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Bushfires in Victoria kill 76, death toll will rise [update: 181 dead]

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posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 12:39 AM

Originally posted by ANNED
One that fire survival should be a required course in all high schools.
and this means not only how to survive a house fire but how to survive wild lands fires.

Most rural Australian areas have their own volunteer fire services and all residents meet regularly to discuss fire plans and evacuation methods. These fire were just too fast and too ferocious and nobody saw them coming.

All communities in brush-fire areas should have what fire fighter call "safe zones". 5 to 10 acres of cleared area for people to go to as a last resort.

Good idea but not practical in the sense that these are farming communities and are spread over a wide area with a township in the middle. The fires come from all different directions so you cannot designate a specific safe zone, as not all people could get to it.

In the US we use military air craft extensivly in fire fighting.
many of the non military firefighting air craft are ex military

We currently have 6 civilian aircraft that we use to fight the biggest fires including a few Erickson Air Crane's

Methinks after the fires this year the Aussie government might wake up and expand the size of that fleet. That's the hope at least...

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 12:40 AM
The farm i grew up on my father was not allowed to clear the land.
The local council would not give him permission.

He cleared it anyway.

Is that still upheld in other councils around the state?
I get the feeling a lot of the properties that were lost might not have had permission to clear surrounding bush land.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 12:41 AM
reply to post by SvenTheBerserK

As far as I know here in NSW you are allowed to clear bush area for a firebreak. Farmers also tend to plow large swathes of dirt around their paddocks to act as firebreaks as well.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 12:54 AM
I am very sorry to hear of this devastation and loss of lives. Watching the families on the news that have lost loved ones or homes was heart breaking. I send my most heartfelt wishes to them all.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 06:10 AM
I guess that my Marysville fridge magnet will be a collector's item now... Sad stuff. Losing a town on the map is mind boggling.

We're lucky that the Otways never caught fire, or the Golden Triangle area never erupted, like on Ash Wednesday.

Seriously, the local councils, state and federal governments need a kick up the arse for the disgraceful resources and preparation. It proves that they don't put our interests first.

It shouldn't happen again.

I always think how tranquil the bush is and most of the time, it is. Suburbia does have some advantages afterall.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 07:27 AM
I am just devastated that this is the first news I've heard from home now that I am finally reconnected to internet and phone. How very tragic and depressing that people are going through this

There is a special place in hell for the people fueling these fires and I hope they see it soon.
Thankfully my family and friends are all out of harm's way but my thoughts and prayers are definitely with those dealing with this firsthand.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 07:59 AM
Thanx for posting this I was hoping some one would start this thread.
My heart goes out to my fellow Mexicans south of the border in Victoria.

We certainly do live in a land of extremes, down south people are burning
while on the Gold coast in south east Queensland it's been warm
but that's why we all came here, beautiful one day perfect the next.

However a couple days drive north from here people are drowning and being snatched by crocs in disastrous floods.

Regarding the arsonists, they should burn literally for what they've done.

But on a lighter note here's a passage from a great Aussie band.

Out on the patio we sit,
And the humidity we breathe,
We watch the lightning crack over cane fields
Laugh and think, this is Australia.
(Quote from song by Gangajang)

[edit on 9-2-2009 by primal]

[edit on 9-2-2009 by primal]

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:21 AM
cnn is reporting 166 deaths so far from the rapid moving fires. i hope people in the path of these fires have evacuated by now

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:24 AM
They are saying the death toll will get over 200 now and they are expecting conditions to get worse again this week.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 01:19 PM

Originally posted by iced_blue
I'm surprised there wasn't already a thread on this.

The worst thing about these fires is that people are re-lighting them. some people are just sick.

News Update : Death Toll has risen to 65

Some people might be trying to burn lines with petrol, so that the fire cannot get past that point (if its already been burned the wild fire cant get past it)

They may have heard firefighters doing this to stop the spread, but actually making it worse.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 04:13 PM
This is a devastating tragedy.
I'm wondering why weren't they forced to evacuate?

We don't have this policy in my province of BC. We've also had some forest fires that threatened towns and entire sub-divisions of homes were burned to the ground, and all were told to evacuate, well ahead of time.

I had read in the news last week Australia warned the fires were going to be this bad and would be worse than Ash wednesday. In the case of our recent fires, those not evacuating did stay and defend their property, but this was a very small number, and reported as being foolish, as hard as this may be to bring up after the fact to those who've lost their lives in these fires. Fires can jump very quickly from one spot to another, particularly when the temps are high and the land is dry because of this, and winds come into play making it the perfect storm. You can think you're escaping a wall of approaching flames, and be trapped and surrounded by other fires, leaving no way to escape.

How is saving one's things more important than saving lives?

Australia will take a hard look at 'Leave Early or Stay and Defend' fire policy

The policy trains people to defend their homes and is being considered for adoption in California. But in these fires, 'the conditions were just too extreme,' and lives were lost.

Even as firefighters in the state of Victoria struggle to reach stricken communities, authorities say that some people were killed while actively defending their homes, a choice that researchers say has rarely resulted in death. In addition, authorities expect that a large number of fatalities will have occurred in highway crashes during panicked evacuations, the very scenario the Australian policy seeks to avoid.

According to Australian fire researchers, the vast majority of deaths occur when residents race onto smoke-obscured roads, often littered with downed trees, charred wildlife or emergency vehicles. Reports from over the weekend, when hundreds of fires raced across southeastern Australia fanned by high winds, suggest that in some hard-hit communities residents organized convoys of vehicles that fled one fire only to be consumed by another.

"What seems to have happened in some cases was people had a perception that a wave of fire was coming over the hill at them and they ran from that," said Kevin Tolhurst, a fire researcher at the University of Melbourne. "But in fact they may have been surrounded by

LA Times

[edit on 9-2-2009 by violet]

[edit on 9-2-2009 by violet]

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 09:09 PM
Now watch all these Do-gooder politicians Act like their in Shock at what has happened when we the People of Australia know that it's these Morons that should be preventing these Fire-Storms from happening by Allowing BACK BURNING in Winter time to Prevent Fire-Storms but NO these Wankers feel they need the Greens,tree hugers votes!!

What about the Animals they have no where to go!!! if there was BACK BURNINGdone these poor Animals would of had some where to run for Safety!!

Look Our Moron politicians are Guarding them selfs already!


Politicians have been warned not to play the blame game as debate starts about the causes of the savage fires in Victoria.


[edit on 9/2/09 by Zelong]

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:00 PM
I'm really hoping these fires go out soon. My hometown has smoke everywhere from the photos I saw of yesterday of the house I grew up in.

[edit on 9/2/09 by Nventual]

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:04 PM
reply to post by Zelong

what the hell?

those of you that want to ... you will all get plenty of time to play your blame games later.

in the mean time all that matters is saving lives and getting people out of danger.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:11 PM
I was just emailed this photo a minute ago...I hope more animals made it out safe and sound.

[edit on 9/2/09 by Evasius]

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:29 PM
aww thats so cute..

me and the family donated $100 to bushfire appeal.

For other people who would like to do the same here is a number
Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund - 1800 811 700

I really wanted to donate blood for the burns victims also, but they said they didn't need anymore.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:35 PM
that's a great photo, especially since koalas are usually greatly afraid of humans and dangerous.

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:41 PM

The bodies of about 100 people killed in the fires have been transferred to the Coroner's office in Melbourne. Teams from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine will soon begin analysing them. The Institute's director, Professor Steven Cordner, says his team is prepared for the arrival of additional bodies over the coming days. "Our planning has been on the basis of accommodating perhaps up to 300 people, but that's got nothing to do with what is being expected," he said. "That is simply for planning purposes, so we hope of course it is going to be considerably less than that." Professor Cordner says it is possible some of the bodies will be too badly burned to identify. "It is important I think that people appreciate the effects of fire," he said. "There will be some cases unfortunately, where it will be impossible to identify people." Bushfires across Victoria have so far claimed more than 173 lives.

To me, this may possibly be the sadest thing of all.....

Ashes to ashes.

RIP our fallen Aussies.


[edit on 9/2/2009 by mungodave]

posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:44 PM
reply to post by Zelong

I know you're upset mate, and I totally agree with you.....

but maybe not just now mate..... not right now.

Take it easy mate


posted on Feb, 9 2009 @ 10:48 PM
me and my school are doing all we can to help the victims of this great tragedy, in a day we raised over $1,500 it doesn't seem like much but we're trying our best.

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