Uta’s February 2017 Diary

This is early morning Monday, the 13th of February. I just had a look at what the Sydney Morning Herald published last night about the weather and I put this in another post this morning:

https://auntyuta.com/2017/02/13/hottest-place-on-the-planet/

Just now all this feels quite unbelievable to me.  I do not say that it is not true, it’s just that where I am it feels right now more like a cool winter’s morning: The outside temperature is a cool 15 C.  What a change from two days ago!

“The coast and parts of the ranges were the only areas in NSW to escape high-30s or 40s on Saturday.” This is what it says in Peter Hannam’s article in the SMH.

Further it says:”NSW and other parts of south-eastern Australia were the hottest in the world on Saturday, according to the Climate Reanalyzer website.”

Here is what was said about fire conditions a couple of days ago:

“Soaring temperatures across much of the state have led to warnings of catastrophic fire conditions. In Walgett, the temperature has hit 46 degrees.

As NSW faces the “worst possible fire conditions” in its history with ‘extreme’ and catastrophic’ warnings in place across large slabs of the state, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the situation was as “bad as it gets” and warned it was set to get worse on Sunday when winds are expected to sweep through scorched parts of mid to northern NSW.

“To put it simply [the conditions] are off the old scale,” he said. “It is without precedent in NSW”.

As of 11am, the RFS reported 76 bush and grass fires across NSW with 26 not yet contained. Deputy Commission Rob Rogers told ABC news:  “It’s going to be a really tough day.”

I am sure a lot of fires in rural NSW are still burning now. It is a huge task for fire crews to keep them away from homes as much as possible.

Here is a comment I made yesterday:  “We were quite lucky today. we had an overcast sky, all day and a bit of wind and the temperature went no higher than 28 Celsius which I find very pleasant. The rest of NSW still has sweltering conditions and severe fire alert. Today, I was able to do a lot of reading in the Novel “Purity” by Jonathan Franzen.”

 

Percentage targets for planned burning are blunt tools that don’t work

A more effective plan

http://theconversation.com/percentage-targets-for-planned-burning-are-blunt-tools-that-dont-work-39254?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+30+March+2015+-+2587&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+30+March+2015+-+2587+CID_3ea97089c94d786890216c71b60f85c7&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Percentage%20targets%20for%20planned%20burning%20are%20blunt%20tools%20that%20dont%20work

. . . . . . .

“A more effective plan

The Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission also recommended that the Victorian government develop risk-based performance measures for bushfire management. In response, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has developed sophisticated methods for mapping risks from major bushfires across the state, and predicting bushfire risk following planned burning.

We strongly support this more sophisticated, regional risk-management approach. After all, planned burning to protect human life and property should naturally focus on places where people are most at risk from major bushfires.

Another new piece of our research, published in the journal Conservation Biology, offers a way to predict how planned burning also influences risks to biodiversity. This will allow land managers to consider trade-offs between protecting people and conserving wildlife when applying planned burning.

Just as the 5% target is an inefficient method for minimising the impact of major bushfires on human life and communities, it also has negative consequences for the resilience of natural ecosystems.

It’s time to drop the simple 5% target. It is a blunt tool, and a risk-based approach more effectively focuses fire protection where it’s most needed: safeguarding people and wildlife.”

 

A Bushfire-Report published by the ABC

I just discovered this report on the ABC’s news page. Hopefully we won’t have any extremely high temperatures for a while.

 

   . . . . .  Today is forecast to be the first day in a week where some part of Victoria will not reach 40 degrees Celsius and the Bureau of Meteorology predicts the mercury will not get up to 40 again for at least the next seven days.

However, Commissioner Lapsley says that does not mean Victoria has seen the end of dangerous fire conditions this summer.

“This is the start or the changing point in this summer,” he said.

“We don’t see any rain, we don’t see the break in the weather and we certainly see warm conditions for the month of February.”

Lightning strikes flare NSW bushfire concerns

Fire crews in New South Wales are battling a number of fires, including a big blaze in the Riverina in the state’s south.

The blaze is burning uncontrolled in Murraguldrie State Forest area, south-east of Wagga Wagga.

It has burnt more than 2,500 hectares and overnight residents in Carabost were evacuated when erratic winds pushed the fire towards about 30 homes and at least one home was lost.

Fire burns around Minjary in NSW
PHOTO: A bushfire burns around the NSW town of Minjary, near Wagga Wagga. (Facebook: NSW RFS)
The Rural Fire Service (RFS) spokesman Joel Kursawe says there are a number of reports of properties being damaged in the fire.

“We do have unconfirmed reports of a number of properties that have been damaged or destroyed right across the fire grounds. It is too early to tell,” he said.

Lightning strikes overnight have ignited around 50 new fires in the Riverina and in the central west at Orange and Bathurst.

RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers says he is alarmed by the number of fires which are breaking out.

“Obviously we’re concerned about new fires again that would have come from lightning. The number of fires that we’re trying to deal with is just going up alarmingly,” he said.

 

IT IS REALLY AMAZING HOW QUICKLY A LOT OF BUSHFIRES CAN DEVELOP BECAUSE OF LIGHTNING.

WE KEEP OUR FINGERS CROSSED THAT MOST OF THE NEW FIRES CAN BE BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL BEFORE THEY REACH BUILT UP AREAS.

 

Australian Bushfires Jan. 2014

I think just about every Australian would have heard by now about all the bushfires that are raging at present.

If you are  outside of Australia you may perhaps  be interested to find out how we are faring with the bushfires at this time of the year.

I am sure a lot of information can be found in the above ABC’s write up.

This morning I heard on the ABC radio news that a lot of aircraft is at present surveying new outbreaks of bushfires within the southwest of New South Wales.

 

The ABC’s Transcript about Bushfires:

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Southern Australia is heading for the fourth day of an intense heatwave that’s brought record-breaking temperatures.

The scorching heat has put a strain on electricity supplies and stretched ambulance services.

Tomorrow Victoria is potentially facing its worst bushfire threat since Black Saturday.

Strong winds and temperatures over 40 degrees are forecast across the state and South Australia has also issued a severe bushfire warning for tomorrow.

Lisa Whitehead reports.

LISA WHITEHEAD, REPORTER: Retired kindergarten teacher Kate Porter is used to living with the threat of bushfires. For 49 years she’s lived on this bush block on Melbourne’s northern fringes.

Kate, do you brace yourself every year for bushfires?

KATE PORTER: Oh, you have to. You never know what’s going to happen. You just have to be prepared.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Her two-acre block backs on to state forest in one of the highest bushfire risk areas in Victoria. Two days ago, a grass fire took off in nearby kangaroo ground and was burning out of control.

The phone tree in Kate Porter’s street swung into action. Two of her neighbours who were monitoring the blaze rang and advised her to leave.

A thousand fires ignited across Victoria in the past three days as the state baked in over 40-degree heat. In SA it was a similar scenario, with 350 fires breaking out across the state and there could be worse to come.

GREG NETTLETON, COUNTRY FIRE SERVICE CHIEF OFFICER, SA: We’re confident that we’ve got sufficient resources to deal with the current situation, however, that could change quite rapidly tomorrow, particularly when the hotter weather and the winds come through.

LISA WHITEHEAD: 39 fires are still ablaze in Victoria today with most concern focusing on the Grampians in the state’s north-west.

CRAIG LAPSLEY, FIRE SERVICES COMMISSIONER, VICTORIA: It’s a fire in very steep bush country. It requires aircraft, significant aircraft, and not many firefighters can get into the exact area of the fire, so it’s difficult in that sense. So it’s causing us concern and will continue to do so through the night and into tomorrow.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Severe fire warnings have been issued for tomorrow as strong winds and searing 43-degree temperatures are predicted in parts of Victoria.

Is tomorrow the worst conditions we’ve seen since Black Saturday?

CRAIG LAPSLEY: It’d be up there, without a doubt. It’s not the same conditions as Black Saturday. It’s not a code red day. Across the state, it’ll be severe and extreme fire danger ratings. It’s got potential.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Today, Adelaide’s temperature soared to 44.2 degrees. It’s recorded three consecutive days above 43.5 degrees for the first time.

The intense heat in Melbourne has played havoc at the Australian Open. When the temperature topped 42.1 this afternoon, the tournament’s heat policy was finally activated. Roofs were closed and play was suspended on outside courts.

A Climate Council report released today says the number of hot days across Australia has more than doubled and that climate change is making heatwaves more frequent and severe.

SARAH PERKINS, CLIMATE COUNCIL REPORT CO-AUTHOR: There’s certainly a fingerprint of climate change in the trend in heatwaves that we’ve been seeing. So this means that the change in average temperature that we’ve seen, which is due to human-induced climate change, has had an impact in the severity and frequency of heatwaves that we’ve been experiencing.

CRAIG LAPSLEY: In emergency management, I think we’ve known for some time that there is a whole heap of challenges. Some will argue whether climate change is a reality. I think it’s quite clear. We’ve got challenges in climate, we’ve got land use that’s different, we’ve got different farming scenarios, we’ve got people that have taken tree change or sea change. It’s a whole heap of things.

LISA WHITEHEAD: With no relief from the extreme temperatures in sight until Saturday, the elderly, the sick and the young are being urged to continue to stay indoors, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids. But some householders have struggled to cope after experiencing blackouts as the heatwave and increased peak demand impacts on electricity supply.

In Melbourne’s northern suburbs, Nelum Soysa lost power in her Coburg street for eight hours on Tuesday night.

NELUM SOYSA: It’s like an oven, it’s like a furnace. We couldn’t open the door because it was just so hot outside.

LISA WHITEHEAD: The local GP says she was concerned for her elderly neighbours.

NELUM SOYSA: Elderly people get dehydrated. They can get confused. They get irrational. They can get tachycardia and then they get heat distress and that’s very difficult because they sometimes can’t ask for help or don’t know to ask for help.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Ambulance Victoria is warning people to prepare for yet another sweltering night with the overnight temperature in Melbourne not expected to drop below 29 degrees.

PAUL HOLMAN, AMBULANCE VICTORIA: What happens overnight unfortunately is the body doesn’t get enough time to recover. So we’ve had one night, then two, then three and now four and that’s – so people that are already ill or the elderly, they’ve now got a cumulative effect and their body’s not getting enough time to cool down.

LISA WHITEHEAD: Kate Porter isn’t taking any risks with her health or the weather conditions. A Baptist church agency that regularly checks on her welfare found her a place in respite care.

KATE PORTER: If you’re not able to defend your own home, that you should actually leave. I don’t think it’s wise to stay, because you don’t know how fierce the fire’s going to be. Every since I’ve lived there, I think every year, “Well, if it goes, it goes,” and I go.

Back to Cooler Temperatures

This week turned out to be much cooler after the very hot spell of weather we had during the previous week, The cooler weather gave the firefighters a chance to get on top of the fires that had been out of control in very strong, hot wind.  Sadly quite a few houses were lost. We are told we still have to be vigilant for conditions can change quickly.

Peter and I went for a little walk early this morning. Today I remembered to take the camera along. I took pictures of the reserve behind our house. The Junior Soccer Club has quite a few soccer fields on this reserve. There is also a playground close by. When we moved here to this area nineteen years ago, some of our grandchildren were still little. We would sometimes walk with them to this playground. I think it still looks pretty much the way it looked nineteen years ago.

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Holding onto this post I like to do a bit of stretching.
Holding onto this post I like to do a bit of stretching.
Peter loves to wear these shoes
Peter loves to wear these shoes

Bushfire Warnings for the Coming Days

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

2:15pm: Premier Barry O’Farrell has today been at the Rural Fire Service Headquarters in Lidcombe.

He has warned residents across the state to brace for the possibility of mass evacuations in coming days amid dire weather forecasts.

‘‘The state’s in for challenging days ahead,’’ he said

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-bushfires-live-updates-20131020-2vumk.html#ixzz2iEI9AfvF

I just discovered the above new item in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Some areas in NSW experienced the worst bushfires last Thursday when temperatures reached the high thirties (Celsius) with very strong erratic extremely hot winds. 208 houses have been destroyed so far. The entire Blue Mountains Area is still in danger.

So the Premier says ” to brace for the possibility of mass evacuations in coming days amid dire weather forecasts.”

This warning applies to residents across the state of NSW. I think a lot of people tend to think it is not going to effect them unless they live right next to the bush. However to be honest under these dire weather conditions a fire could turn up anywhere within a very short time. So I think the Premier is right to give people a warning like this.  For sure it is much better to be prepared than to be sorry later on.

 

Here now is a message from the Queen:

 

“2:58pm: Her Majesty The Queen has just sent a message on the bushfire situation here. She’s expressed great admiration for the work of fire fighters.

“I would like to convey my heartfelt sympathy to all those who have been affected by the devastating bushfires across New South Wales.

“My thoughts are with the many people who have lost their homes or livelihoods in the fires, and I have great admiration for the fire fighters, volunteers and emergency services officers who are working tirelessly to contain the situation.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/nsw-bushfires-live-updates-20131020-2vumk.html#ixzz2iEQUOraR

Uta’s Diary

I wanted to upgrade yesterday, but something went wrong with my VISA card. Then Peter tried his card, but it didn’t work either. We have to go to the bank and find out what we can do about it.

It is Friday, the fourth of January, 2013, eleven o’clock in the morning. Already we have 33 Degrees Celsius in the shade. None the less we enjoyed having our cup of morning tea under the trees at the back of the house. Our trees have grown immensely. We hope we won’t get any fires and hot wind. In many parts of Australia the fire danger is extreme and the temperatures are soaring. People are warned to be prepared for evacuations. So far this doesn’t apply to Sydney or the Illawarra.