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  • Sydney Bushfires

    For those who may not be aware Sydney (Australia) has been ringed with bushfires raging out of control over the past couple of days. Following are some initial pics as day turned to night across the city, hopefully I can add further tomorrow as it is getting quite late here;

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-1...cebook/5029766

    In Springwood alone after assessing 30% of the damaged areas some 81 homes have been destroyed with the loss of one life. Further fires still remain active west of Sydney and to the north and south as well as other areas across the state.

    More to follow tomorrow.

    Regards,
    Gregg
    Last edited by fungus; 2013-10-18, 14:52.
    YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

  • #2
    From the tankers group:

    Erickson Aircrane has just signed a deal with Victoria or NSW for six additional Skycrane Helitankers this fire season. Don't know when they are scheduled to arrive in Australia but they sure could use them now. Stay safe and look forward to your information.
    Brian

    www.RadarSpotters.eu
    [ Feeder Station List ][ Map ][ Latest Feeders Rank Stats ][ ImRadarFeeder.com Radar Feeders WorldWide Map ][ VRS Feeder List ] (NEW)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SoCalBrian View Post
      From the tankers group:

      Erickson Aircrane has just signed a deal with Victoria or NSW for six additional Skycrane Helitankers this fire season. Don't know when they are scheduled to arrive in Australia but they sure could use them now. Stay safe and look forward to your information.
      Brian,
      Thanks for that information re the Skycranes- we already have some here (from what I'm led to believe and have picked up on the scanner) but could use those new ones asap.
      Here is the current situation from the RFS (Rural Fire Service) and is the best source to keep up-to-date;

      http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/

      They are expecting temperatures into the mid to high 30's (*c) over the next two days (Sunday/Monday local) with strong westerly winds. Following are some of the stories from the past few days;

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...99G08E20131018
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-1...rgency/5028762
      http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-bushfi...018-2vqag.html
      http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/...fire-emergency

      By the way where I am we are safe (about 10 miles to the east of the escarpment of the mountains and the worst affected area) and as far as I am aware so are most if not all Sydney uploaders as we are all in or close to the city. That doesnt mean that we dont have friends/relatives in those areas, or have not been affected. Several road closures have been in affect in various areas, namely the M3 (formerly known as the F3) , to the north, the Hume Highway to the south and Bells Line of Road to the west. Also Hawkesbury Road through Springwood/Winmalee and Yellow Rock down to Yarramundi/Richmond/Windsor have been closed to residents and the public alike causing some distress with people wanting to see if they still have a house to go back to. Several schools in these areas were evacuated, separating parents from children and adding to the distress of many.

      The constant stream of smoke across the city has been a source of annoyance (you cant open a window to air out the house even when it's cool) and blocked the sun, turning day into night on Thursday but is nothing in comparison to what they are experiencing in the fire affected areas.

      I'd like to pay tribute to the guys and gals from the RFS and NSW Fire and Rescue (many who are volunteers and some of whom have been injured) who from the footage I've seen have done an amazing job in the face of the most extreme conditions.

      The cruel irony is that it has been snowing at Thredbo (south of Canberra) during this time- a crual reality of this large island continent being covered by a number of weather sytems at the same time.

      NASA pics of Sydney fires;
      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Nat...w.php?id=82189

      The RFS Commissioner said in one interview that if we get out of this one with less thn 200 homes destroyed, we'll have been extremely fortunate. Further firefighters are being brought in from interstate to help those from New South Wales.

      Believe it or not, in the midst of this, some idiot threw a cigarette butt out the car window and started a grass fire on Camden Valley Way west of Liverpool. Fortunately it was extinguished relatively quickly.

      Live coverage;
      http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news...-1226742126373

      As I sign off for this evening there are 68 fires across NSW with 22 still uncontained with hot, windy weather now predicted for the next 4 days (Sunday-Wednesday) with a low pressure system working it's way across Australia driving the hot westerley winds. Just over 200 homes have now been destroyed with a total fire ban coming into force from midnight tonight. The two most serious threats posed at this time are in the Springwood area west of Sydney and from Lithgow east to Bilpin. See the RFS site above for current conditions, including road closures. Bells Line of Road is currently closed in both directions between Lithgow an Bilpin.

      Regards,
      Gregg
      Last edited by fungus; 2013-10-19, 07:54.
      YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

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      • #4
        NSW firies face tough day as weather warms

        Conditions have eased a tad overnight (except for the smoke buring my eyes), BUT;

        NSW firefighters are facing a tough day, with temperatures expected to climb, humidity predicted to drop and a warm, dry wind change to come through.

        Crews have been battling large fires in the Blue Mountains since Thursday, trying to save homes in area where almost 200 properties have been destroyed and another 109 damaged.

        Temperatures and winds are expected to pick up this afternoon and a total fire ban is now in place across Sydney, the Hunter region, Shoalhaven, the Central Ranges and the Illawarra.

        http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/19460704/...weather-warms/

        Bell (between Bilpin and Lithgow) is currently under an evacuation warning with residents being advised to do so west towards Lithgow;
        http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/dsp_content.cfm?cat_id=684
        Last edited by fungus; 2013-10-20, 12:28.
        YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

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        • #5
          Entire Blue Mountains area could come under threat: RFS Read more: http://www.smh.co

          The entire Blue Mountains may come under threat over the coming week if weather conditions deteriorate as predicted, the commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service said.

          Shane Fitzsimmons said forecast conditions were ‘‘a whole new ball game’’ and authorities would force evacuations if lives were at risk.

          He said fire prediction charts showed there would be a significant impact on populated areas should forecasts materialise.

          http://www.smh.com.au/environment/we...020-2vujz.html
          http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-bushfi...020-2vumk.html
          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-2...brace-/5033728

          Just to give you an idea, the 300km fire front they're refering to, if stretched out, would reach half way from SYD to BNE or SYD to MEL.

          New Emergency legislation has come into force requiring residents to be forcibly evacuated where necessary. This may seem harsh but as a former rescue officer there's nothing worse than putting a team of rescue personel in danger because of some belligerent resident. Homes can be replaced- people cant.

          I sincerely hope they are wrong about the weather predictions.
          Last edited by fungus; 2013-10-20, 12:35.
          YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

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          • #6
            Fears worst is yet to come

            Not good news today;

            Authorities are warning of a potential ‘mega-fire’ across hundreds of kilometres as a state of emergency is declared in NSW.

            The Rural Fire Service are worried fires burning in Lithgow, Springwood and Mount Victoria could merge as 56 bushfires continue to burn across the state, 12 out of control.

            http://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/19478...egafire-fears/

            some pics from social media;

            http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2...ushfire-photos

            and health warnings being issued;

            http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/...health-warning
            http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/Pa...131017_05.aspx
            Last edited by fungus; 2013-10-21, 02:02.
            YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

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            • #7
              Looking at the pictures we see the brick parts of burned down building with green trees alongside - how does that work, I thought it was the trees setting the buildings alight ... or is it because the buildings have wooden shuttering and are inherently more flammable then the trees ... or could it be something as simple as having dry tinder [fallen leaves] in the rainwater gutters)

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              • #8
                trees are generally green and need the heat of fire to snapndry them to burn. leaves in gutters and embers don't mix as you say.

                even north here we have 33 due on wed. and it looks like 2 major sites are going to merge to a mega fire


                oops, beaten to it. what I said was nothing new
                Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by peterhr View Post
                  Looking at the pictures we see the brick parts of burned down building with green trees alongside - how does that work, I thought it was the trees setting the buildings alight ... or is it because the buildings have wooden shuttering and are inherently more flammable then the trees ... or could it be something as simple as having dry tinder [fallen leaves] in the rainwater gutters)
                  Peter,

                  that's an interesting observation. Bushfires develope a weather (and a mind) of their own. They will burn down a group of houses and leave one standing in the middle. There's no real rhyme nor reason to it. Structure doesnt matter, material or position doesnt matter. Sometimes a fire doesnt even come close and a passing burning ember in the wind will light up a house and destroy it, leaving those around it untouched. The embers can blow into the roof cavity anywhere. Completely random and unpredictable. One thing is certain- they're deadly. A 'spot' fire can develope up to 30km or so ahead of a fire.

                  Gum trees inherently do burn well due to the fuel (the 'oil') in the leaves but as you point out, just because the house goes, the trees may not. The amount of fuel on the ground can also impact this. At the moment they are 'crowning' (the fire jumps from crown to crown- the top part of the tree) and running out of control. Backburning (burning the fuel ahead of the fire) at night and during lower wind conditions is helping somewhat but there's only so much the tired firies can do.

                  The RFS (Rural Fire Service) do recommend cleaning out your gutters before the fire season, but that is still no gaurantee. Sometimes nothing will stop them and they simply have to stand back and let them burn.... and wait for God to intervene. Sad but part of life in the bush. That's one reason I prefer to live in the suburbs (the 'burbs'). It has its advantages but we dont have the beauty (or the terror) of the bush.
                  My eyes are burning and wont stop watering (from the smoke) but compared to those 'up the hill' I've got it easy.

                  Regards,
                  Gregg
                  Last edited by fungus; 2013-10-21, 12:30.
                  YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

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                  • #10
                    Fears remain over 'mega fire'

                    Fears remain the three fires burning in the Blue Mountains could form what has been called a 'mega fire' - a worst case scenario that could prove unstoppable.

                    As the temperature climbed this afternoon so did the flames and an emergency warning was declared at Springwood.

                    Again the fight was on to protect property from the air and the ground but there are real concerns these flames could tear through Bilpin and down into the Hawkesbury.

                    Locals must stay and be prepared to fight or go - and go now because by Wednesday it will be too late; temperatures will be in the mid 30's with winds gusting to 100 kilometres an hour, feeding the flames like never before.

                    http://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/19478...egafire-fears/

                    .. and in come the looters.
                    YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

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                    • #11
                      Forward from the tankers group:

                      It seems that at least one aircrane is active in NSW, this is probably N189AC tanker 731 "Gypsy Lady". It worked the Hall Rd fire near the village of Wilton on the northern edge of the fire.
                      It is due to be joined by N957AC tanker 743 "Ichabod" this week
                      Brian

                      www.RadarSpotters.eu
                      [ Feeder Station List ][ Map ][ Latest Feeders Rank Stats ][ ImRadarFeeder.com Radar Feeders WorldWide Map ][ VRS Feeder List ] (NEW)

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                      • #12
                        Live coverage of the New South Wales bushfires

                        Thanks for that good news Brian,
                        Here's the state of play at the moment. At present it's trying hard to rain. I'm not sure if that's going to help or hinder things as I've seen reports that the RFS is going to deliberately try to 'link' a couple of the fires;

                        http://www.news.com.au/national/live...-1226743743470

                        I've actually been able to open up the house this morning as the smoke has dissipated a bit. Still they are predicting further hot weather today and tomorrow.

                        some chilling video;

                        http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/...aten-residents

                        NSW bushfires: pollution levels soar 50-fold

                        http://www.smh.com.au/environment/we...021-2vvyw.html
                        http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/...tional-tribute

                        as at 11:22 (local) this morning a rain front is heading east and expected to impact on the firefronts in the next 30 minutes;
                        http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR712.loop.shtml#skip

                        YIPPEEE- sorry for the expression of excitement there guys but I've been choking in smoke for days.

                        latest report at 13:03 local- light rain is falling in the fire zones- but accompanied by strong winds. Fingers crossed.

                        As at 16:15 local today, Tuesday 22nd, despite some light rain falling in the area we are being warned by the RFS Commissioner in a televised press conference of potentially dangerous conditions tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd) with over 1,600km of active fire front still running. Tomorrow will see high temperatures (mid to high 30's), low humidity and strong winds. Anyone living in the areas affected is being warned to watch the RFS site (see below), listen to emergency service personnel and be prepared to evacuate at short notice. Anyone who doesnt need to be in the affected areas of the Blue Mountains are requested to stay away.

                        As at 23:59 Tuesday (local) Nursing homes in Springwood have been evacuated and all Blue Mountains schools will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday. Storms are tonight rolling through the area but so far not offering much in the way of rain and in fact any that does fall may hamper backburning efforts. Aprrox. 800 firefighters have been brought in from interstate (and I understand a request has gone out to New Zealand Firefighters but I cant confirm this). The former Olympic Stadium at Homebush is being used to 'house' many of these extra firefighters. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

                        http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/

                        Regards,
                        Gregg
                        Last edited by fungus; 2013-10-22, 13:01. Reason: latest update as at 16:15 local Tuesday
                        YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

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                        • #13
                          Firefighting aircraft crashes west of Ulladulla, RFS confirms
                          The Rural Fire Service (RFS) holds grave fears for the pilot of a water-bombing plane that has crashed in southern New South Wales
                          The waterbomber was involved in firefighting operations and it is believed a wing snapped off the plane before the crash this morning.

                          Crews, including a rescue helicopter, are on their way to the crash site west of Ulladulla. There are no details of injuries at this stage.

                          Meanwhile, milder conditions have helped firefighters so far today but the RFS has warned the community not to be complacent about the dangers presented by bushfires.

                          The RFS has upgraded the Gateshead fire south of Newcastle to a watch and act - one of five in place across the state.
                          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-2...ursday/5042102
                          Brian

                          www.RadarSpotters.eu
                          [ Feeder Station List ][ Map ][ Latest Feeders Rank Stats ][ ImRadarFeeder.com Radar Feeders WorldWide Map ][ VRS Feeder List ] (NEW)

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                          • #14
                            Brian,
                            Thanks for that update, the pilot of that firefighting aircraft down south near Ulladulla has sadly been confirmed killed, as has another over near Mt. Hothom, although not directly involved in the firefighting.

                            http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/pilot-davi...024-2w2qw.html
                            http://www.smh.com.au/national/pilot...024-2w2g7.html

                            The overall weather conditions have improved across New South Wales but it's been a miracle, helped largely by the actions of many firefighting crews from all over Australia both on the ground and in the air.

                            http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/

                            Apologies but I've been distracted by grandpa duties for the past few days and have been unable to continue with the fire updates. I understand that at this stage there are still over 1,000 men and women (both RFS volunteers and NSW Fire and Rescue personnel) in the field keeping an eye on these fires for the protection of the community. Hats off to every one of them.

                            Regards,
                            Gregg
                            Last edited by speedbird1960; 2013-10-24, 14:57. Reason: spelling edits
                            YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

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                            • #15
                              Army explosives training started Lithgow fire: RFS

                              A massive fire burning in Lithgow and the Blue Mountains was caused by explosives training which was being carried out in the area by the department of defence.

                              http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2...thgow-fire-rfs
                              YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

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