Feeds

back to article Oz Army red-faced after ready ... aim ... FIRE burns suburbs

Australia's Army is combining tight lips with a red face, after it emerged that one of the large-scale bushfires that's hammering the surrounds of Sydney was sparked by live artillery fire. The blaze has incidentally lit a political conflagration, with the new government working to deflect suggestions that changes in fire …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge

“talking through her hat”

Don't expect any of that pesky secular science from Tony Abbott (PM)

He's got that malarkey all suss'ed out.

He takes his orders from on HIGH, if not big business then his holy man.

3
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: “talking through her hat”

Its bad so it must be global warming. It cant have anything to do with "environmentalists" preventing the creation of firebreaks, cutback of underbrush and scrub and the use of controlled burns, all of which was routine in the past to reduce the spread and impact of any possible bushfire but which is now mostly banned in the name of environmentalism.

13
4

Re: “talking through her hat”

Or more likely ... how about the locals try NOT building houses on ridges in heavily forested areas.

The Blue Mountains get bushfires. Every year. Everyone knows this. Most of the mountains between Cessnock & Sydney were left as wilderness because of the fire risk, not because the NSW government at the time had a particular mania for preservation.

This is nothing to do with environmentalism, or global warming, and all to do with urban sprawl and the encroachment of housing into many areas previously deemed too high risk to build houses in.

14
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: “talking through her hat”

The only thing that the spread of urban areas has done is increase the financial cost of the fire, it hasn't increased the spread or extent.

There used to be widespread winter burning in the Blue Mountains to reduce the available fuel for bushfires. This practise has all but ceased because of the objections of environmentalists. The limited winter burn that is allowed has so much red tape associated with it that it is a near impossibility to get the required permits.

7
2
Gold badge

Re: “talking through her hat” @Mayhem

Something similar is happening in the UK, but with flooding. People are saying that the increased flooding is because of man-made climate change, but it seems that the flooding is exactly the same as it always was; it's just that there are loads of houses now built on the flood plains that flood. (It's also true that replacing grassland with ashfelt roads, houses and concrete patio tiles and doesn't help!)

A couple of years ago (or 5) there was a big flood in Gloucester, that they said was "unprecedented", however there is a childs' nursary rhyme that has been around for years exactly about a "Dr. Foster" who went to Gloucester in a shower of rain. He stood in a puddle up to his middle and was never seen again.

5
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: “talking through her hat”

It's NOT the incidence of fires that is causal to warming, it's the severity of the fires.

Science: people need to read a bit.

1
5
Anonymous Coward

Re: “talking through her hat”

> it's the severity of the fires.

The fires are more severe because of the lack of control burns in the winter. This results in more fuel for the fires in the summer which makes them more severe.

I read a lot.

5
1

Re: “talking through her hat”

@AC

To be fair to the environmentalists ... most of the wilderness areas in that part of NSW are now National Parks as they were the main forested areas left. Which means of course the red tape has expanded - unauthorised fires and habitat destruction are kind of frowned upon in National Parks.

The other main reason is that eucalypts tend to grow over winter, when water is plentiful, and dry out as summer comes on. In summer the fires race through the canopy and char out the understory, but the dry trees are generally unaffected because the fire doesn't stick around long enough to hurt the growing parts. End result, a short term clearance followed by an explosion of growth.

In winter, with damp trees, the fires tend to burn slower and stick around longer which damages the growth buds and boils the water in the trunks, which splits the trees open and makes them vulnerable to pests. End result, a lot more dead trees and poor regrowth.

3
1

Re: “talking through her hat”

I agree and I used to be a volunteer

1
0
Bronze badge

Since everyone's politicising the issue ...

Let's try this:

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/iranian-refugee-firefighter-giving-back-to-a-sunburnt-country-20131023-2w235.html

That's one "illegal immigrant" we're damn lucky to have in this country.

10
0
Silver badge

What?

Shooting ammunition into tinder-dry bush during extreme fire condition is likely to start fires? Who'd o' thunk it?

0
2

Re: What?

Air Marshal Binskin says there were no fire bans at the time of the blaze, which has so far burnt almost 50,000 hectares and destroyed at least three homes.

"It was about 23 degrees [with] light winds at the time I made the decision to [undertake explosives training]," he said.

source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-24/pilot-killed-in-bushfire-crash/5043838

The problem was that fire wasn't controlled before extreme conditions hit on the following day.

2
0

Artillery my fat arse...

There is NO artillery range at Lithgow, the closest is at Singleton, What most likely happened is Explosive Ordanance Disposal training.

1
1

The guardian think it's a live-fire range in Lithgow,

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/24/bushfire-investigation-too-early-negligence-caused-blaze

and have previously run a story hinting that the range started one of the fires.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Its the guardian, what else do you expect?

2
0

B-Ark ...

“Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich.

"But we have also," continued the management consultant, "run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three deciduous forests buying on ship's peanut."

"So in order to obviate this problem," he continued, "and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and...er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances.”

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Restaurant)

5
0
Silver badge
Joke

The great leader

... has taken note that should he ever decide to invade Australia, he should do so in Winter.

0
0
Bronze badge

fires

Training exercises at the Quantico Marine Corps base, a little south of Washington, DC, have once or twice set the woods on fire, causing Interstate 95 to be shut down for low visibility. And northern Virginia is a pretty damp area most of the time.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.