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Keyword: bushfire

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  • Lucky homeowner reveals heroic effort of neighbour that fought off devastating bushfires...

    01/06/2015 4:43:26 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 11 replies
    Daily Mail (Australia/UK) ^ | 7th January 2015 | Heather McNab
    An Adelaide man has told of the incredible heroism of his neighbours who worked together to stop the raging bushfire that came within two metres of destroying his family home. ..... While Simon was waiting to hear whether his house was safe, Barry was working to save not only his own house, but those around him. ..... Simon called Gary and asked him to race up to his house and convince Barry to leave, as he was starting to worry that his friends were putting their lives at risk for his property. ..... The fire had come within two metres...
  • Should the Prime Minister risk his life fighting fires? (Australia)

    10/18/2013 3:21:40 PM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 21 replies
    Herald Sun (Melbourne) ^ | 18th October 2013 | Laurie Oakes
    TONY Abbott did today what any responsible, caring prime minister would do, visiting one of the communities devastated by bushfires raging out of control across NSW. But, as he inspected damage and sought to give comfort to those affected, one of the emotions Abbott no doubt felt was frustration. He would have had a strong urge to take off his prime ministerial hat, don his firefighter's helmet and join the thousands of yellow-clad volunteers battling the flames. Abbott has been a highly skilled member of the NSW Rural Fire Service for 13 years. He is a specialist breathing apparatus operator,...
  • Bushfire arson accused teens granted bail

    02/02/2010 4:15:27 AM PST · by myknowledge · 12 replies · 349+ views
    Two boys charged with lighting one of the fatal Black Saturday bushfires have been released on bail. Almost a year after the devastating fires, a 14-year-old boy was arrested by appointment in Melbourne today, while his 15-year-old co-accused was arrested in central Victoria. The youths were each charged with arson causing death, deliberately lighting a bushfire, lighting a fire on a total fire ban day and lighting a fire in a country area during extreme weather conditions. They were also charged with 135 counts each of criminal damage by fire and multiple counts of using telecommunications services to menace and...
  • Prince William shocked at Australia bushfire impact

    01/21/2010 12:08:48 AM PST · by James C. Bennett · 7 replies · 490+ views
    BBC ^ | 21 January 2010 | BBC
    Prince William has described his shock at seeing first hand the devastation caused by bushfires in Australia. As part of a three-day tour of the country, he met people affected by the fires outside Melbourne and said the power of the flames was "terrifying". One of those he met, Gabrielle Denky, said: "He was devastated and saddened when we told him what happened to us." Fires in south-eastern Australia last February killed hundreds of people and razed entire towns. Rebuilding William was driven through mile after mile of blackened trees, stopping off at a relief centre in the town of...
  • Fire season may start earlier, last longer

    07/29/2009 7:00:52 PM PDT · by myknowledge · 3 replies · 405+ views
    The Daily Telegraph (article from AAP) ^ | July 29, 2009 | Jeff Turnbull and Catherine Best
    THE upcoming fire season could start earlier and last longer, a top Victorian fire chief has warned. Identified risk areas include the Otway Ranges, the Dandenong Ranges, the Brisbane Ranges and the Macedon Ranges. Victoria's Department of Sustainability and Environment chief officer Ewan Waller said firefighters would start burning off as soon as possible. "The fire season may well start earlier, go longer, with lightning in between," Mr Waller said. "We will have extra support from the government for spring burnoffs state-wide and there will be smoke in the air as soon as we can start bringing in people." He...
  • Inaction increases megafire risk: MP

    05/17/2009 4:03:44 AM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 1 replies · 213+ views
    The Australian ^ | 15th May 2009 | Rick Wallace
    THE Brumby Government revealed in its recent budget that the Black Saturday bushfires would cost more than $1 billion. Yet, according to Craig Ingram, the independent member for East Gippsland, one of the state's most fire-prone electorates, it has failed to embrace the cheaper and more effective route of increasing off-season burns. Although the budget included new equipment for firefighters, and $52million for fuel-reduction burning, it did not provide extra staff to assist in the off-season burns. The Government has a target to burn 130,000ha of forest in the off-season and as, John Brumby is fond of saying, it exceeded...
  • State braces for the worst tomorrow

    03/01/2009 2:31:51 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 11 replies · 764+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 2nd March 2009 | Anthony Dowsley and Geraldine Mitchell
    WIND up to 150km/h threatens to turn Victoria into an inferno just weeks after the state's worst bushfire disaster. Gale-force wind is forecast to howl from tonight with the mercury tipped to hit the high-30s tomorrow. "It's going to be a terrible, terrible day," Premier John Brumby said. "It'll probably be the second-worst day we've had. "I can't put it any more bluntly than that." Emergency services fear the northerly wind could send bushfires roaring towards towns that narrowly missed the devastation of February 7. A strong southwesterly wind change late in the day is expected to blow for 24...
  • 5 fires still burn as heat looms (Australian fires)

    02/18/2009 6:42:12 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 9 replies · 262+ views
    Bigpond News ^ | 19th February 2009
    Victorian firefighters are continuing their battle to contain a large blaze in inaccessible country in the Wilsons Promontory National Park. It is one of five blazes that firefighters are still trying to get on top of ahead of warmer and windy conditions forecast for Monday. Department of Sustainability and Environment spokesman Stuart Ord said the Wilsons Promontory fire was continuing to be a challenge for firefighters. The fire, which has burnt more than 12,000ha, is not threatening any private property, but Yanakie residents have been warned to expect smoke. 'Because of the rough terrain we can't get our firefighters to...
  • Accused Bushfire Arsonist to Face Court

    02/15/2009 1:06:43 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 11 replies · 713+ views
    ABC News ^ | 2/15/09
    The first person to be charged over Victoria's deadly bushfires will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court today. The man, who cannot be identified, is accused of lighting the Churchill-Jeeralang fire which killed 21 people in Gippsland, in Victoria's east. The fire started in plantation near Churchill and quickly spread to nearby communities. The man was arrested last week and charged with arson causing death, intentionally lighting a bushfire, and possessing child pornography. The man did not attend a brief court hearing in Morwell on Friday, but his lawyer told the court the man was in a fragile mental state. The...
  • US raises $76,000 for Victoria fires victims

    02/14/2009 8:20:15 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 5 replies · 325+ views ^ | 15th February 2009 | Peter Mitchell
    AUSTRALIAN and Americans have come together in Los Angeles and New York to raise more than $76,587 for victims of the Victoria fires. Organisers in both cities were astounded by the turnout. The Los Angeles event was held at Sunset Boulevard bar The Blue Goose Lounge while several thousand New Yorkers packed Manhattan bar and restaurant, The Australian, throughout the day. "It was shoulder to shoulder throughout the entire day and night," Australian Consul General in New York, John Olsen said. "On a holiday weekend in New York to have that sort of response and turnout was tremendous." Olsen estimated...
  • Bushfire victims could sue power company

    02/14/2009 2:39:12 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 7 replies · 332+ views ^ | 15th February 2009
    TWO NSW firefighters have been injured while battling bushfires in Victoria's Gippsland region, while fire victims launch legal action against the State Government and a power company. A spokeswoman for the Country Fire Authority (CPA) said the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) men suffered serious, but not life-threatening injuries when a tree fell on them while fighting fires in Coopers Creek late on Saturday night. The type of injuries are unknown. Sixty specialist firefighters from the United States will arrive in Melbourne this morning, adding to the 520 interstate firefighters and 120 specialist New Zealand firefighters already in Victoria. Twelve...
  • Jihadists revel in our misery

    02/14/2009 2:02:35 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 9 replies · 492+ views
    Sunday Herald Sun ^ | 15th February 2009 | Eleni Hale
    JIHADISTS are celebrating the worst tragedy in Victoria's history. Terror watchdogs said fundamentalists had blogged on websites across the globe, applauding the lives lost and destruction. Senior analyst at SITE Intelligence Group Adam Raisman said they were posting pictures of burnt homes and devastated victims and "taking joy in the scenes". One jihadist wrote: "It would be an act of revenge for Australian's participation in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." Bushfires victims said they were stunned.
  • US sends 60 firemen to battle Victoria fires

    02/13/2009 4:54:15 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 16 replies · 380+ views
    ninemsn ^ | 14th February 2009
    The United States will send 60 experienced firefighters to Australia to help battle the remaining Victorian blazes, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. The US Department of Interior will dispatch 29 firefighters and the US Forest Service is deploying 31 in response to an official Victorian request for assistance, Salazar said. Twenty one bushfires are still burning across Victoria, after swarms of devastating infernos killed at least 181 people and destroyed nearly 2,000 homes. "Australia is experiencing an unprecedented wildfire season due to record high temperatures, drought, high wind and low humidity," Salazar said in a statement. "We are dispatching this...
  • How the battle with Victoria's bushfires was fought and lost

    02/13/2009 1:47:44 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 5 replies · 484+ views
    The Weekend Australian ^ | 14th February 2009 | Cameron Stewart and Corrie Perkin
    BRUCE Esplin woke at 6am last Saturday with a gnawing feeling in his gut. Victoria's Emergency Services Commissioner knew the odds were not good for the 3582 firefighters and emergency workers who had been placed like toy soldiers across the breadth of his state. "We were about to face weather beyond our experience, and I just had this feeling of dread," Esplin says. Across town, Ewan Waller, the Government's chief fire officer, was also on edge. By 7.30am he was already sitting in the Integrated Emergency Co-ordination Centre in central Melbourne, otherwise known as the "war room", where he would...
  • US sending firefighters to Victoria

    02/13/2009 4:19:00 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 7 replies · 282+ views ^ | 14th February 2009
    THE US will send 60 experienced firefighters to Australia to help battle the remaining Victorian blazes, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today. The US Department of Interior will dispatch 29 firefighters and the US Forest Service is deploying 31 in response to an official Victorian request for assistance, Mr Salazar said. Twenty one bushfires are still burning across Victoria, after swarms of devastating infernos killed at least 181 people and destroyed nearly 2000 homes.
  • Bushfires release huge carbon load (Envirowhack alert!)

    02/13/2009 12:11:15 AM PST · by ApplegateRanch · 22 replies · 743+ views
    The Australian ^ | February 13, 2009 | Asa Wahlquist
    VICTORIA'S bushfires have released a massive amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - almost equal to Australia's industrial emission for an entire year. Mark Adams, from the University of Sydney, said the emissions from bushfires were far beyond what could be contained through carbon capture and needed to be addressed in the next international agreement. "Once you are starting to burn millions of hectares of eucalypt forest, then you are putting into the atmosphere very large amounts of carbon," Professor Adams said. In work for the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre, he estimated the 2003 and 2006-07 bushfires could have...
  • Man charged over deadly Churchill fire (Australian bushfires)

    02/12/2009 10:09:55 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 16 replies · 822+ views ^ | February 13th, 2009
    A man accused of lighting the Churchill-Jeerelang bushfire in Gippsland, in Victoria's east has been remanded in custody. The fire started in plantation near Churchill on Saturday and quickly spread to nearby communities. Twenty-one people are confirmed to have died in that fire. The man was arrested this morning and taken to the Morwell police station where he was questioned for several hours. He has been charged with one count of arson causing death, one count of intentionally lighting a bushfire and one count of possessing child pornography. The man did not appear in court.
  • Fires destroyed 1831 homes

    02/12/2009 5:24:23 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 7 replies · 333+ views ^ | 13th February 2009
    THE number of homes destroyed in Victoria's bushfires has jumped to 1831, in what poses a significant challenge for the state, Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce Esplin says. Data released today showed a massive rise in the number of homes lost - up from 1069 reported yesterday.
  • Victoria fires: Man arrested over fire which killed 21

    02/12/2009 6:12:30 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 27 replies · 840+ views ^ | 13th February 2009
    A MAN has been arrested in relation to a blaze in Gippsland which killed at least 21 people in the Victoria fires. He is currently being questioned by police. No charges have yet been laid, the Herald Sun reported. No other details were immediately available. Meanwhile residents of two towns in the Victoria fires zone are coming under ember attack from fires burning towards them. The ember attack on the Healesville-Kinglake Road cut off Toolangi from its neighbour Healesville as the massive Maroondah Yarra Complex fire, which is out of control and has already burnt through 35,300ha, moved closer. Country...
  • Worst fire threat in history (prayers needed, please)

    02/06/2009 2:36:21 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 11 replies · 458+ views
    Herald Sun (Melbourne) ^ | 7th February 2009 | Peter Rolfe
    VICTORIANS have been put on alert as bush fires rage on a day tipped to have the worst fire conditions in Victoria's history. More than 100 firefighters are battling a blaze in the Bunyip State Park near Pakenham in Melbourne's east. Several communities are under threat from the fire including Labertouche, Jindivick West and Tonimbuk. CFA spokesman Dan Connell said several other towns are likely to be affected during the day. At 7.30am more than 150ha had burned. The fire burst through containment lines about 3am. Temperatures are expected to soar to up to 46 degrees in some regional centres...
  • NSW, Victoria and South Australia on high alert as heatwave at its worst

    02/06/2009 10:17:37 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 10 replies · 672+ views ^ | 7th February 2009
    FIREFIGHTERS in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT are bracing for a devastating weekend as record high temperatures, gusty winds and parched earth combine to produce an unprecedented fire danger, The Australian reports. A volunteer firefighter suffered burns to 50 per cent of his body after helping a neighbour fight one of six fires burning across Victoria, where fire crews are stretched to the limit. Six houses have been destroyed and urgent warnings have been sent to communities near the Bunyip State Park, Churchill, Kilmore, Horsham and Colleraine to leave their home or prepare to fight ember...
  • Wildfires claim 14 lives as Oz sizzles at 47 C [AUSTRALIA]

    02/07/2009 11:14:07 AM PST · by MyTwoCopperCoins · 21 replies · 877+ views
    The Times of India ^ | 8 Feb 2009, 0007 hrs IST | The Times of India
    SYDNEY: Raging wildfires swept southeastern Australia on Saturday, killing at least 14 people and razing some 100 homes as scorching temperatures and gale-force winds combined into a deadly inferno, while floodwaters in the country’s sodden north continued to rise. Victoria state police said the death toll might exceed 40 as dozens of fires burned unchecked into the night. Some officials described the day as the worst in the sunburned country’s history of wildfires. More than 30,000 volunteer firefighters were battling fires after dark, when helicopters and planes that hand-dumped millions of tons of water on the flames returned to base...
  • Bushfires in Victoria kill at least 25, fears death toll will rise

    02/07/2009 1:10:27 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 5 replies · 371+ views
    Sunday Herald Sun ^ | 8th February 2009
    AT least 25 people have been killed in Victoria's worst bushfires since Ash Wednesday, with the death toll expected to rise. Authorities will begin to assess some of the most horrific blazes the state has even seen as dawn breaks, with fears the death toll could rise dramatically. Police updated the confirmed death toll to 25 a short time ago and are expected to confirm more lives lost at a press conference later this morning. "I can confirm that the we now have 25 people dead at this point in time,'' Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said this morning....
  • Photo gallery - Victoria's killer bushfires

    02/07/2009 1:20:28 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 14 replies · 1,110+ views ^ | 8th February 2009
  • Army called in to help battle Victorian bushfires

    02/07/2009 4:15:14 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 4 replies · 375+ views ^ | 8th February 2009 | Greg Roberts
    The Australian army will be brought in to help in the worst bushfires in Victoria's history. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd offered army troops to help firefighters control 26 fires around the state that have claimed at least 26 lives, injured hundreds and destroyed hundreds of properties, Premier John Brumby said. "The army will become involved, I spoke to the prime minister in the early hours of this morning when I was in Bendigo," Mr Brumby said.
  • Wiped out: Town destroyed by killer fires

    02/07/2009 5:58:08 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 16 replies · 737+ views
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation ^ | 8th February 2009 | Jane Cowan
    The township of Marysville in central Victoria has been almost completely destroyed by bushfires and there are grave fears for the town of Kinglake, where at least 12 people are known to have died. Aerial pictures taken by the ABC show street after street of completely destroyed homes in Marysville. Most are just piles of rubble. Some still have walls standing and a handful appear to be mostly intact. In all 35 people are now confirmed to have died in the fires north of Melbourne and this morning there are unconfirmed reports of bodies being found in cars overtaken by...
  • Bushfires in Victoria kill 50, death toll will rise

    02/07/2009 10:12:02 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 48 replies · 1,119+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 8th February 2009
    FIFTY people are confirmed dead in bushfires that have devastated several Victorian communities. Police have just confirmed the new figure. 640 houses have been destroyed. While firebugs are being blamed for several blazes ravaging Victoria, the Country Fire Authority has confirmed that several fires are being deliberately relit by arsonists. CFA deputy chief Steve Warrington said an arsonist is hampering firefighters’ efforts in Churchill with an intense blaze taking hold. "We know we do have someone who is lighting fires in this community. While we often think it's spotting, we also know that there are people lighting fires deliberately," he...
  • Marysville: an unthinkable grave (devastation of Australian fires - town destroyed)

    02/07/2009 11:36:51 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 11 replies · 997+ views ^ | 8th February 2009 | Terry Brown
    A GREY army blanket beside Falls Rd covers a human-shaped lump. More than 15 hours after the fires went through, it can't be what it seems. It is just laying there on the roadside at the fringe of town like dumped rubbish. Two locals gently lift a corner of the blanket and look. The whole town is a scene of almost unimaginable destruction, but their faces are more desolate. It is a young girl, they think. They look again. Marysville is a close-knit town. Everyone knows everyone, but they can't tell who it is they have found. They only know...
  • Victoria's bushfire toll hits 84 as fires continue to spread (Australia)

    02/08/2009 3:31:42 AM PST · by Dundee · 11 replies · 785+ views
    The Australia ^ | February 08, 2009
    THE death toll from Victoria's bushfires has risen to 84, amid grave fears for towns in the state's northeast as fires continue to rage out of control. Five people died at Flowerdale, two people at Hazeldene and three at Taggerty, while two more people were confirmed dead at Kinglake and a further person died at St Andrews. A person from Yea died in hospital. The toll already surpasses the 28 in South Australia and the 47 Victorians that died in the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, while the Black Friday blaze in 1939 claimed 71 lives. ...Hundreds of homes have already...
  • Channel 9 veteran Brian Naylor confirmed dead in Kinglake fires

    02/08/2009 3:52:11 AM PST · by naturalman1975 · 20 replies · 1,491+ views ^ | 8th February 2009
    CHANNEL Nine veteran Brian Naylor and his wife Moiree have been confirmed dead in the fires at Kinglake West, Sky News reports. Channel Nine had earlier said the newsreading legend, who lives in fire-ravaged Kinglake West, could not be accounted for. In a break in their normal programming, presenter Tony Jones reported that a body believed to be that of Moiree Naylor had been found close to the family's address. Eighty-four people are dead and at least 750 homes have been destroyed and 3733 people have registered with the Red Cross after evacuating their properties. The number left homeless is...
  • Victorian bushfire toll reaches 108, TV legend Brian Naylor dead

    02/08/2009 12:59:30 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 18 replies · 1,306+ views ^ | 9th February 2009
    THE death toll in Australia's worst bushfires has hit 108, with TV veteran Brian Naylor among the dead. Firefighters have worked through the night to battle 31 fires across scorched Victoria. A total of 108 people have been confirmed dead in Australia's deadliest bushfires, with fears the death toll may rise sharply. According to police figures, another 11 people were found dead at Kinglake West, north of Melbourne, taking that community's toll to 20 while another four bodies were found at Marysville taking that town's toll to eight. Only one building was left standing at Marysville after the inferno swept...
  • 108 people dead, 750 homes destroyed in worst bushfires in Australia's history

    02/08/2009 4:30:37 PM PST · by Aussie Dasher · 53 replies · 3,114+ views ^ | 9 february 2009
    PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd said arsonists in Victoria had committed mass murder as the death toll in Australia's worst ever bushfires rose to 108 this morning. The final toll was expected to rise further and fires were still burning out of control and putting towns at risk in the Beechworth and Yackandandah regions in the state's northeast. Amid speculation some of the fires were deliberately lit - and with reports yesterday that people were returning to relight blazes after fire crews had left an area - Mr Rudd said: "There are no words to describe it other than mass murder."...
  • Day fire fell from the sky - 96 killed in Australian inferno

    02/08/2009 5:05:06 PM PST · by JoeProBono · 39 replies · 2,414+ views ^ | 9 February 2009 | Jewel Topsfield and Daniella Miletic
    Marysville is the town that disappeared. Once known as Melbourne's honeymooning centre, with its pretty guesthouses and century-old oaks, the town, about 60 miles from the Victoria state capital, is now a smouldering, post-apocalyptic wasteland.From the air, nearby St Fillans resembles a row of campfires - piles of powdery ashes with the embers trampled out. The landscape is deserted, with caravans, boats and burned-out cars abandoned in the middle of roads. Many appear to have been trapped by flying debris - huge sections of what were once walls which have blocked the road. A house under construction is untouched by...
  • Queen offers sympathies to bushfire victims

    02/08/2009 6:05:38 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 8 replies · 398+ views ^ | 9th February 2009
    The Queen has sent a message of condolence to the families of those who have died in the Victoria bushfires. The Queen said she was shocked and saddened to learn of the terrible toll being exacted by the fires. In a written statement, she sent her heartfelt condolences to the families of all those who have died and deep sympathy to the many who had lost their homes. She wanted also to convey her admiration for the work of Australian firefighters and emergency services for what she called their extraordinary efforts. The Queen's comments came after a phone call by...
  • Victorian bushfires death toll expected to rise to 230

    02/08/2009 6:51:39 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 30 replies · 1,125+ views
    The Australian ^ | 9th February 2009
    THE DEATH toll from the nation's worst bushfires is expected to more than double, with the Victorian Government being advised to prepare for 230 fatalities.
  • Melbourne's Alfred Hospital runs out of morphine treating burns victims

    02/08/2009 8:44:07 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 9 replies · 774+ views ^ | 9th February 2009 | Grant McArthur
    ONE after another, the horrifying procession of helicopters brought the most seriously burned victims to the Alfred. The sheer number and seriousness of their injuries was so overwhelming the state's biggest trauma hospital ran out of morphine, calling for emergency supplies to treat the 20 most seriously injured victims. Patients started arriving at 9pm on Saturday and by noon yesterday 10 were on life support in an intensive care unit filled to capacity for the first time since it opened last year, the Herald Sun reports. Emergency doctors at the state's top burns unit could only compare the carnage with...
  • Islam group urges forest fire jihad

    02/09/2009 8:55:05 AM PST · by george76 · 54 replies · 2,642+ views
    Canada Free Press ^ | September 7, 2008 | Josh Gordon
    AUSTRALIA has been singled out as a target for “forest jihad” by a group of Islamic extremists urging Muslims to deliberately light bushfires as a weapon of terror. US intelligence channels earlier this year identified a website calling on Muslims in Australia, the US, Europe and Russia to “start forest fires”, claiming “scholars have justified chopping down and burning the infidels’ forests when they do the same to our lands”. The website, posted by a group called the Al-Ikhlas Islamic Network, argues in Arabic that lighting fires is an effective form of terrorism justified in Islamic law under the “eye...
  • US fire chiefs head to Australia

    02/09/2009 12:43:31 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 19 replies · 754+ views ^ | 10th February 2009
    A CONTINGENT of senior US fire personnel is expected to land in Victoria within 48 hours after an SOS call from the Australian Government. About 35 American firefighting operation chiefs, aviation managers, planning section chiefs and specialists in land rehabilitation will fly to Australia. "Australia and New Zealand have been wonderful neighbours and provided help in our time of need and we are happy to return that help," US National Interagency Fire Center spokesman Don Smurthwaite said. Australia, New Zealand and US firefighting agencies have a close working relationship and have participated in exchange programs in recent years. On the...
  • Troops erect tent cities for people made homeless by the Victoria bushfires

    02/09/2009 12:48:36 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 9 replies · 402+ views
    The Australian ^ | 10th February 2009 | Mark Dodd
    FAMILIES driven from their homes by the bushfires were sheltering last night in tent cities as troops joined the emergency response. Military-issue tents were erected in the towns of Yea and Alexandria, with troops handing out sleeping bags to those who could not return to their homes, or had no homes to return to. More than 450 soldiers fanned out across Victoria yesterday, bulldozing firebreaks, reopening roads and helping in the search for victims. They were part of a taskforce comprising engineers and reservists called up to bolster the ranks of over-stretched rescue workers. Brigadier Mike Arnold said military aircraft...
  • Victoria bushfires stoked by green vote

    02/09/2009 12:51:50 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 17 replies · 967+ views
    The Australian ^ | 10th February 2009 | David Packham
    VICTORIA has suffered the most tragic bushfire disaster to have occurred on this continent throughout its period of human habitation. The deaths, loss of homes and businesses and the blow to our feeling of security will take decades to fade into history. The trauma will live with the victims, who, to a greater or lesser extent, are all of us. How could this happen when we have been told in a withering, continuous barrage of public relations that with technology and well-polished uniforms, we can cope with the unleashing of huge forces of nature. I have been a bushfire scientist...
  • Prison inmates could join fire effort

    02/09/2009 3:40:43 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 2 replies · 199+ views ^ | 10th February 2009 | Catherine Best
    PRISONERS could join the fire recovery effort in Victoria's northeast as a blaze continues to burn out of control near Beechworth. The Beechworth Correctional Centre has offered up to 30 inmates to work under supervision either at emergency staging areas or in the clean-up effort. Prison general manager Terry Jose said the prisoners were involved in community work as part of their reintegration program and were trained in fencing and tree clearing. The men, aged from their early 20s to mid 60s, could also help serving food to the region's weary firefighters. "Whatever's needed, we're a minimum security prison, we've...
  • Victoria fires: 173 dead, towns ruined, police chase arsonists

    02/09/2009 3:50:20 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 16 replies · 1,005+ views ^ | 10th February 2009
    THE death toll from the Victoria fires catastrophe leapt to 173 overnight as authorities found bodies clustered together where people fleeing the flames or trying to save their homes had been overwhelmed. Twenty-four fires were still burning early this morning and towns remained under threat as authorities moved deeper into the ruins of those communities hit in the fire's first wave, when more than 700 homes were lost. The death toll from the bushfires is certain to rise further. Bushfire relief funds were receiving $1 million in donations per hour yesterday, with $15 million pledged by last night. Victorian Premier...
  • Victoria fires: 173 dead, towns ruined, police chase arsonists

    02/09/2009 4:51:27 PM PST · by Aussie Dasher · 25 replies · 1,145+ views ^ | 10 February 2009
    THE death toll from the Victoria fires catastrophe leapt to 173 overnight as authorities found bodies clustered together where people fleeing the flames or trying to save their homes had been overwhelmed. Twenty-four fires were still burning early this morning and towns remained under threat as authorities moved deeper into the ruins of those communities hit in the fire's first wave, when more than 700 homes were lost. The death toll from the bushfires is certain to rise further. Bushfire relief funds were receiving $1 million in donations per hour yesterday, with $15 million pledged by last night. Victorian Premier...
  • Australia declares bushfire disaster a crime scene

    02/09/2009 4:53:52 PM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 5 replies · 402+ views
    Reuters ^ | February 10, 2009 | By Mark Bendeich
    SYDNEY, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Australian police treated the country's entire bushfire disaster zone as a crime scene on Tuesday as investigators combed through a blackened wasteland to find clues to the culprits behind the country's deadliest fires. Arson investigators began their work even as about 25 fires still raged across southern Victoria, including some of the hardest-hit areas north of Melbourne where so far 173 people have been confirmed dead, many burnt in cars and their own homes. "All of the fires have been treated as a crime scene," a police spokesman said, adding that arson investigators from up...
  • Victoria bushfire supported offered by US President Barack Obama

    02/09/2009 8:46:40 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 17 replies · 762+ views ^ | 10th February 2009 | Peter Mitchell
    US President Barack Obama has phoned Kevin Rudd to offer his condolences over the bushfires and offer US help in fighting the blazes. "The president offered his prayers to the people of Australia and his condolences to the victims," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "The president asked if the US could provide assistance to the government and people of Australia to assist with the fire." The call came as a contingent of senior US fire personnel prepared to fly to Australia to help battle the killer bushfires. About 35 American firefighting operation chiefs, aviation managers, planning section chiefs and...
  • Victoria's Killer Fires (Distressed Koala Pic)

    02/10/2009 9:59:55 AM PST · by Squidpup · 37 replies · 1,583+ views
    HeraldSun ^ | February 10, 2009 | Russel Vickery
    Sad picture (not to mention the human suffering and deaths):
  • Drought, strong winds and heat combined to produce Victoria fires (why it was so bad)

    02/10/2009 1:38:39 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 15 replies · 371+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 11th February 2009 | Alice Coster
    CONDITIONS for a perfect firestorm led to Australia's greatest natural disaster at the weekend. Drought, hurricane-force wind and record temperatures after a record heatwave combined to create Victoria's deadly Black Saturday bushfires. The University of Melbourne's senior lecturer in fire ecology and management, Kevin Tolhurst, said conditions on Black Saturday were some of the worst the world had seen for a potential outbreak. He said the fires were so hot the energy they released could have supplied Victoria with electricity for at least two years. Up to 80,000 kilowatts per metre of heat was expelled as the fires raged on...
  • Shawn Stavang, the man behind Elvis Helitak's might (American hero in Australian fires)

    02/12/2009 3:26:49 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 3 replies · 335+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 13th February 2009 | Anne Wright
    SHAWN Stavang is the saviour in the sky for hundreds of Victorian bushfire survivors. Flying the famous Elvis Helitak above the deadly flames, he provides hope for those desperately trying to defend their properties. In his 16 years of fighting bushfires, the Californian has never seen devastation on a scale like this. "On Saturday it didn't matter how many aircraft you had," he said. "There were just too many fires. I don't know how they all got started, but they're just everywhere. "I started working on the ground driving a fuel truck to the fires in 1992 in the US...
  • Could Oz wildfires be jungle jihad?

    02/10/2009 1:41:20 PM PST · by MyTwoCopperCoins · 15 replies · 621+ views
    The Times of India ^ | 11 Feb 2009, 0252 hrs IST | The Times of India
    Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has already spoken of “mass murder’’ after investigators said arsonists may have set off some of the wildfires which have already claimed 181 lives. Now, there’s an even more chilling question: could it be the work of jihadis? Experts on terrorism aren’t ruling it out. A report in Australian newspaper The Age points out that US intelligence channels earlier this year identified a website calling on Muslims in Australia, the US, Europe and Russia to “start forest fires”, claiming “scholars have justified chopping down and burning the infidels’ forests when they do the same to...
  • Fears out-of-control fires will create massive blaze [Australia]

    02/10/2009 6:52:34 PM PST · by BlackVeil · 26 replies · 2,023+ views
    Australian Broadcasting Commission ^ | February 11, 2009 | ABC
    Fire crews are worried major blazes burning out of control near Melbourne could join to create one massive bushfire. Firefighters are working on containment lines around the Maroondah-Yarra fires and the Bunyip fires. At this stage no communities are under threat and 18 kilometres separate the two fire complexes, but lightning has caused spot fires between them. CFA deputy chief fire officer Steve Warrington says there are fears a wind change could push them together. "There are a number of settlements in that particular area, if you look at the proximity of Powelltown, which pretty well sits right in the...