Saturday, January 03, 2015

January Fire Risks Victoria 2015

This site is NOT meant to be definitive about HOW YOU should respond to BUSHFIRE risk .
This POST is just a brief note WITH CHECKLIST at bottom ( Why necessary ? Because "much advice is best "and because many who work HIGH risk territory ( like the authors)  would not want anyone to be left to the media machine and practices of the government of this day- many of us used to work FOR them when they worked better,
Much advice and much LOCAL advice and phone contact should be sought .

Question Kids ask naturally are we at risk ? ( to MUM or DAD),,,Answer  ,  If you have big native trees or bush nearby-- YES you are and esp if its to the north or west of YOU   see posts below and links

Why this confusion?
Unfortunately with the intense love of the bush, there is a bit of denial . Time to give this up for realism if you live near bush and ...........leave early - if you can . If a bush fire is near or day progressing  you leaving maybe too late . In old days someone would often  come and tell you if it made sense to do so and where to go.
---Maybe ask your CFA friends  to do that because in this days and age of all talk and no responsibility you have few  better guarantees

Should you trust the government?  Well YES BUT sadly NO -----to the extent that trees have become sacred in their eyes , they and their processes TOO are in denial  PLUS they don't really understand and commit to local risk management ( its a local thing YOU have to be in charge of ) use own resources eg phone ; the internet and specific sites can go down as will some communication lines .Find a TWITTER feed that makes sense to you if you use it .( less likely to go down and quick)

CHECKLIST ( not definitive )

  1. Wise up and trust your own judgement and those who live with similiar risks nearby  .
  2. Carry woollen blankets, overalls ,phone nos ,lots of water and chainsaw ( if you can) in any car you use 
  3. Carry LOCAL resource phonenumbers .low use local web and weather links eg
  4. If you do go somewhere safe , plan to come back late ( usually less risk) 
  5. Expect electricity outages. If need power/ water supply find other sources, store water in smaller containers  
  6. Add here ........................

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When is it reasonably safe to stay where you are when bushfire front hits?

Difficult to give a definitive, but as a guide ONLY .Get more advice on your local situation and the nature of fuel in your area .Assumming a fire front and wind from the north or west .
1. In a car     when the grass around you is low and no native forest within 30 metres ( preferably more )The higher the timber, the greater the distance needs to be between you and the fuel .If stuck ,stay in the car and cover yourself with a woollen blanket . If you have to get out wear overalls .
2. In a house Much the same as above but houses will be much more susceptible to windows breaking and embers starting fires on the ground or in the roof .If there is no tall easily burnt fuel to the north or west of where you are, its probably reasonably safe but embers could mean you need to go outside to put fires out .
3.On a hill  if at all possible stay on the lee side of hills or landscape features ( east side of road cuttings is generally safer in high wind situations.
4. In a town   Native Trees in particular anywhere near houses can be very dangerous .Embers must be watched should they occur .

Monday, January 21, 2013

When to go and When to stay


I accept that these guidelines may not be the best, or in any way complete ( mainly focused on road use decisions with cars near native tree forest in southern Australia ) but they seem to be better than always talking about "a plan" . Please advise on any needed adjustments.Posted  January 2013 .

This post was made because the car death a few days ago at Seaton illustrates the EXTREMELY HIGH RISK people are taking by living in and staying in a native forest situation.
(Most Australian Native forests are constantly shedding bark and leaves , contain lots of wax and oil and shed these things even more during dry windy periods )


The only reasonably safe place to be in a car is when the car is at least the distance away from Native forest species as that specified below ( Forest should be at least twice the distance away as it is high ) . In otherwords if the fire is in grassland staying in cars is  reasonable to be considered .Staying in cars is :not normally safe in cars in forest. That is, there is probably no safe space near native forest species forest.

if you haven't got at least 30 metres ( by which I mean should be at least 40metres  - see CFA guidelines which includes an aspect consideration )of cleared ground between you and the fire you probably shouldn't be there. While wind speed and aspect makes a big difference to the degree of risk . No way you should stay if wind speed is even moderate or expected to be so on the day  .If the land slopes to the north or the west away from you the need to go is clearer still _think of open forest as standing kindling .

USE WIND SPEED , ASPECT OF LAND and FUEL AMOUNTS to help make decisions and see earlier posts .Study previous events and note safer places nominated .

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Those in charge on Feb 09 NOT in charge:

NEWS Emergenecy services not ready - Christine Nixon thinks she can leave the building ! ( Revelation at Royal commission this week). Noone who has ever worked a bushfire would accept it for the person in her position ! SHE'S OUTA THERE WHEN SHE CAN'T LEAVE TILL THOSE AT RISK ARE OUTA THERE .

For another revelation - (yet,  to come we trust) ( A word that should have been in pace for last fire season but wasn't !!) The word Evacuation has been banned-- time the embargo was lifted and those hiding behind their incompetence named ;
This needs to be said juts in case the commission haven't the courage to say so - the word should never ever have been banned and all the other confusing messages should have been .The only place to be when a very high fire risk is on is,    outa there ---and who would supervise that ?

Now 14 months since the greatest natural disaster in Australasia history and Brumbys search for th whole truth and nothing but the nice truth ( errors of judgement ) continues - pity about the bad modeling thats rife in his entourage.
Even The interim recommendations didn't include evacuation as an option and the word appears to have been banned . The emergency services are liable because the only place to be when a very high fire risk is on is outa there . yOU HEARd IT FIRST ON fORESTANDFIRE

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The missing Fire Plans

Everybody is talking about fireplans but where are they ? Went looking for some examples on Google Images, but could find few . So here's one I prepared earlier for a worksite in the bush . Send me an email if you want to know more , or do you own HERE

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bushfire Royal commission recs

While the Commission fails to get the disaster paradigm of February Fires into perspective, many of the interim recommendations are welcome ( see below )eg Support strongly1-4,16,17,38,39,44.
Point is, if the Commission can't say that "we have a problem because we are not allowed to say to people "you are living in an impossible risk situation" we will still have the problem. What do you expect the police to do now that the emergency commisioner esplin has ruled out of order any discussion on what he didn't organise ?
That a BIG paradigm problem remains is also evident in the very patchwork and very weak nature of the recommendations noted in the warning chapters; the unnecessary lack of clarity and confusion over what constitutes “good information”.Such confusion is totally uneccesary !
The failure of the commission to tackle intractable Command and control sensibilities up the line could be addressed by Subpoena -ing more outsiders to talk to practical realities. Otherwise, more of the same "bottleneck" problems for incident controllers can be expected .
The commission need to focus much more clearly on what constitutes good information (Far more important than warning issue )
For example, just the knowledge of local fire origins and changing local wind MUST be broadcast on Radio - this is not expensive or difficult if someone is authorised to do it ( rather than rely on the controller SEE BELOW ). Remember if you wait for "the situation people" to publish ALL the details of fire "where and where its headed to " it can take too long .Besides let the people make their own decisions 4:61:4;62. on the basis of limited but verifiable info - leave the speculation to later or the truly local .
The web , for example is seen in the report as a monitoring mechanism ( a good one -has spatial advantage over radio but not as reliable or accountable or nearly as quick as a dedicated radio service in your area on TFB days ) Loss of mains power is normal and websites reliance on confirmed “situation “reports means it will always be slow. Info on local wind changes is also critical to good information ( but not easy to give out) and some other source can feed the dedicated radio reporter who should be set up in your area ( Recommendation 26 under 4:23 in warnings report )
Alternatively the high cost benefit of broadcast fire reports is not highlighted even though local radios can be heard for all those on relocation and with external information sources- wind changes (BOM site). When you warn is another matter.
( RADIO reports: they can be got immediately in car ,shelter through all radio mediums esp if no other reports are broadcast on a loop without interruption )
My suggestions for change for this season (for a start) - make for some improvement easily and effectively.
1. Make sure Fire controllers authorise the "immediate" publication of fire locations on days of TFB .( a report issued to media within 15 minutes of site being located )
2. Make sure RA review whether "situation reports" are processed fast enough with a view to making sure something goes out within 15 minutes.
3. RA must be given authority/ responsibility to issue media reports on a very frequent basis and not focused so much on the web / or any other medium as the answer.
4. Legislate if necessary to make sure one truly local radio broadcaster or broadcasters are required to run fulltime reports if there is a fire or extensive smoke on days of TFB. Recommendation 26 under 4:23 in warnings report see comments below on the role of community radio-esp as a practical and reliable dedicated service provider. Tell the public about all the options for them and not just the ABC !!!!
5. Give the police and other RA’s the authority to give (without fear or favour independent )evacuation advice – both early (Rec 15) and late