Author Topic: Australian Fires  (Read 868 times)

Garry

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Australian Fires
« on: January 04, 2020, 09:08:34 »
To date there has been 12 million acres burnt out in the fires that spread from North east coast of Australia that started before Christmas right down the East coast into the southern states and even some fires in the west of the country. Thousands of houses are lost and at the moment thankfully only 21 deaths but that number is expected to rise sharply once they can access some of the burnt areas. Over one billion native animals have been lost to the flames

To put that into some perspective it’s an area greater than the United Kingdom, or a 1/3 of California burnt out and still going full on tonight. They don’t think they will get it under control till later in January if we don’t get any further fires.

Temperatures have been running in the 40’s celsius or in the 100  -  110 f. all along the coast.  The major towns of Sydney and Melbourne and the Capitol, Canberra, are shrouded in smoke and will be for some weeks.

I have not heard of any Pagoda Members affected yet.

It is a pretty scary time down under at the moment.

Garry
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Pawel66

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 09:22:08 »
It is terrible, we see the news. My wife's uncle lives in Melbourne, he tells us what is going on as well....

Keeping the fingers crossed it is over soon and keeping the fingers crossed for those affected...

Very sorry for this.
Pawel

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doitwright

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 14:37:55 »
My son arrived in Sydney this past Friday. He says there is no hint of smoke in the air where he is staying. He plans to be there on a study abroad program through his business school at Indiana University. We were very concerned before he left but some contacts we has said he would be fine in the area he is staying. Right now, we are planning our trip to Australia February 3-20.
Frank Koronkiewicz
Willowbrook, Illinois

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Rolf-Dieter

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2020, 16:26:10 »
It is indeed a very sad situation and Mother Nature unfortunately is not helping in any way with those high temperatures. Many countries are sending fire fighters as you know Garry. Canada dispatched several dozen before the holidays and more are being dispatched to help and support Australian fire fighters.

Let us hope and pray that some kind of normalcy can be achieved in the coming weeks. Many are crossing there fingers that it be so. The situation at the moment is truly out of control.

Dieter
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Garry

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2020, 20:57:14 »
Rolf-Dieter, 
I wish it was your map but this is the map that is more correct post 1 January


New Zealand is getting smoked.  Smoke in the city one day, none the next and then more again.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 21:02:39 by Garry »
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Australia
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2005 MB A200
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ricrose

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2020, 22:55:48 »
We live right on the fringes of the southern fire front and have been evacuated twice now. Not a pleasant experience. Fortunately (?) my Pagoda is in Melbourne having her gear box rebuilt.
The smoke is thick thick and the skies red most of the time. As Garry says this will go on for weeks (if not months) still.
Richard Rose
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Garry

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2020, 23:46:58 »
Richard,


Glad you are ok in Metung.  We wondered how you were going down there. It was one of the reasons we decided to leave there. We had one fire in our local gully that scared the s$#t out of me. That was enough. Very smoky in Melbourne today.  I am sure Sydney will smoke out again before it is all through.
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Australia
1965 MB 230SL Auto RHD Lt Blue 334G, Top 350H, 213 Leather, Tourist Delivery
2005 MB A200
2008 MB SLK 55 AMG
2016 VW T6 4x4 pop top Camper
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Garry

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2020, 06:45:11 »
Driving in Melbourne today.  City of 3.5 million. Bit smoky, and fires are over 200 miles away
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Australia
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2005 MB A200
2008 MB SLK 55 AMG
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kampala

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2020, 13:03:59 »
Garry,

We feel for Australia.   We had a house involved in the California (Malibu) fires a year ago.  The scale of what you describe is unimaginable.   

The loss of life is obviously heart breaking. 

We were quite surprised how quickly the land recovers and seems to thrive.   

One of the the attached photos is a few days after the Malibu fire - still smoldering,  and the other is 4 months later.   

Now a year later, the animals have made a significant recovery as well.


Wishing you some help from the rain clouds.

best,
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 13:19:07 by kampala »
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doitwright

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2020, 15:08:34 »
My family decided last month that because my son had already committed to study abroad in Sydney for 5 months (he arrived last Friday) that we would meet up with him during his break. We leave Chicago for Sydney on February 3 and plan to return on the 20th. It will be my wife and I and daughter with her boyfriend.

Because of the fire conditions, being unfamiliar with the country, and having never driven on the left side of the road,  I am wondering if any of you from Australia could offer some suggestions on helping us plan our way around the cities we hope to visit.

We are flying in and out of Sydney where we want to spend some time at the beginning and end of our trip, maybe 3 days on each end. Of course we want to see where Brett is in school and the Opera House and many other sights.

From Sydney we need to get to Melbourne to see it and also to fly more economically to NZ. Flying is not cheap - Should we take a train from Sydney to Melbourne? Any danger that the fires would make a train impossible? Is it a scenic route? Trains take longer than cars, but would it be more relaxing since we are not used to driving on that side of the road and it would be a one-way car rental which could be expensive. But should we take a rental car?

Then we thought we'd fly to New Zealand for 5-6 days (probably only see highlights/key sites on 1 island). And we'd fly back but it's expensive to fly to Cairn/Great Barrier Reef directly so we might fly back to Melbourne and then up to Cairn. To get back to Sydney from Cairn, again should we take a train or is there a better way (like renting a car)?

Thank you in advance for any advice.
Frank Koronkiewicz
Willowbrook, Illinois

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Garry

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2020, 21:00:09 »
Frank,  Firstly, i hope you understand the milage you are talking about doing.  Sydney to melbourne is a 550 mile drive so will take 8-10 hours driving time plus stops.  Not too bad and an easy dual lane highway but absolutely limited to 55-60 mph.   Sydney to Cairns on the other hand is the equivalent of Maine to Florida and will take you a few days.  Not dual highway and heavily trafficked in the summer. it is a 2500 km drive so at least 25-30 hours of driving 8 hours a day so four days. 

A cheap flight Sydney to Melbourne one way is usually around $100 Aust dollars . A cheap Sydney to Cairns flight should be around the $180 AUD.   If i was doing it and there are four? people then i would drive the Sydney to Melb leg but would fly the sydney to Cairns leg.  Flights from melb to NZ are around $2-300AUD one way. Cheaper still to fly from somewhere like Christchurch  to Sydney again usually less than $200 AUD or even fly Christchurch or Auckland to Brisbane and then catch the train from there.

The fires by that time should be fine and where you are going are the main cities. The fires should not affect you by that time.

There are trains  from Sydney to Melbourne that will take all of a day or overnight.  Sydney to Cairns will also have a train and will be two plus days with two overnights as well. Fares for these are not necessarily cheap.  Flying will always be the cheapest except where you con do it in one day where four in a car will be the cheapest

So maybe look at a drive to Melb, then fly Melb to NZ.  NZ fly back to Brisbane and then train it from there to Cairns and fly back from Cairns to Sydney. 

Or to put in to US perspective, a quick drive from Chicago to Seattle  then fly across to Hawaii for a couple of days then fly back to San Diego and from there just pop back to Chicago

Even so that is a hell of a lot of travel in a few weeks. 

PM me if you want some help or info.

Garry
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 21:05:42 by Garry »
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Australia
1965 MB 230SL Auto RHD Lt Blue 334G, Top 350H, 213 Leather, Tourist Delivery
2005 MB A200
2008 MB SLK 55 AMG
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Jordan

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2020, 23:17:31 »
Garry, I watch the news and can see the firefighters are exhausted and struggling.  I can't imagine the devastation and destruction.  We've heard a half a billion animals have died.  Just horrendous.  We are into winter here and don't know why we aren't sending more float planes.  Logistics I am sure is a big issue (and distance).  The rains can't come soon enough.
Marcus
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Garry

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2020, 00:04:03 »
Marcus.
I think that number is conservative and only covers one state.  I saw a figure that doubled that. In the next day or so it looks like it will flare up again and the two biggest fires will merge into one mega fire between the southern state Victoria and New South Wales which is the central eastern state.  I am having trouble just getting my head around 12+ million acres already burnt and climbing.
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Australia
1965 MB 230SL Auto RHD Lt Blue 334G, Top 350H, 213 Leather, Tourist Delivery
2005 MB A200
2008 MB SLK 55 AMG
2016 VW T6 4x4 pop top Camper
2020 Volvo XC40 Electric Recharge, on order.

doitwright

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2020, 03:50:26 »
Gary,

Thanks for the reply. That was just the kind of information we needed.

Frank Koronkiewicz
Willowbrook, Illinois

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2020, 21:54:24 »
I know Garry the previous picture was not the latest one, this one might be closer to being up to date. What a devastation.
 

Dieter
« Last Edit: January 07, 2020, 21:58:54 by Rolf-Dieter »
Dieter

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Iconic

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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2020, 16:36:31 »
I can't really find the words .....
Garry (and Kate), please stay safe !!
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Re: Australian Fires
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2020, 02:58:28 »
I was glad to see that close to 300 fire fighters from the US will soon be in Australia to help fight the fires there. Many Australians (as well as Canadians) were here to help in California in years past to help us and it was much appreciated by the affected communities. We also have friends in Australia but they are not be threatened now but our hearts go out to the many that are. Paradise Is about an hour and half north of us and we have many fires closer to home through years. Close enough that helicopters were using our lake across the street. They are terrifying and I certainly  hope things improve for Australia soon.

John
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