked by the utility’s power lines.

The embattled utility now has until Tuesday to further amend its plan to Newsom’s satisfaction, but his criticism of the reorganization package as it was presented by PG&E a day earlier was sweeping.

Newsom said the plan lacks “major changes in governance” and tougher safety enforcement mechanisms mandated under the state wildfire statute, known as Assembly Bill 1054, which was enacted in July.

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The governor also said PG&E’s plan, including a proposed $13.5 billion settlement with victims of wildfires blamed on its power lines, would leave the company with a weakened capital structure and “limited ability to withstand future financial and operational headwinds.”

“In my judgment, the amended plan and the restructuring transactions do not result in a reorganized company positioned to provide safe, reliable and affordable service to its customers, as required by AB 1054,” Newsom wrote.

PG&E, in a statement after release of the governor’s letter, disputed Newsom’s findings that its reorganization plan fails to live up to the criteria of the wildfire law.

“We believe it does and is the best course forward for all stakeholders,” the company said. “We’ve welcomed feedback from all stakeholders throughout these proceedings and will continue to work diligently in the coming days to resolve any issues that may arise.”
FILE PHOTO: California governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference in San Diego, California, U.S. October 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Mike Blake

State approval of reorganization plan is a necessary step before PG&E can submit the proposal for a vote by creditors and final approval from a bankruptcy judge in San Francisco.

PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January citing projected civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion from wind-driven blazes in 2017 and 2018 sparked by its equipment. Those included a wildfire last year that killed 85 people and destroyed the town of Paradise, ranking as California’s deadliest wildfire on record.
BLACKOUTS FOR SAFETY

In recent months, PG&E resorted to widespread power shut-offs that left hundreds of thousands of its customers without electricity for days at a time during periods of extremely high winds and dry conditions.

But the blackouts enraged consumers, regulators and politicians, including Newsom, who accused PG&E of failing through greed and mismanagement to invest in proper maintenance and upgrades of its power system over the years.

PG&E has denied putting profits ahead of public safety but acknowledged it needed to do a better job of protecting the grid from fire hazards.

Newsom had floated the idea of a state takeover of the utility if it failed to satisfy his demands, and has insisted that whatever entity emerges from bankruptcy must be “completely transformed” and more accountable.

The governor’s finding that PG&E’s reorganization plan must comply with the new law, AB 1054, is a prerequisite for the utility’s proposed civil settlement with wildfire victims.

The law creates a wildfire liability fund that investor-owned utilities can access for wildfire claims, provided the utilities contribute toward the fund and make a combined $5 billion, five-year investment toward improvement in their electrical grids.

To participate in the fund, PG&E must exit bankruptcy by June 30, putting intense pressure on the utility to resolve its complicated Chapter 11 quickly.
FILE PHOTO: PG&E works on power lines to repair damage caused by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo

Prior to its $13.5 billion deal with victims, the company recently reached an $11 billion settlement with insurance companies and a $1 billion settlement with local governments for fire losses.

Bondholders led by Elliott Management opposed the reorganization plan championed by PG&E. However, the $13.5 billion compensation package agreed to by the utility - more generous than expected - makes it much more difficult for bondholders to upend PG&E’s plans.

Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware, and Steve Gorman in Culver City, Calif.; Editing by David Gregorio, Bill Tarrant and Sandra Maler
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Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #191 on: December 15, 2019, 03:25:07 PM »
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-15/nsw-bushfires-video-terrifying-homes-lost-around-mt-tomah/11800652

No rest up in the fires.

JOW

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🔥 Backburning near NSW ‘mega fire’ destroyed up to 20 buildings
« Reply #192 on: December 16, 2019, 04:03:30 AM »
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2019/12/16/backburning-mega-fire-gospers/

News State New South Wales
1:24pm, Dec 16, 2019 Updated: 7:20pm, Dec 16
Backburning near NSW ‘mega fire’ destroyed up to 20 buildings

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/u6jbx0vlRiE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/u6jbx0vlRiE</a>

Firefighters say buildings were lost when the fire flared on Sunday. Footage: ABC
The New Daily The New Daily @TheNewDailyAU

Up to 20 buildings are feared damaged or destroyed in a huge bushfire north-west of Sydney that the NSW Rural Fire Service says started when it lost control of a backburning operation.

The homes of firefighters are thought to be among buildings destroyed when a controlled operation aimed at preventing the spread of the Gospers Mountain “mega blaze” breached containment lines on Sunday.

The affected properties are thought to be in the Mount Wilson and Bilpin areas.

“There was backburning in the area and unfortunately, due to the conditions they’re burning in, it’s taken one ember to cross over the wrong side and that’s where it took a run and it was escalated to emergency warning and then we have had reports of homes lost in the area,” an RFS spokeswoman said on Monday.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said earlier said that of the affected properties might belong to local service members. Assessment teams were expected to determine the exact damage on Monday.

The sprawling Gospers Mountain fire – which has burned 380,000 hectares – stretches from the Lithgow area in the west, through the Hawkesbury area and towards the Central Coast in the east.

It was at “watch and act” alert level on Monday afternoon having been downgraded from emergency on Sunday.

The RFS spokeswoman said the backburning losses were “absolutely unfortunate” but she added such operations were critical to help contain the vast fire before hotter conditions arrive later this week.

“If we don’t [backburn] then there’s nothing to stop this fire, and there’s heavily residential areas that it will look towards moving towards over the next days and weeks,” she said.

Endeavour Energy on Monday said 450 customers were without power in the upper Blue Mountains after the Gospers Mountain bushfire damaged powerlines.

Affected townships include Bilpin, Berambing, Mount Wilson, Mount Tomah and Mount Irvine.

Mr Fitzsimmons described it as an “awful scenario”.

“We have reports of dozens of building, structures having been damaged or destroyed,” he told Nine’s Today Show.

“We are just not sure on homes and outbuildings and sheds and those sorts of things. I am hearing reports that even our local members – and it might be our local captain – have lost their home last night trying to defend their local community.”

A heatwave forecast for this week would make for an “extraordinary amount of work still to go”, he said.

    For up-to-date information on all fires in NSW, click here

Fires have already consumed almost three million hectares of land across NSW this season, supported by hot, dry and windy conditions.

Some 724 homes, 49 facilities and 1582 outbuildings have been destroyed. Six people have died and 2.7 million hectares have been scorched.

“The drought is having an absolutely profound effect on the vegetation, and its flammability. We are seeing fire burn effectively unimpeded under windy conditions,” Mr Fitzsimmons said.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast severe heatwave conditions for most of NSW throughout the week.

With more than 100 fires burning in NSW the RFS said it was particularly concerned about conditions from Wednesday onwards.

“There’s going to be a lot of work going on over the next 24 hours to try and just see what we can do to protect as many properties as we can, but people should be under no illusions,” RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said on Sunday night.

“We’re going to have to get through this next week of really hot weather with these fires being very active.”
gospers mountain backburning fire
Firefighters protect a home north-west of Sydney from the Gospers Mountain fire a month ago. Photo: AAP

Ahead of soaring temperatures, Western Sydney Local Health District on Monday warned residents to keep well hydrated and cool to avoid heat-related illnesses and check in on elderly friends, neighbours and relatives.

“Extreme heat conditions can have serious impacts on peoples’ health,” WSLHD Centre for Population Health deputy director Christine Newman said.

As well as protecting homes, the RFS has been trying to save the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens in Mount Tomah.

Most of the 28-hectare garden is safe but there has been some damage to plant collections and infrastructure.

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill urged those in the affected areas to check on anyone living alone or who is less mobile.

“It is my fear, given the fires around our community, that we have very difficult weeks ahead. I am sorry to say that Christmas 2019 may not be free of the tension we all know too well,” he said.
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Offline RE

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🔥 'Megafire' the size of Greater Sydney bearing down on homes
« Reply #193 on: December 16, 2019, 04:20:07 AM »
It's TOASTY in Sydney!  :o  Hotter than HELL!   :evil4: :evil4: :evil4:

RE

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Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Reply #194 on: December 19, 2019, 12:20:37 AM »
NSW still copping it bad.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-weather-live-updates-rfs-prepares-for-bushfires-as-extreme-heatwave-hits-state-20191219-p53lbc.html
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-19/nsw-bushfires-sydney-smoke-and-heat-live-blog/11812822
https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me

Not good.
So far so good in my area. Fairly quiet in Vic so far. (7pm Thursday)
http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/
Site is updated in real time so could be different by the time you view.....
Tomorrow, Friday is the day we all hold our breath again, and its only fucking December!
I have a real bad feeling about this fire season, not to mention future seasons....
Get all the climate change deniers out on the fire lines I say.

JOW

 

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