Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by Zebedee »

From the Wireless Institute of Australia:
WICEN Victoria Activated
Date : 09 / 02 / 2009
Author : Mark Dods VK3XMU

WICEN Victoria has been activated to provide communications links into towns that have had their normal communications destroyed by the bushfires.

WICEN has members currently deployed to operate these links, and more on standby to relieve them. After a few days however, the members available to us will be depleted, and we will require assistance from other Victorian and perhaps interstate Amateurs.

If you can assist with our bushfire response, please contact Mark Dods, VK3XMU preferably by email at secretary@vic.wicen.org.au or by mobile phone: 0409 214 834.
Victorian Bushfire Update
Date : 10 / 02 / 2009
Author : Bruce Bathols - VK3UV

The bushfires in Victoria have caused massive loss of life, and loss of property. The death toll has risen rapidly through the night, with the latest confirmed total of 173 expected to increase throughout the day. Nearly 1000 homes have been destroyed. Tragedy and heartbreak is everywhere and entire towns have been totally destroyed.

The authorities and their resources have been stretched to the limit, and the Amateur Radio Community through WICEN - the Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network has been on high alert since the fires started several days ago. At the height of the fires on Sunday 8th February, WICEN Victoria was formally activated, with members being deployed to areas with loss of power and other facilities.

WICEN operators are assisting the local authorities Kinglake 45 Km north east of Melbourne manning both the Kinglake and Alexandra Shire offices on a 24 hour basis until further notice. It is expected that within the next few days Wicen will do the same from Buxton to Alexandra. Access to Kinglake at present is difficult and operators are being be escorted in from Whittlesea. Alexandra access via Seymour and Yea is unrestricted.

At least one amateur repeater in the north east of the state have been lost, VK3RNU Repeater on Mt Stanley has been destroyed by the fires, and VK3RNE on Mt Big Ben is threatened.

The public announcement prepared and released by Mark Dods on the WIA website last night has brought forward a excellent response. Wicen greatly appreciate the many offers of help, which are be recorded and Amateurs are being contacted as required. Please contact Wicen by email rather than phone to register your offer of assistance, this will ensure the phone lines are kept free for urgent traffic. Wicen asks for your understanding that individual responses to offers are not possible at this time.

Bruce Bathols
VK3UV
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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by 4353 »

gkoutlis wrote:I wouldn't hesitate to accept an EOI to go in a contingent of VFAS members to assist - if the opportunity was there.

G
G

I spoke to someone i know thats in SJA over in Vic a couple off local first aid units were sent was surprised that they wernt fully immobilised, n then both redcross, Vic ambos n the MAS contractors were sent to provide ongoing medical support.

Was quite interesting to see that all the red cross first aid vehicles had red n blues.
RIP

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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by Helitak_670 »

If the figures I heard the other day were correct, the fire was travelling approx 1km every 10 seconds, making it a super quick ROS. No one would have stood a chance, and the oxygen would have been sucked out of the air so quick, people would have passed out with hypoxia. Which would have been a lot better than been burnt to death.

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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by gkoutlis »

Looks like QFA762 is the Qantas plane taking our Specalist Firies to Melb - it's a B763 on the tracker at 09:36 heading East.

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Any views expressed in the above post are my own and do not necessarily depict or reflect the views or opinions of DFES/FRS or VBFB.

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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by Tyranus »

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009 ... 487258.htm
RAAF plane is taking a WA Police 4WD and trailer over to Victoria.

Coles donating profits made on Friday 13th to Fire victim fund.
http://www.coles.com.au/about/news/docu ... 20Fund.pdf
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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by Fastlane »

Tyranus wrote:http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009 ... 487258.htm
RAAF plane is taking a WA Police 4WD and trailer over to Victoria.

Coles donating profits made on Friday 9th to Fire victim fund.
http://www.coles.com.au/about/news/docu ... 20Fund.pdf
The 9th was yesterday. It's Friday 13th (unfortunate date/day combo).

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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by Tyranus »

oh whoops fixed, yes it is rather, but still can't let the date put them off, I'm sure the victorian's will appreciate the money no matter what day it was collected on :).
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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by 4353 »

Being a bit off an animal lover, i have to say the pic on the perthnow site (pic 1) of the CFA firey giving the koala bear a drink from a water bottle while holding onto the koalas paw brings home not only human life but also the wildlife toll as well.
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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by Tyranus »

I agree with you there, it's been great to see the CFA doing their best to protect the animals by giving them water, encouraging them across the road, giving them a shoulder to lean on such as on the news.com.au photo gallery. People tend to forget about the cost a fire has to the local wildlife especially where human lives have been lost.
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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by dlcat1 »

Definitely agree here.

It is all too easy to concentrate on the hard statistics (live lost, buildings destroyed, hectares burnt) and this can ignore the cost to wildlife and stock,(food, loss of habitat, exposure, injury, bewilderment, loss of "friends", and the ongoing cost (the person who breaks down for no apparent reason 20 years later when a chopper goes over or he smells smoke at a barbecue) etc.

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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by 4353 »

Sheesh stories off lootings now night curfews in place @ kinglake those who refused to leave now have to fend for themselves and wont be offered any help.
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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by dlcat1 »

I just saw the 7:30 report and Phil Koperberg (ex RFS commissioner) stated that the FDI reached over 300 on Saturday (waiting for the transcript for exact figures)

using the Mk 5 FFDI available here, http://www.firebreak.com.au/forest-5.html , and maxing everything, i can only get 291. Still this gives

Flame height = 117 m
Spotting Distance = 29km
Rate of Spread = 8.74 km/flat ground, 70km/h 30deg slope


As we know the Mk 5 FFDI still grossly underestimates ROS and Spotting at anything above around 70. So at 300........

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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by Fastlane »

This is all fairly academic and pointless really. We've all seen the result...

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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by Zebedee »

I dunno if anyone's posted this yet, but Google Australia's blog has a link to a map they've put together specifically for the fires, including the most recent satellite imagery as an overlay.

Blog

Map
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Re: Fires in Vic, SA and NSW Feb 09

Post by 4353 »

More fires deliberatley started overnight :S
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