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Monday, January 07, 2013

National Parks Closed tomorrow (Tuesday 8 January)

This message was posted earlier today by National Parks and Wildlife Service


All parks and reserves across the state will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday 8 January 2013, due to extreme and catastrophic weather conditions.
No one should enter any park or reserve tomorrow. All existing visitors, including campers, should relocate to a safer place by 9:00am on Tuesday 8 January if possible.
There will be no forced evacuations. Vistors remaining in parks and reserves should monitor media for updated information and be prepared to follow instructions from NPWS staff.
For more information:
In an emergency, dial 000.

Good advice.
Good planning by NPWS/

Emergency SMS messages (and automated voice messages) being sent out to all subscribers are now causing panic (I have had a series of calls and emails).

Trivia Night in Robertson has apparently been cancelled - FFS!

Really, this is simply not a rational response to the emergency situation.



Winds are predicted from the north-west.
Robertson - on the north-west side, is ringed by cleared paddocks for dairy farms and cattle grazing.

Our local forests are not prone to explosive burning as with dry sclerophyll Eucalypt forests of Victoria, or ACT or Tasmania. We have a few stands of Eucalyptus fastigata (the big Brown Barrels such as at the Show Ground corner. Apart from that, Robertson ought be pretty well secured.
Not all forests are equally prone to bursting into flames.
Wingecarribee Council does not understand that.
NSW Rural Fire Service are covering their own arses.

I have just sent this message to a friend (locally)

  • RFS is covering its own arse, because they are terrified of being found negligent.There was a recent court case (2 weeks ago) about the 600 houses burnt in Canberra in 2003. Court said they were negligent (rightly decided, in my opinion).
  • So they are putting responsibility onto the people.
  • I have had text messages on phone, etc.
  • Robertson will not burn easily. Our trees are very different from Victoria, or ACT or Tasmania.
  • Only stand of large Eucalypts is on corner of Show Ground. But even they are surrounded by rainforest trees.
  • Stay calm.
If in doubt keep your eyes open for signs of smoke, and keep the fridge stocked with cold water, and listen to ABC Radio (emergency broadcaster). 97.3 FM or 702 (AM band)
Do not panic.

If you feel the need to leave, leave early, not when a fire is coming down your road.
Do not panic.

The most recent RFS message I got said: "Not being in a bush fire prone area is your safest option."
I agree.
That's why I am telling my friends to stay calm.

Frankly, there is more danger from panic on the roads than from predicted winds and hence possible fires.
Fires are a risk, for sure, but only when they are actually burning - not the night before.

If and only if there is a fire to the north-west (windward) side should you regard yourself as being under threat from fire.


More general comments:

I would be much more concerned if I lived in Kangaroo Valley or especially in the Shoalhaven, but mostly because the forests there are prone to burning and are very dry.
But more importantly the only way out is along the Princes Highway, which is a shitty road, and is prone to long traffic blockages, south from Nowra and through the forests north of Ulladulla and then the long stretch south from Ulladulla, in the Murramarang National Park.

Those areas pose a severe risk, but the Government has yet to face its responsibilities for any catastrophe there.


Flabmeister said...


Thanks for introducing some sense into this matter.

You are spot on with the gluteal covering! We received an automated phone call from the RFS at 9pm last evening literally a screech of "1343Leave the area the day before." So where do we go? Bugger it, we're staying until we see smoke.

At least it wasn't the usual call from the RFS trying to sell us tickets in their raffle!!

The reaction of the Government reminds me of:
(i) Corporal Jones in Dad's Army rushing around like a headless chook screaming "don't panic"; and
(ii) the Dubya and Little Johnny tactic of terrifying the public to distract them from the failings of those politicians.

Here ends the rant!


Mr. Smiley said...

Stay safe Denis.

It's an awful situation and it seems to me to show the follow of all the prescribed burning that goes on when there is no threat. No amount of prescribed burning can stop these wildfire. Put the effort into catching arsonists and put them away for good!

Gordon of Robertson said...

I received that warning phone call last night after 10pm and hung up in 5 seconds in disgust. There is too much arse covering and not enough useful specific useful advice offerred by Government agencies generally. I checked the live Robertson weather station on-line and it showed a status of LOW for Robertson, changing to MODERATE mid-morning today. Not CATASTROPHIC.

But I understand that there are too many people blaming the Government when the individual does something obviously stupid.

The Government and agencies cover their arse because they have too to limit litagation.

If you want to live in the country or walk in national parks, cross a road prepare and consider risks.(Bit hard to assess getting shoot by recreational shooters though!)

Gordon - happy in Robertson.