Forums > General Discussion   Shooting the breeze...

Bushfire surprise?

Reply
Created by Macroscien A week ago, 9 Nov 2019
Macroscien
QLD, 4766 posts
9 Nov 2019 8:32PM
Thumbs Up

I am listening to recent news about bushfires and the most surprise me how surprised all our government agencies are.
Who is to blame ?
Wind.
High temperature,
Global warming. Somehow those will not change in the hundred years from now and we have none of anu influence on those. But what we can and should do is buy more air plane water fighting machines.We don't need to wait for further innovations , progress insciences or development.
Helicopters and fixed wing airplanes already exist, we only need more of them.
This is matter of priorities and wise distribution of the budget.
For a price of the single F35 fighter jet we could buy fleet of water scooping airplanes.
For price of single submarine we could have hundreds of most powerful air crane helicopters.
Our military equipment didn't saw practical any use in last 70 years and most likely wll not see any in next century.But bushfires do happen regularly every year. We need to be prepared for war on fires not war with other nations.



Situation is very similar in USA where California is on fire and government is spending trillions on wars overseas but neglect to safeguard their own territory from obvious and real enemy - bushfires.

Interesting will be to know: How many fire fighting trucks could replace one of those air crane helicopters? If one helicopter is as effective as 5 ? 10 ? or more trucks and ground crew?

www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/time-to-buy-air-crane-helicopters-blue-mountains-mayor-20131103-2wuuk.html

FormulaNova
NSW, 9504 posts
9 Nov 2019 10:03PM
Thumbs Up

I think on here before, we have had people compare the effectiveness of the helicopters. I don't think they ended up being as good as you would imagine they are.

Was it Kato that talked about this?

decrepit
WA, 9599 posts
9 Nov 2019 7:49PM
Thumbs Up

I heard an interview with the head of the NSW country bushfire board a week or so ago.
He was complaining he was trying to warn the commonwealth govt about the dangers of the current fire season. But nobody would listen, they just kept fobbing him off. So it wasn't a matter of not being told, It was a matter of not wanting to know.

southace
QLD, 4133 posts
9 Nov 2019 9:49PM
Thumbs Up

I'm watching the live media crap now 7 is lapping it up. My conclusion is these people choice or decide the want to live in around the gumtrees and bush. It's never concrete suburbin burning.

decrepit
WA, 9599 posts
9 Nov 2019 7:50PM
Thumbs Up

I guess helicopters can get water to places trucks can't go

Macroscien
QLD, 4766 posts
9 Nov 2019 11:30PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
decrepit said..
I guess helicopters can get water to places trucks can't go


Another important matter is time.Imagine that we have military style fire service . If military detect incoming missile or aircraft could scramble response within minutes.If we apply technology to observe our land from above, we could spot fire at very beginning and send helicopter or two to deal with it instantly.After few hours this same fire , left unattended grows quickly and becomes unmanageable at all. So sending single helicopter quickly could avoid sending 40 fire tracks and crew fighting for two weeks later on.We also could consider humanitarian aspect.Work of firefighter is very dangerous and definitely harmful. Helicopter pilot is in much safer position, thought his job , taking water , flying over fires also demand bravery and precision. I could imagine that in nearest future autonomous drones will grow to the size of nowadays planes and response to bushfires will be automated and almost instant.Let imagine that somebody build a drone able to take 1 tone of water from the pond and drop few km away on fire.How many trips such automated drone could do and how long it takes for fire track to do the same ?

TonyAbbott
285 posts
10 Nov 2019 4:57AM
Thumbs Up

The drone idea is good. They already use drones for recon of fires, to find the hot spots.

Maybe they could use something like a predator drone, instead of bombs with explosives they could have some fire retardants. They can be flown from anywhere in the world, air refueled. Maybe keep one hellfire missle on it to deal with the looters and activists.

Zachery
589 posts
10 Nov 2019 5:26AM
Thumbs Up

Why bother with expensive reactive solutions (sure a few helicopters or planes are needed) why not concentrate on training more specialised squads to do proactive burning off to reduce fuel loads

kato
VIC, 2599 posts
10 Nov 2019 8:56AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
FormulaNova said..
I think on here before, we have had people compare the effectiveness of the helicopters. I don't think they ended up being as good as you would imagine they are.

Was it Kato that talked about this?



Yes. Great for initial attack to take some of the heat out, but its ground crews with hand tools and some water who really put fires out . This will take weeks after the news and public have moved on. Air support can't operate in high winds either.

We already have quick reaction specialists teams in several locations in Vic. Called Helitack, teams of 8 crew will fly to the fire site land or repel in and attack the fire by hand. Very effective on stopping small fires becoming large ones.

Defence forces not much good as most don't have fire training , great for support thou.

Blowing stuff or drones no good......

Fuel loads is a media term and has NO relevance in bush management
A wet tropical jungle has lots of vegetation per Ha but won't burn
A Messmate forest has not much on the ground but is extremely hazardous in regards to fire fighting.
Strategic burns around assets has been found to work much better, BUT in extreme fire conditions nothing but bare dirt will stop fires. Remembering that a Messmate fire will spot fire up to 20km down wind from the main front.

In my world climate change is real, the season is starting earlier ,going longer and veg that doesn't normally burn is. Sometimes is just Get out of the way time and wait for the extreme weather to pass before attacking.
Hence The leave early message.

BlueMoon
644 posts
10 Nov 2019 6:11AM
Thumbs Up

The planes and helicopters don't fly at night, the SW Change came through at 10.30pm on the mid north coast NSW, sure more aircraft would help but I don't think it's the only answer. I don't know what is.
With a couple of large jets, a couple of fixed wing planes, and 3 or 4 helicopters and a spotter helicopter directing where they dump the water, on one fire front I can tell you the airspace gets pretty crowded.

kato
VIC, 2599 posts
10 Nov 2019 9:54AM
Thumbs Up

Vic trailed aircraft night operations last year with good results. Reduced aircraft thou

Macroscien
QLD, 4766 posts
10 Nov 2019 9:53AM
Thumbs Up


I imagine that in few years from now, courier drones will be as popular as posite bikes now.
In time of emergencies those drones could swarm to attack fires from above.Perspective is that in next one hundred years climate and geography of Australia will remain mostly the same and hot windy days will happen every year.
Something must and can be done, to make plans and preparation in advance. We have been preparing for third war for half a century and never happen, but if will , there is not much we could do anyway.Bushfire enemy will strike for sure every year - but budget for this war is laughable in comparison to fictional peoples war.

Foghorn
WA, 363 posts
10 Nov 2019 8:14AM
Thumbs Up

aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab051
Maybe a long jail sentence may prevent a few.
I suspect the results for deliberately lit would be higher now with more degenerate people around.

Chris6791
WA, 3167 posts
10 Nov 2019 9:00AM
Thumbs Up

This idea that a multi-billion dollar fleet of water bombers will solve all is fanciful. Fire management is a complex layered approach, fire danger ratings, hazard reduction burns, evacuation planning, arson investigation and fire education training, then the actual firefighting is at the end.
Plus the operational tempo of having an amazing fleet of aircraft attacking individual fires would surely come with its own risk and dramatically increase the risk of losing aircraft and their crews.

Crusoe
QLD, 919 posts
10 Nov 2019 11:23AM
Thumbs Up

Australian raptors start fires to flush out prey

cosmosmagazine.com/biology/australian-raptors-start-fires-to-flush-out-prey

Zachery
589 posts
10 Nov 2019 1:57PM
Thumbs Up


"Fuel loads is a media term and has NO relevance in bush management
A wet tropical jungle has lots of vegetation per Ha but won't burn"

Fuel loads, overgrowth, vegetation NO relevance, WOW argue that one with the indigenous that have managed tropical areas for hundreds of years, thats why u plan and burn off when its close (before or after) to wet season and you can control its called reducing the fuel load!! That comment is rubbish

kato
VIC, 2599 posts
10 Nov 2019 6:18PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Zachery said..

"Fuel loads is a media term and has NO relevance in bush management
A wet tropical jungle has lots of vegetation per Ha but won't burn"

Fuel loads, overgrowth, vegetation NO relevance, WOW argue that one with the indigenous that have managed tropical areas for hundreds of years, thats why u plan and burn off when its close (before or after) to wet season and you can control its called reducing the fuel load!! That comment is rubbish


MMMMM should I respond......BTW I do this for a living .....and no not CFA I get paid to fight fires

Zachery
589 posts
10 Nov 2019 3:33PM
Thumbs Up

I will stand by my comment 100%, send a fire thru vegetation that was burnt off previously the year before, send a fire thru the same vegetation not previously burnt off, watch the difference, u have reduced the fuel load, call it whatever term u want, the RELEVANCE is huge,

crakas
QLD, 422 posts
10 Nov 2019 7:58PM
Thumbs Up

Australia has evolved to burn, its part of the bush's lifecycle. You are not going to stop it doing what it is meant to do with an arsenal of cool toys.

The best mitigation is hazard reduction, but we lack the funding and manpower. I bet all your local volunteer twig burners are crying out for manpower to do just this.


Don't just talk about a solution, be the solution.

Ian K
WA, 3002 posts
11 Nov 2019 7:42AM
Thumbs Up

No problem with the media using the term "fuel" but they've been overly quick to link it to climate change. Historically the areas currently burning have always been more prone to fires in Spring.


A changing climate will alter the fire regime but which way? On one hand you might get more hotter drier and windier days, but on the other hand vegetation doesn't grow as quickly in these conditions. It will take longer for them to shed old leaves and twigs that can dry out to become "available" fuel. Burnt sections may thus suppress subsequent fires for an extra year or so. Microbial decomposition of surface fuels in long unburnt forests, as found in National parks, may be accelerated in the higher average temperatures. (depending on moisture of course). This would lead to a lower equilibrium of unburnt surface fuels. And how are the fuel stackers and rakers like Lyrebirds going to fare with climate change and fox eradication?

All to complex, but trust the media to make the call!

pepe47
WA, 1287 posts
11 Nov 2019 10:22AM
Thumbs Up

I can help, the morrison govt sat on a report for 7 months, into drought because it contained the term "climate change"!

holy guacamole
NSW, 123 posts
11 Nov 2019 1:52PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
pepe47 said..
I can help, the morrison govt sat on a report for 7 months, into drought because it contained the term "climate change"!


Will they ever wake up to what's happening? I doubt it.

holy guacamole
NSW, 123 posts
11 Nov 2019 1:53PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote


You could say that he's got the problem arse about. The problem is climate conditions and weather, not fuel. We can't control every square kilometre of bushland in the country. That would require a permanent, nation-wide group of tens of thousands of people constantly monitoring bushland.

I say Bananabender pays for it.

decrepit
WA, 9599 posts
Monday , 11 Nov 2019 5:28PM
Thumbs Up

I just found that interview from last week before these fires started.

www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-06/former-fire-chief-worried-about-firefighting-resources/11677760

Macroscien
QLD, 4766 posts
Monday , 11 Nov 2019 8:50PM
Thumbs Up

There is also another alternative to back burning and fuel reduction with fires.
Animal that could eat most of bushes.Goats .
Tried already in California.
We need million of goats.After feeding them nicely we could export them to Muslim countries the love to eat them,
alternatively after bushfires we may have food here warm and ready to serve straight from the bushes.

Foghorn
WA, 363 posts
Monday , 11 Nov 2019 7:19PM
Thumbs Up

www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-08/life-after-black-saturday-david-packham-bushfire-scientist/8248666
You won't learn anything listening to green ideology.
Just watched this guy on sky he makes way to much sense amongst the hysteria.

Macroscien
QLD, 4766 posts
Monday , 11 Nov 2019 9:21PM
Thumbs Up

Another interesting subject could be consideration : What size rainfall is needed to conquer average bushfire or just make a difference?
If we assume ( by guessing ) that 10 mm of the rain is needed then we could calculate the we need 100 tones of water per 1 hectare!That is a lot of water if we want to make such artificial rain. But I beleive that can be done.Canadian company designed modern airships capable to carry up to 500 tonnes of load. Australia one day could invest in the fleet of those airships to carry cargo across continent, instead of trucks on the road.But in emergency they could switch to water.Initial fire usually is quite limited in size , so artificial rain could be then anwer in the future. We could not claim that Australia need to burn every year because ...was doing so for centuries, global warming, excess fuel , etc nonsense.I wish that future could prove that even in harsh Australian climate fires and completely not needed to respre balance in nature.
skyfreightercanada.com/aircraft.htm

Ian K
WA, 3002 posts
Monday , 11 Nov 2019 9:14PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Foghorn said..
www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-08/life-after-black-saturday-david-packham-bushfire-scientist/8248666
You won't learn anything listening to green ideology.
Just watched this guy on sky he makes way to much sense amongst the hysteria.





The video has expired on that link. Here's Dr Packham's 2009 interview, before climate change was under such a spotlight.


Did climate change even get a mention in the 2017 interview Foghorn?

The main concern many fire experts appear to have with the prospect of climate change is the effect it may have on the window of opportunity for prescribed burning. Any increase in the extremes of weather being secondary to any lost opportunities to do prescribed burning

www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-13/is-the-prescribed-burn-window-closing-in-australia/10236048

It makes sense that after 40 or 50,000 years of the eucalypt forests evolving in partnership with aboriginal fire management that they are going to go out of whack if the level of burning is suddenly reduced.

Some scientists are suggesting that humans have a far greater influence on forests, or lack thereof, than we thought.

www.newscientist.com/article/mg24432540-600-earths-most-important-rivers-are-in-the-sky-and-theyre-drying-up/

Maybe it's a bi-stable system, flicking to the vegetative mode that existed prior to human settlement is not just a simple matter of winding back prescribed burns, as we seem to be doing. Amongst other things, if that was/is the aim, we would need to re-evolve the megafauna ?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bistability#In_biological_and_chemical_systems

beefarmer
WA, 257 posts
Tuesday , 11 Nov 2019 11:46PM
Thumbs Up

wow some ideas on here are pretty wacko. but i like the out of the box thinking. even the off the planet thinking is good for a laugh! just make some rain - way to go Macroscien, if we could do that we could end this drought once and for all, and the bushfire problems too!

I work in land and fire management in midwest WA and actually, back to the OP, some of the original question isn't so out there. often times in our extremely remote parts of the state we monitor fires from satellites only - the satellite technology to spot fires is pretty good, down to 15 minute frequency now (maybe less?) , and we often watch a fire trickle around for a few days or weeks before it runs into some bare or burnt ground or wet weather and extinguishes itself. obviously, only if there's nothing at risk from the fire.

There have been plenty of occasions where the satellite has picked up a hot spot in a very hard to get to location (no where near any access tracks), we've dispatched bombers to dump a load or two on it, and occasionally been able to put it out. Often its enough to take the heat out of it, slow down progression of the fire, and allow time for ground crews to get there and put it out before it gets to anything significant. But its extremely rare that this is sufficient to extinguish a fire by itself.

I believe there is plenty of room for improvement in the equipment and tech we use for fighting fires. e.g. our fire trucks are ok, but they're basically just tricked up commercial trucks. they get bogged pretty easy. they stake tyres. the truck cab interior melts when it gets hot, releasing all sorts of toxic gas to inhale, and aren't even insulated to protect a firefighter trapped inside. we could do better. i saw this one in action recently, definitely a step up in capability. www.facebook.com/ShireofDandaragan/posts/2140819012694697

There are many good points in the above posts - below a few things i think are worth considering.
- fuel management (prescribed burning) i believe is the only effective way to reduce the wildfire risk to acceptable levels at the landscape scale. this has its own risks, but they are manageable, and definitely preferable to the alternative (not burning, increasing risk of extreme wildfires).
- the bush needs to burn. ecologically, its important to burn most areas (in australia) - the more variation in fuel ages we have across the landscape, the better. if we dont burn the bush, it'll do it itself.
- I don't think I've ever met a professional firefighter that is a climate change denier. even in my relatively short time involved in fires (10 or so years) the difference in length of fire seasons is noticeable. we used to have a fire season, and a spring and autumn burn season. now its an extended spring -summer - autumn fire season, and we've been able to burn in the middle of winter (which wasn't possible, even 10 years ago).

Climate change and associated bushfire season changes are here now, it's not a thing of the future. unfortunately we're going to have to figure out how to deal with it before we even get close to fixing the cause of the problem.

beefarmer
WA, 257 posts
Tuesday , 12 Nov 2019 1:08AM
Thumbs Up

..and in more detail, better said, by someone who knows a lot more than i do about all this fire stuff...

this ones for macroscien

www.bushfirefront.org.au/historical-facts/672-2/?fbclid=IwAR395bvargsxHsvaWBdMDUXNiXvjU5z77ZGwBEtLwjGTZzDoHJ7HQA6Xm1U



Subscribe
Reply

Forums > General Discussion   Shooting the breeze...


"Bushfire surprise?" started by Macroscien