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Keyword: bushfires

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  • CSIRO debuts bushfire prediction tool

    05/05/2015 7:40:34 PM PDT · by Utilizer · 8 replies ^ | May 5, 2015 11:50 AM (AUS) | Brendon Foye
    Spark aimed at saving lives. Australia's peak science and research organisation today released a homegrown software tool to help emergency services predict the severity and spread of destructive bushfires. The CSIRO's Spark tool gathers geospatial data on topography, vegetation, humidity and wind patterns from Landsat satellites, and combines it with data provided by fire authorities to give an accurate prediction of fire behaviour. The organisation expects Spark will not only help emergency services save lives, but also reduce the financial burden of bushfires. Spark should also allow emergency services to better manage infrastructure planning, fire fighting resource allocation and deployment,...
  • It's over: Victorian fires contained

    03/14/2009 4:49:17 PM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 4 replies · 261+ views ^ | 14th March 2009
    All of Victoria's bushfires have now been contained. Emergency services said the Wilsons Promontory Cathedral fire was finally contained at 10am (AEDT) today, ending the last major bushfire that had been threatening Victoria since Black Saturday. Australia's worst natural disaster has claimed the lives of 210 Victorians, more than 2000 homes and burnt 421,670 hectares of public and private land since starting on February 7. Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) state duty officer Dennis Ward acknowledged the combined firefighting effort of the DSE and Country Fire Authority (CFA) in containing the Wilsons Promontory bushfire. A lightning strike sparked the...
  • Snow falls in Victoria just days after extreme bushfire alert

    03/04/2009 8:05:58 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 22 replies · 538+ views ^ | 5th March 2009
    VICTORIA'S alpine region has recorded snowfall in the early hours of today, just days after the state was on extreme fire alert. Victorian Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Michael Halfpenny said with temperatures reaching a low of minus two degrees at Mount Hotham this morning, slight snowfall would have been seen. "There would have been a few flecks this morning with a few possible showers, but it was not likely to settle," he said. Mt Hotham recorded 1.2 mm of snow with temperatures below zero degrees from about 2am to 10.30am, Mr Halfpenny said. Mount Hotham Skiing Company senior marketing...
  • Black Saturday bushfire crisis over

    03/03/2009 8:19:26 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 4 replies · 333+ views ^ | 4th March 2009
    AFTER the loss of more than 200 lives and almost a month of fear and grief, the Black Saturday bushfires have at last been tamed and the dark crisis is over. But it has taken nature to overcome the overwhelming. Cooler weather offers enormous relief for communities and firefighters. While four major fires remain burning, the forecasts for the next few weeks allowed firefighters breathing room, Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce Esplin said today. "We see a very bright light at the end of the tunnel now, we see that this weather is over," he said. "The pressure has been in...
  • Fire crews preparing for hot, dry and windy Friday (prayers please)

    02/25/2009 9:52:34 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 8 replies · 294+ views ^ | 26th February 2009 | John Masanauskas
    MORE than 200 schools and 146 child centres will close tomorrow as Victoria prepares for a scorcher tomorrow. Schools and kindergartens in high risk fire areas including the Otways, Grampians, Mallee, Gippsland and Yarra Valley will close amid concerns for student safety. One hundred and ninety government schools, 178 kindergatens and child care centres, 16 Catholic schools and at least 17 non-catholic private schools will close tomorrow as the bushfire risk increases. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development cited travel safety concerns, possible water contamination and the threat of continuing or new fires as reasons for the closures....
  • Victoria fires: Day of mourning today, victims to be remembered with permanent shrine

    02/21/2009 3:07:28 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 196+ views
    Sunday Herald Sun | 22nd February 2009
    A PERMANENT shrine will be built to commemorate the victims and heroes of the Black Saturday bushfires. As the nation pauses today to pay its respects to those who died in the Victoria fires, the Brumby and Rudd governments will announce a $2.5 million fund for memorials to pay tribute to those who perished. The cash will include grants of up to $200,000 for fire-ravaged communities to build memorials, monuments or plaques in their towns, the Sunday Herald Sun reports. The governments also plan to build a major fire victims' shrine of remembrance, either off St Kilda Rd, in Fitzroy...
  • 'Greenies' blamed for Australian fires

    02/18/2009 6:28:59 AM PST · by PROCON · 7 replies · 619+ views ^ | Feb. 17, 2009 | Pete Chagnon
    The editor for the Australian Conservative says the tragic brush fires in Australia can be partly blamed on the environmentalists or "greenies." One of the worst brush fires in decades has ravished parts of Victoria, Australia. Authorities say more than 1,800 homes have been destroyed as well as over 150 lives lost and over 1,000 square miles of land scorched. Authorities have even designated some destroyed towns as crime scenes and suspect that arsonists have started some of the fires. (See related video) Australian Conservative editor John Styles says the Green Party is blaming the fires on so-called manmade global...
  • Australian wildfire suspect named

    02/16/2009 5:02:28 AM PST · by bergmeid · 14 replies · 1,202+ views
    AP ^ | updated Feb 15, 2009 | AP
    MELBOURNE, Australia - A court lifted the ban Monday on identifying the only arson suspect so far in Australia's recent deadly wildfires, and authorities urged people not to target him in their rage over the disaster's more than 180 deaths.
  • Firefighters outraged at sentence for pregnant Moe firebug

    02/15/2009 8:12:24 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 7 replies · 786+ views ^ | 16th February 2009 | Jane Metlikovec
    GIPPSLAND firefighters are outraged at the jail sentence handed down to a pregnant arsonist in Morwell Magistrates' Court this morning. Rosemary Ann Harris, 31, of Moe, was refused bail this afternoon after she was sentenced to three years with a minimum of two-and-a-half behind bars for lighting two fires at Tyers, near Traralgon, and Driffield, near Morwell on a total fire ban day in December 2006. "In the circumstances the application for bail is refused," Magistrate John Dugdale said, explaining the refusal was based on "the nature of the offending and the prevailing bushfire situation in Victoria". The bail hearing...
  • Police urge public not to threaten Churchill arson accused

    02/15/2009 4:03:08 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 20 replies · 682+ views ^ | 16th February 2009
    THE public has been urged not to threaten the safety of an accused firebug scheduled to appear in court today on a deadly arson charge. A 39-year-old man accused of starting the Churchill-Jeerelang bushfire in Gippsland, in Victoria's east, has been remanded in custody and is due to appear in court today. "Coming to court and protesting is not an appropriate thing to do,'' Police Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon said today. "Obviously, we will make sure this person is well protected. "We hope that we don't have to deal with a gang of people who are angry and concerned...
  • Victoria fires: Brendan Sokaluk, Gippsland arson accused, fails to appear in court

    02/15/2009 4:45:16 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 22 replies · 2,487+ views ^ | 16th February 2009
    THE man accused of starting one of the deadly Victoria fires, which killed at least 21 people in Gippsland on Black Saturday, has failed to appear for a scheduled court hearing in Melbourne. The hearing was held without 39-year-old Brendan Sokaluk. He was remanded in custody until a committal hearing, which will be held on May 25. The man, who faces charges including arson causing death and possession of child pornography, can now be named after a court order banning publication of his name was lifted. However the order remains barring publication of his address or a photo of him....
  • 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...
  • Report: Man charged with arson in Australia fire

    02/12/2009 10:38:23 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 30 replies · 1,231+ views
    AP ^ | 2/13/09
    A media report says a suspect has been charged with lighting one of the wildfires that killed more than 180 people in Australia last weekend. Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday that the man was charged in court on three counts: arson causing death, lighting a wildfire and with possession of child pornography. The report cites no sources.
  • 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...
  • Raw Video: Sam the Koala Gets a Drink After Fire (Australia - adorable and heart wrenching)

    02/11/2009 3:29:41 PM PST · by RDTF · 13 replies · 992+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | Feb 11, 2009
    A firefighter finds a koala moving gingerly on her scorched paws after wildfires sweep Australia. "Sam" accepted a bottle of water and is now recovering at a wildlife shelter.
  • Pictured: The Badly Burned Koalas Who Became Best Friends

    02/11/2009 3:10:31 PM PST · by Steelfish · 20 replies · 1,294+ views
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | February 11, 2009
    Pictured: The badly burned koalas who became best friends after surviving Australia's deadliest bushfires By Mail Foreign Service 11th February 2009 A love story between two badly burned koalas rescued from Australia's deadliest bushfires has provided some heart-warming relief after days of devastation and the loss of over 180 lives. The story of Sam and her new boyfriend Bob emerged after volunteer firefighter Dave Tree used a mobile phone to film the rescue of the bewildered female. She was found cowering in a burned out forest at Mirboo North, 90 miles southeast of Melbourne.
  • Millions of animals dead in Australia fires

    02/11/2009 10:16:50 AM PST · by Free ThinkerNY · 32 replies · 957+ views
    Associated Press ^ | Feb. 11, 2009 | KRISTEN GELINEAU
    SYDNEY (AP) - Kangaroo corpses lay scattered by the roadsides while wombats that survived the wildfire's onslaught emerged from their underground burrows to find blackened earth and nothing to eat. Wildlife rescue officials on Wednesday worked frantically to help the animals that made it through Australia's worst-ever wildfires but they said millions of animals likely perished in the inferno.
  • Burnoffs following Victoria bushfires a 'threat to biodiversity'

    02/11/2009 1:08:23 PM PST · by Charlespg · 7 replies · 402+ views
    The Australian ^ | February 12, 2009 | Siobhain Ryan
    CONTROLLED burning would be declared a key national threat to biodiversity under a new proposal before government that has been slammed as dangerous to life and property. While Environment Minister Peter Garrett yesterday gave Victoria carte blanche to do all it needed to control its deadly bushfires, without review by federal environment laws, it emerged he will be asked next year to decide whether prescribed burning to reduce fuel loads puts plants and animals at risk. A Department of Environment spokeswoman confirmed yesterday it had received a public submission to list controlled burning as a "key threatening process" - the...
  • United States sending 60 experts to help in Victoria

    02/11/2009 2:40:10 AM PST · by naturalman1975 · 10 replies · 268+ views ^ | 11th February 2009
    THE United States will send 60 experts to help in recovery efforts after the worst bushfires in Victorian history. The support team was requested by Emergency Management Australia (EMA) in response to the ongoing Victoria fires, and should arrive on Sunday. The team will include experts on burned area rehabilitation, incident management, aviation support and mid-and senior-level management.
  • Fire 'divine retribution', says minister [Australia]

    02/10/2009 6:55:13 PM PST · by BlackVeil · 32 replies · 573+ views
    Live News com ^ | February 11, 2009 | Anon
    "INCENDIARY" abortion law reforms last year that made Victoria "the baby-killing state" are responsible for the devastating bushfires, controversial Christian leader Danny Nalliah said yesterday. "God's protection has been taken off the state, and Satan is having a go at the nation," Mr Nalliah, senior pastor of Catch the Fire Ministries, told The Age. Mr Nalliah's Australia Day prayer rallies have been supported by former prime minister John Howard and former treasurer Peter Costello. Mr Costello delivered a televised address to Mr Nalliah's Australia Day prayer meeting last month. Mr Costello yesterday rejected Mr Nalliah's abortion explanation for the fires...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Deadliest-ever Australian wildfires kill 130

    02/08/2009 10:02:27 PM PST · by Justaham · 8 replies · 485+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | 2-8-09 | TANALEE SMITH, Associated Press Writer
    HEALESVILLE, Australia – The deadliest wildfires in Australia's history burned people in their homes and cars and wiped out entire towns, officials discovered Sunday as they reached farther into the fire zone. The death toll rose to 130 by Monday. Blazes have been burning for weeks in the southeastern state of Victoria but turned deadly Saturday when searing temperatures and wind blasts created a firestorm that swept across a swath of the region. A long-running drought in the south — the worst in a century — had left forests extra dry and Saturday's fire conditions were said to be the...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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."...
  • 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...
  • Canadian firefighters to return home

    02/10/2007 2:22:49 AM PST · by Fair Go · 3 replies · 233+ views
    AAP ^ | 10 Feb 2007
    A contingent of 52 Canadian firefighters will fly home over the next few days after more than a month helping tired Australian crews fight huge blazes across Victoria. The Canadians worked throughout Gippsland and Victoria's north-east as fires threatened a number of townships over summer. They also backed up crews in Melbourne's Emergency Coordination Centre. Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) chief fire officer Ewan Waller said the Canadians had made an invaluable contribution through their skill and dedication. "They have helped protect Victorian communities and assets, working alongside DSE and CFA crews," Mr Waller said. Bruce Young, of the...
  • US firefighters arrive in Melbourne

    01/21/2007 9:32:21 PM PST · by Aussie Dasher · 7 replies · 503+ views ^ | 22 January 2007
    A TEAM of more than 100 US firefighters has started arriving in Melbourne to help battle Victoria's bushfires. About 20 personnel arrived in Melbourne at 9.30am (AEDT), the first in a contingent of 104 US frontline firefighters and three liaison staff. The rest are due to arrive throughout the day and tomorrow morning to bolster Victoria's response to fires raging in the state's northeast and Gippsland for more than 50 days. Spokesman for the US contingent Merrill Saleen said the crew was here to return the favour to Australian firefighters who have been sent to the US four times since...
  • Aussie firefighters to help US

    08/09/2006 4:38:53 PM PDT · by Aussie Dasher · 7 replies · 271+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 10 August 2006
    A TEAM of 45 Australian and New Zealand firefighters will fly to the United States today to help battle wild blazes burning out of control in the western part of the country. The contingent, which consists of firefighters from Victoria, Western Australia, NSW and the ACT, will first travel to the US national interagency fire centre at Boise, Idaho, for orientation before being deployed to Idaho, Oregon, Washington State and Montana. It follows a request for assistance from the US after extreme fire conditions. “The US has been experiencing a very dry summer - they have a large number of...
  • Three die as bushfire risk gets worse

    01/23/2006 3:10:21 PM PST · by Aussie Dasher · 9 replies · 436+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 24 January 2006 | Sarah Wotherspoon, John Ferguson, Holly Lloyd-McDonald, Mary Bolling and Anthony Dowsley
    VICTORIA'S devastating bushfires have claimed three lives and last night threatened a major tourist town as firefighters braced for worsening conditions. A firefighter was killed and three CFA colleagues injured when their tanker rolled over during mopping up operations in the Strathbogie Ranges, north of Yea, late yesterday. In Moyston, an adult and child trying to escape the raging Grampians inferno were killed when their car was engulfed by flames on the Moyston-Pomonal Rd. Last night, the Grampians tourist centre of Halls Gap -- 250km west of Melbourne -- was threatened by an out of control bushfire. The dead firefighter...
  • Bushfire destroys five homes (Prayers Please!)

    12/31/2005 7:03:06 AM PST · by Aussie Dasher · 11 replies · 328+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 1 January 2006
    FIVE houses have been destroyed by an out-of-control bushfire near Stawell, in western Victoria tonight. The fire began at Deep Lead, west of Stawell, about 240km west of Melbourne. The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has warned residents of the small towns of Armstrong and Great Western, also near Stawell, that their communities could be threatened by the fire tonight. About 340 firefighters and 68 trucks are on the scene of the fire, which has burned more than 800ha. "We're also advised from Halls Gap and Pomonal that there are a lot of reports of people travelling on the roads, which...
  • Christmas Eve bushfire alert

    12/23/2005 11:14:48 PM PST · by Aussie Dasher · 1 replies · 208+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 24 December 2005 | Liz Bennett
    FIREFIGHTERS are bracing for conditions to worsen in eastern Australia today amid scorching temperatures and strong winds. Extreme fire danger is current nationwide, with total bans in New South Wales as the mercury heads toward 40 degrees Celsius. High temperatures and low humidity are being experienced ahead of a change which is expected to bring winds of up to 90 km/h. The situation has eased in Victoria after a cooler change moved through that state, but firefighters are responding to several small outbreaks from lightning strikes in the Gippsland area. Crews have also been on alert in areas of southern...
  • Canberra In Panic As Four Die In 'Worst Bushfires Ever'

    01/19/2003 3:38:02 PM PST · by blam · 4 replies · 292+ views
    Independent (UK) ^ | 1-20-2003 | Kathy Marks
    Canberra in panic as four die in 'worst bushfires ever' By Kathy Marks in Melbourne 20 January 2003 Thick smoke blanketed the Australian capital, Canberra, yesterday and a layer of ash coated the white Parliament building after forest fires raced into the city, killing four people and destroying 400 homes. Emergency services remained on high alert as authorities warned that hot, windy weather forecast for today could whip up flames that are still burning in bushland around the city. More than 1,000 people remained in evacuation centres, while others were allowed to return to the wreckage of their suburban homes....