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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bushfires in Morton National Park - update

This evening I took my courage in my hand and dialled my friend Tony who lives on the edge of Morton National Park, south-west of Bundanoon. He lives on the end of Teudt's Lane, Bundanoon. Tony told me that the fires were about 2 Km south from his place, and perhaps a little to the east, which is good for him, as the prevailing winds are still north-westerlies.
Late afternoon view of the smoke - from my place.
The green patches are farms along
Myra Vale Road, near Fitzroy Falls
This link will take you to the Fire Hotspots site (focussed on Bundanoon). Click on the "roads" box in the top right hand corner to see Teudt's Road, relative to the closest fires. Use the " - " slider on the left of the image to zoom out to see all the fires in the wider district.

There is a possibility of a southerly change overnight, which could possibly cause problems for the village of Bundanoon. Lets hope not.
As sun set, the wind dropped.
That allowed the smoke drift to stay confined.
It makes a more dramatic photo.
As I mentioned the possibility of arson in yesterday's post, I ought acknowledge that Tony assured me that the fires were in fact sparked by lightning - last Sunday. Obviously it was a small localised thunderstorm, as we didn't receive it in Robertson.

Lets hope the predicted cool change brings some relief overnight, and to the bushfires generally across the State. Today's high (in Bowral) was 34.7 Degreecs C. Info. courtesy of Andrew and Anne-Marie's Weather Station Website. It is excellent!

According to the news, the NSW Rural Fire Service are using helicopters to water bomb the fires, which is good. They dd not do that when the fires which burnt through to Nowra in 2002 started out burning in similar country. I am all in favour of early intervention in bushfires in this wild country. In that bad fire, they waited for a week or more, and then brought in all the "equipment" when it was already well and truly out of control. "Phil the Hero" waited to the very last minute on that occasion. There is a different guy in charge now - thank goodness.

I wished Tony all the very best for the next few days. He is very well prepared for fires, (which is essential where he lives). He is a member of the local Rural Fire Service Brigade, and he also understands the need to seek shelter out of the forest - if necessary. There is nothing which I can do from here, except wish Tony and Carmen all the very best, and hope the fires spare them.


mick said...

The smoky photos are terrific but I'm glad I'm not in the middle of it. Its a real worry when you and your neighbors are the ones to stop or control the blaze as the local rural fire brigade! I've experienced it a few years back - and my best wishes are with your friends right now.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick

Its easy for me to write about this, as I am a long way from the fires, and surrounded by rainforest, which is in little risk of flaring, unlike a Eucalypt forest.
But I do share your concern for Tony and the people of Bundanoon.
This morning's reports are better. Cool weather has arrived, and from the "Hot Spots" map, the fires have cooled down. Lets hope the Water Bombing can bring it right under control.
As a matter of interest, I am back in thick fog this morning, after some drizzle overnight. So, right now I could not take the photos I have done the last 3 nights.

My Town said...

Love your site Denis, and great fire photos from Bundanoon Fire. Without wanting to be seen as a pedant, once again NPWS have been overlooked in public commentary re this (Gulp Rd Fire) and other fires. NPWS had 3 helos and 2 fixed wing air tractors working the fire from early Monday morning and were actually holding the fire until weather conditions got the better of them. As it did with the 2002 fires. NPWS crews had been working the Hylands Fire for many days with helos, before weather beat them once again and the fire ran from Yalwal to Nowra. What is often misunderstood is that resourcing of fires depends very much on how they are classed. The current Gulp Rd Fire started out as a Class One Fire, meaning it was the responsibility of a single Agency, in this case NPWS. As it progresses through Class Two and Class Three, more Agencies become involved, just as there is an upscaling in resources available to fight the fire. Wish I could post some of my fire photos from '02!
Hope you keep up the good work with this's fantastic.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Pat, and welcome to my Blog.

I really appreciate your technical input to this discussion. Although I know many NPWS people, I was not aware of the heavy involvement of the NPW Service, via the aerial water bombing, and no doubt many ground staff as well.

The Media would have us believe that it is the RFS (alone) which is involved, and I am happy that you are able to set the record straight.

I would love to see any photos of the 2002 fires, which I understand you might not be able to publish.

I may be emailed via my profile page.

Great to know you appreciate what I am trying to do here, on my blog. Its all about education, one way or the other.


Gouldiae said...

G'day Denis,
Stay safe.