Monday, December 11, 2006

Freakiness

It's gone all smoky and dull outside, and there's a taste of ash in the air. It's making even the hard-ass Australians who were here during the 2003 bushfires nervous, and I can't find a single news source that is telling us anything useful.

Maybe the smoke is coming all the way from the Victorian bushfires, but we're a long way away from those (600 km or nearly 400 miles). Also, they started a few days ago now, so why have we got smoke all of a sudden now and not before?

Update: Looks like the university got sick of everyone freaking out, because they just sent around an email explaining what was going on.

Latest info from [our] Fire Brigade is this smoke is being generated from a large fire that is 40km west of [here]
[...]
The fire is burning in a pine plantation and this is generating large quantities of smoke. They have 120 Fire Fighters at this fire.
[...]
A large number of resources are being supplied to the area including, eight aircraft that will continue to support ground crews today.
[...]
About 110 firefighters in 53 tankers and 10 bulldozers and graders from Forests NSW and the RFS are working on the fire.
[...]
The fire is not contained and has burnt 2470ha but is not threatening property apart from Forests NSW assets at this time.

So I guess it's good that that's 'all' it is. (Maybe).

5 Comments:

grace said...

Smoke can really travel. We had visibly smoky skies here in NZ in Summer 2003. It was a high haze which gave a murky tinge to the sun.

Anonymous said...

What is scary is just how much of this continent can be on fire at any one time, but if no largescale settlement or property is threatened/affected, it just isn't reported in the main news or even on some of the state fire warning sites/hotlines. Weekend_Viking had great fun trying to find out information on a fire in a national park near where he was working on his October trip. Had to pass on his local fire brigade phone number, because it was so routine and in such an underpopulated area (appart from geologists, drillers and miners), that state level stuff had no info whatsoever.
Mind you, given how much smoke you could get from the scheduled burnoffs, let alone the uncontrolled one - not that it is burn off season.
And yet they still sell sparklers in the supermarket here for christmas...

Stellar_muddle

Anonymous said...

PS:
Sentinel Hotspots is the Geoscience Australia site mapping fire hotspots on the continent.

Stellar_muddle

Anonymous said...

PPS
And if the site/link I gave doesn't work, http://sentinel.ga.gov.au/acres/sentinel/disclaimer_B.shtml should get you to it less directly.

Stellar_muddle (again)

StyleyGeek said...

Wow. Looking at that map is terrifying! It looks like the entire country is on fire. Thanks for the link, Stellar_muddle!