Fire & Flood

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Feb 8th, 2009, 02:22 PM
  #1
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Fire & Flood

The scale of the devastation in Victoria and Queensland and the loss of life and property occurring there is hard to comprehend. Our thoughts and hopes go out to all of those affected by these tragic events.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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Well said Rob. I've been glued to the news coverage and I can't believe what I've been seeing.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 02:54 PM
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It is, kiwirob, and it's even worse to know that whilst floods are a result of nature; the vast majority of our fires are deliberately lit.

Some unspeakable excuse for a human being who will almost certainly be let off any significant punishment because of "mental illness/poor home life" or some other goddamed excuse, goes out and deliberately lights most of our bushfires.

The maximum gaol term is 25 years but I don't think anyone has yet been sentenced to that. A 31yo has been arrested for starting the NSW Central Coast fires over the weekend. We'll see what happens with this creep.



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Feb 8th, 2009, 03:07 PM
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It is indeed an apocalyptic scene in Victoria and for those people overseas who want to know more about this, here is the link to The Age Newspaper in Melbourne http://www.theage.com.au/. I am with Bokara and I hope that the someone who lit these fires will be found and with luck he won't make it to the judge and jury. What goes around, comes around but sometimes its just not quick enough for some of us.
I think anyone and everyone who has been watching this play out on TV will be having a hard time trying to digest the devastation and and loss of life in both Victoria with the fires and the floods in Queensland. I am sure that our hearts go out to everyone who is effected by this.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 03:30 PM
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To donate:

http://www.redcross.org.au/default.asp

The site is really slow this morning, be patient.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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Author: Bokhara2
Date: 02/08/2009, 05:54 pm
It is, kiwirob, and it's even worse to know that whilst floods are a result of nature; the vast majority of our fires are deliberately lit.

Some unspeakable excuse for a human being
..........................
As reprehensibly callous these people may be Bokhara and though the initial east Gippsland fire is suspected to have been started deliberately.

I think you may find that far more fires are started by lightning strikes, and then there are the accidents that happen with burn offs getting away, as careless as that may be at times, and then culpable carelessness of flicked cigarette butts and then also fires started from miscellaneous heat sources, often associated with engines.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 04:52 PM
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It is almost impossible to comprehend what the victims of the fires are going through. The loss of life is devestating and the numbers who have survived but lost everything is apalling.

I have just literally walked in the door from seeing a friend whose family have lost absolutely everything they possess. The family itself survived by jumping into the swimming pool and covering themsevles with wet blankets. At least they are safe but they know a number of people who were killed, including the family next door. My friend is in shock obviously and can't even begin to think of what they should be doing next.

For all those fighting the fires my heartfelt thanks. They are the true heroes. Forget about when someone talks about a sporting star or a celebrity being a "hero". It is these people who are literally laying their life on the line who epitomise what a "hero" is.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 05:13 PM
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Thanks for the post Rob and it is just too, too sad for words! I go sick at the stomach whenever I think of it.

If nothing else, it certainly helps to put everything else into perspective doesn't it? Life is so fragile and we must grab it by the horns and max it out to the full!

I'm thankful for every minute I have and also thankful for everything I have been given.

My sympathies go out to all who are suffering though it doesn't seem that it could make much difference to those poor folk at present.

Too sad for a kiwi joke Rob.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 05:26 PM
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The Blood Bank was calling for donations this morning as there are a number of people with severe burns needing transfusions.

If you can, please donate as it's the one thing we all have, all need and which money can't buy.

Shandy, you're so right about heroes & heroines.

My heart goes out to your friends, and everyone else caught up in these horrific events.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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I live in a small city in the southern end of the Sacramento Valley in Northern California. We are prone to wildfires during our very hot and dry summers and we have experienced some horrible fires but we have not experienced anything like like you in southern Australia are going through.

Your fires, the horrible deaths and the loss of properties is quite a topic of conversation in my area. We all are heartbroken and horrified.

I know that words do not help but do know that the devastation you are going through dear Aussies breaks our hearts to put it midly. And to hear that some fires were purposely set is beyond horrifying.

Our hearts and thoughts are with all of you.
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Feb 8th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Having a few years back been in the direct path of a fire that claimed four lives and 500 homes we are pretty numb seeing others go through this on a far more lethal scale. For what it's worth - and this has as much relevance for tourists - early indications have reinforced the conventional wisdom that being on the roads in a fire area should be avoided at all costs - in other words, an early decision should be made to stay or flee. Easier said than done of course, with the sky turning black within minutes on a summer's afternoon, the power cut, smoke everywhere, foot-long embers raining down and blasting wind, so it does pay to have a plan (and a good share of luck). Think also of the burnt and distressed wildlife crawling out of the bush over the coming weeks. On a positive note and putting aside the despicable actions of a few who may have contributed to nature's cruel works, these situations tend to bring out the best in us and our close friends in Kiwi Rob's mob.

Others will disagree and yes, these are extreme circumstances, but for me this is another example of why it may not be a great idea to tour at the height of summer here in Australia (and elsewhere for that matter). Perhaps it also has something to do with many Australians favouring travel in the shoulder seasons.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 02:32 PM
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With the death toll over 170 and counting and Marysville and other places made "crime scenes" this is an awful and tragic experience for Australians. Let's hope the fire bugs, if it is proved started some of the fires, are caught and receive their full punishment.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Let's also hope that the spirit of cooperation lasts longer than the emergency and that in the course of the inevitable reviews and inquiries that local elected representatives and emergency services officials are not subjected to years of vindictive blame and cheap political attacks as they have been elsewhere.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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Farremog, your point about Australians travelling in high summer was and is certainly true for our family. We lived in far north-west NSW and never went away in summer in case of bushfires. We all have bush fire fighting rigs, tanks on trucks etc., and the boys all take off as soon as the call goes up that there's was a fire on someone's place. As kids we were all trained to watch where lightning struck, wait to see if smoke came up and tell an adult immediately if it did.

I was talking to a friend in the country about these fires last night. Our country is flat grassland with some trees and so much easier (if you can say that about any bushfire) to deal with than that hilly, highly treed, closely fenced country down in Victoria. It's relatively easy for us to run a decent sized fire break around our houses & sheds - and we all have them as a matter of course - but it's not that easy in those areas.

Maybe though, it is something we should consider for the future. It wouldn't stop all the losses, but if we had, say a 1km fire break around all the towns, it would make a huge difference. Of course, there would be acquisition & maintenance costs, but they could probably be treated in a similar manner to the old Stock Routes.

I'm sure greater brains than mine will be focusing on this and I hope it doesn't degenerate into a witch hunt of blame. We need to focus on cooperating to see how we can re-build & prevent this happening again.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Bokhara - yeah, we can't plan for everything, but decent fire breaks and not building in or adjacent to forested areas would obviously help. The 'fight or (early) flight' approach will quite rightly be up for review, with everything else, but whatever is decided the fate of many of us in summers to come will continue to depend on that elusive combination of the right amount of good management, common sense and good luck on the day. And if you live out in your namesake region I'd imagine you'd usually have enough to worry about aside from fires.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 06:32 PM
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Used to, Farremog. That's why I chose the name. And on the lake. Lots of family & friends still out there. Now live close to that similar sounding lake in Sydney. Where are you?
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Feb 10th, 2009, 02:24 AM
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In the burbs of the national capital, a couple of hundred metres from where the 2003 fire finished up.
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