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Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bushfires in Penrose State Forest (again).

There is a pall of smoke hanging over the Shoalhaven Valley, south-west from my place. I first saw traces of smoke late in the afternoon, yesterday. This morning, my friend Kim rang me and asked where the fires were, as she had just left Sutton Forest, heading to Sydney, and looked back and saw the huge clouds of smoke.
The ridges visible here are south-east from Fitzroy Falls
The smoke is drifting from the south-west beyond Fitzroy Falls.
I was able to reassure her that the fires appeared to be further down the Shoalhaven Valley, beyond Bundanoon. That's good for Kim, but not so good for residents of Bundanoon, Penrose, etc. Click this link for a detailed "hot spots map". Click the "roads" box in the top right of the screen, to get a map, showing place names.

The prevailing winds are light, and westerly, at present, so that ought take the fires further down into the wild parts of the Shoalhaven Valley. Almost impossible to fight fires in there.There is always a risk that a strong westerly might drive the fires across towards Nowra, as happened seven years ago. Lets hope it is brought under control before that happens (again).

For readers elsewhere in Australia, wanting to check out the entire map of Australia, to check for fires, in your own area, this map system is based upon the Google maps. Maps are searchable by place names, navigable (N-S-E-W) and zoomable to very localised levels, even showing road names as well, if you click on "roads".

This is an extraordinary resource, which deserves to be better known.

Incidentally, one wonders why there are fires in the Penrose forest (again). To the best of my knowledge, there have been no lightning strikes in recent days, and no strong winds likely to cause sparks from powerlines. Smacks of idiocy or possible arson, to me.


Duncan said...

Thanks for the link Denis. Arson is very prevalent nowadays unfortunately, the perpetrators deserve stringing up.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Duncan
For people like us living in rural areas it is often impossible to get real information from Metropolitan-based Media.
As I speak, the ABC Local Radio is broadcasting wrong information about the location of the fire - and that is coming from the NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner - but he is based in Sydney, and would not know the local area.