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Sydney Area Fires: Future Impacts?


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Sadly, I have been following from the USA on the fires in and around Sydney, eastern Australia, etc. This story has been getting a fairly large amount of TV coverages on the main networks here.

 

We are now less than three months away from our first “down under” visit and doing the Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Celebrity Solstice sailing, departing Sydney, going to Tasmania, then up the NZ eastern coast to Auckland for a 14 day sailing. Plus, doing some pre-cruise options for Cairns/Port Douglas, the Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, then Kangaroo Island near Adelaide before departing from Sidney’s scenic harbor.

 

When is the peak fire risk season in Australia? Worse or less chance of fires in January? Any other insights for how this impact things in Sydney now and during the coming months?

 

From the Sidney Morning Herald and other Fairfax newspapers in Australia today, they have this headline that I shared on our roll call: " 'This will be as bad as it gets': Blue Mountains fire crews prepare for the worst". Here the key story highlights: "Weather worse than the extremes already predicted, combined with large bushfires burning out of control, and the real potential for others to spark up, have prompted a very grim warning. 'This will be as bad as it gets,' Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said. 'On days like [this], there's a very real potential for more loss of homes and life.' The RFS had warned since the weekend about the potential devastation Wednesday's weather could cause but the revised forecast on Tuesday was even more worrying. Wednesday would be hotter, drier and windier than the dire predictions previously forecast, posing a grave challenge to one of the largest firefighting contingents assembled in NSW history. They would have to battle an active 1500-kilometre fire edge in the Blue Mountains where three major fires, one at Bilpin now linked to the second at Mount Victoria and a third at Springwood, burned out of control. 'It's a difficult, dynamic, dangerous fire-ground situation,' Mr Fitzsimmons said. The forecast was for temperatures in the mid to high 30s, very low humidity and wind gusts of between 80 and 100km/h. A large back burning operation was carried out overnight to protect Bilpin and Mountain Lagoon as fire conditions deteriorate. Three nursing homes in Springwood were evacuated late on Tuesday as a precaution, with 400 residents moved out of the Blue Mountain into Sydney facilities."

 

Full story at:

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/this-will-be-as-bad-as-it-gets-blue-mountains-fire-crews-prepare-for-the-worst-20131022-2vz3h.html

 

THANKS for any insights, added background! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Celebrity Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 144,793 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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The bushfire risk is usually higher in January, our summer.

 

It is very unusual to have major widespread bushfires in October, our spring.

 

Today all schools are closed in the Blue Mountains and people are being advised to get out of the Blue Mountains this morning, if they are not bushfire prepared, pending worsening weather conditions.

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Australia is a land that is prone to bush fires but has always been. The trees & bush regenerate through fire.

 

We can't live here and not be aware of the dangers, those whom are lucky enough to live in the danger areas are advised to be prepared.

 

All understandable when nature causes the fires but those people whom go out & deliberately light fires should be hung & quartered. No excuse no reason

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All the comments posted so far are true and it is very sad to watch what is going on. We live about mid-way between the Sydney CBD and the Blue Mountains and the spoke haze alone is quite incredible. Some years ago I was living in a home that had a bush fire get within about 1 kilometre from us and that was bad enough.

 

From a holiday perspective though I don't really think it will impact on you at all. The Blue Mountains fires are between 50klm and 100klms from Sydney City and unless you are actually travelling to the Blue Mountains (which are fantastic I might add) you are unlikely to be affected at all. I am sure you can have a great visit here.:)

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All the comments posted so far are true and it is very sad to watch what is going on. We live about mid-way between the Sydney CBD and the Blue Mountains and the spoke haze alone is quite incredible. Some years ago I was living in a home that had a bush fire get within about 1 kilometre from us and that was bad enough. From a holiday perspective though I don't really think it will impact on you at all. The Blue Mountains fires are between 50klm and 100klms from Sydney City and unless you are actually travelling to the Blue Mountains (which are fantastic I might add) you are unlikely to be affected at all. I am sure you can have a great visit here.:)

 

Esilef: Australia is a land that is prone to bush fires but has always been. The trees & bush regenerate through fire. We can't live here and not be aware of the dangers' date=' those whom are lucky enough to live in the danger areas are advised to be prepared. All understandable when nature causes the fires but those people whom go out & deliberately light fires should be hung & quartered. No excuse no reason [/quote']

 

MMDown Under: The bushfire risk is usually higher in January' date='[/b'] our summer. It is very unusual to have major widespread bushfires in October, our spring. Today all schools are closed in the Blue Mountains and people are being advised to get out of the Blue Mountains this morning, if they are not bushfire prepared, pending worsening weather conditions.

 

icat2000: Between now and March. It depends on the weather. A lot of the fires are either started by lighting or humans.

 

Appreciate this good' date=' helpful and informed background items and insights[/i'] on Australia, these conditions, etc. Will share with those our active roll call that has totaled nearly 50,000 views. We live in the midwestern part of the USA which gets decent amounts of rain and does not suffer the wildfire dangers that hit certain parts of our western states. Clearly for October in your season cycle, this is highly unusual. We'll hope for the best for getting it solved, conditions improving for our January 2014 visit.

 

THANKS! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 121,036 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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February and March are the worst times in SA and Victoria - the end of a long hot summer. The SA hills have been spared for the last few years but I cannot think it is but a matter of when, and not if. So many people live in areas that are really not meant to be lived in. If a fire gets out of control in the Adelaide Hills then it will be a nightmare.

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It is typically January that has been the worst month.

 

However having all the fires now is likely to burn out by January leaving nothing much left to catch fire. The fires have been a long history in Australia long before many of us had even been born.

 

Before our settlement here apparently Aboriginals used to keep the fires burning in order to (what we call back burn) and prevent the intense fires we see in the summer season. The Aboriginals also knew that it was important to have the fires burn as it was the only way to regenerate the bushland. The seeds of all the trees and plant life in the bush would typically only be cracked open under intense heat meaning after a fire the regrowth would start. It has always been this cycle in Australia.

 

The only way to prevent major fires is to back burn. There are reports in the media lately that this has not been happening. Maybe too many green groups and so called environmentalists are opposed to this.

 

In your case it is not worth getting upset or worrying over. You are still likely to have a good time in Australia. If the Blue Mountains is your thing then it is still possible to see it. There are daily train trips to Blue Mountains with stunning places to see it from land. Also there are Sydney based helicopter companies that will take you on a 90 minute flight out of Sydney airport to the Mountains which may give you a better perspective of it.

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We have had very little rain here in NSW for months and September and October this year have been unusually warm to hot.

 

Today (Wednesday ) we are experiencing high temperatures and gusty NW winds which is fanning fires that have been burning for days. It's a dire situation and we have the most brilliant fire fighters who are out there doing their thing. We are most proud of these men and women who are mostly volunteers.

 

Tourist buses are NOT allowed up there until these fires are contained and the general public have been told to keep away so not to congest the roads and of course to keep safe.

 

The Blue Mountains have had these fires for countless years and the re growth is remarkable. Many people have lost their homes and we pray that no lives will be lost.

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In South Australia we are no longer allowed to build homes in areas known to have previously been flooded. Such as 50 year floods. So why do we allow people to build homes in areas of native bush land that experience bush fires on a regular (say 10 yearly ) basis. And I hate it that the CFS risk their lives to save such properties. If there were no dwellings to protect then the manner in which they could fight such fires (more successfully) would be very different.

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Pushka,I live in a bushfire prone area.I moved here originally because the land was cheap but I happen to like living here, for now anyway.I don't know if you have noticed but Sydney is almost at capacity unless more flats are built so people have no choice but to build further and further out.

I have lived through a few bushfires with one extremely close to the house. I am fully insured and keep my important documents in a suitcase so I am prepared if the call to evacuate occurs.

Elaine.

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Pushka,I live in a bushfire prone area.I moved here originally because the land was cheap but I happen to like living here, for now anyway.I don't know if you have noticed but Sydney is almost at capacity unless more flats are built so people have no choice but to build further and further out.

I have lived through a few bushfires with one extremely close to the house. I am fully insured and keep my important documents in a suitcase so I am prepared if the call to evacuate occurs.

Elaine.

 

Yes. I understand the attraction of living there. We thought about living in the Hills at Adelaide then decided not to as we didn't want to worry about bushfires. I'm glad you have insurance as that is a must. Land is a premium here too and that's why housing is expensive.

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We visited the Blue Mts earlier this year, Flat Rock, Wentworth, Scenic World Skyway, Katoomba, Hazlebrook. Neapean River, a bush fire station near Lawson, Jamieson Valley, Leura, Three Sisters, I imagine all these places have been affected.

 

Any News?

 

Sandy in Spain

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In South Australia we are no longer allowed to build homes in areas known to have previously been flooded. Such as 50 year floods. So why do we allow people to build homes in areas of native bush land that experience bush fires on a regular (say 10 yearly ) basis. And I hate it that the CFS risk their lives to save such properties. If there were no dwellings to protect then the manner in which they could fight such fires (more successfully) would be very different.

 

People like the tranquillity of living in the bush. I don't blame them.

 

If you wanted to enact some sort of protective legislation then the best in my mind would be to make mandatory fire bunkers underground that residents can retreat to with room for minimal belongings.

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We visited the Blue Mts earlier this year, Flat Rock, Wentworth, Scenic World Skyway, Katoomba, Hazlebrook. Neapean River, a bush fire station near Lawson, Jamieson Valley, Leura, Three Sisters, I imagine all these places have been affected.

 

Any News?

 

Sandy in Spain

 

Actually very few if any of those areas have been burned this time around. The fires thus far have been restricted to areas north & east of the main tourist areas.

 

The Blue Mountains are amongst the most fire prone areas in the entire country, a country where bushfires are an accepted part of life.

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We visited the Blue Mts earlier this year, Flat Rock, Wentworth, Scenic World Skyway, Katoomba, Hazlebrook. Neapean River, a bush fire station near Lawson, Jamieson Valley, Leura, Three Sisters, I imagine all these places have been affected.

 

Any News?

 

Sandy in Spain

 

I live in Katoomba Sandy, and luckily none of these areas were affected.

 

The upper mountains were burnt in bushland which is not touristy.

 

The mid mountains were burnt in suburban areas.

 

I went from packing for our cruise which leave Friday, to evacuation packing. Luckily for us the threat seems to be over for us as long as the wind predictions dont change.

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Actually very few if any of those areas have been burned this time around. The fires thus far have been restricted to areas north & east of the main tourist areas.

 

The Blue Mountains are amongst the most fire prone areas in the entire country, a country where bushfires are an accepted part of life.

 

I live in Katoomba Sandy, and luckily none of these areas were affected.

 

The upper mountains were burnt in bushland which is not touristy.

 

The mid mountains were burnt in suburban areas.

 

I went from packing for our cruise which leave Friday, to evacuation packing. Luckily for us the threat seems to be over for us as long as the wind predictions dont change.

 

Gee I do hope you make your cruise. Looking forward to ours next month.

Agree with all the remarks above. These fires should not impact tourism in January but rather enhance it. A good guide would be able to explain and show the positive affects of these fires.

An interesting remark about the tour buses being denied access today. The Asian operators were totally ignorant of the fact and we now have to set up road blocks at the bottom of the hill so they get the message:rolleyes: Some of the operators were even letting the tourists off the bus to take pictures:eek:

 

We live close to Kurrajong which is in the direct path of one of the major fires. The alternative road to the Blue Mtns through Bilpin has formed the southern fire control area with the fires being largely contained within the remote Wollomi NP area to the north. This is where the famous Wollomi Pine was found following the huge 1994 fires.

Thanks to the massive back burning operations and some relief in the weather together with a little rain from a thunderstorm last night, today was not as bad (for us) as first forecast. Winds were gusty to about 80 kph and it was quite smokey by early afternoon, but the weather has since moderated and it is now just 22c from a max of 34 today.

All the schools have been closed, even the ones some distance away..just in case the wind increased and stayed in the west.

We have spent 3 days preparing for the worst and have got our bushfire survival plan in order so feel quietly confident. We have emergency power generators, water hoses and 44 gal drums full of water surround our house. On top of the an army of SA fire fighters are stationed just 5 minutes away.

Helicopters and fixed wing planes have been dropping water in the inaccessible areas of the mountains. Unfortunately some new fires started today from the lighting last night but they are not a threat to us at least.

 

Regarding the TV media - we turn the blasted thing off as they tend to over dramatise everything creating panic amongst some people. We have family in the worst affected areas and thankfully there house was spared - next door not so lucky. The volunteer and paid fire fighters are doing an amazing job. An army of fire fighters have been brought in from all over Australia so that when a new fire starts they are on it in minutes.

All the damage was actually done last week from a couple of wildfires that started in weather conditions actually worse than today.

We hope that everyone in the fire areas remain safe.

Hugh

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The whole situation is terrible. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected, also the firefighters battling the fires.

 

There is always so many volunteers in these situations, those helping feed and look after the ones evacuated, plus looking after the firefighters.

 

I was talking to a client in Sydney today and she was telling me about friends who lost their home on Bells Line Road area, and how their dog perished in the fire, neighbours saw it, but didn't have time to rescue the dog. These people were only able to find the case of a watch. Very sad.

 

As for tourist buses going up there during the fires, what sort of idiots are the tour conductors. Then when they get into trouble they expect everyone to run to them and help.

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When the fires are out the bush will spring into new life from the ashes. It will be beautiful to see and this is the real australian bush.

 

The black Saturday fires in Victoria are now nearly 5 years ago and the greenery with a few darkened trees is spectacular.

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When the fires are out the bush will spring into new life from the ashes. It will be beautiful to see and this is the real australian bush. The black Saturday fires in Victoria are now nearly 5 years ago and the greenery with a few darkened trees is spectacular.

 

cassamanda: We live close to Kurrajong which is in the direct path of one of the major fires. The alternative road to the Blue Mtns through Bilpin has formed the southern fire control area with the fires being largely contained within the remote Wollomi NP area to the north. This is where the famous Wollomi Pine was found following the huge 1994 fires. Thanks to the massive back burning operations and some relief in the weather together with a little rain from a thunderstorm last night' date=' today was not as bad (for us) as first forecast. Winds were gusty to about 80 kph and it was quite smokey by early afternoon, but the weather has since moderated and it is now just 22c from a max of 34 today. [b']All the schools have been closed, even the ones some distance away[/b]..just in case the wind increased and stayed in the west. We have spent 3 days preparing for the worst and have got our bushfire survival plan in order so feel quietly confident. We have emergency power generators, water hoses and 44 gal drums full of water surround our house. On top of the an army of SA fire fighters are stationed just 5 minutes away.

 

Vader1111: Very few if any of those areas have been burned this time around. The fires thus far have been restricted to areas north & east of the main tourist areas. The Blue Mountains are amongst the most fire prone areas in the entire country' date=' a country where bushfires are an accepted part of life. [/quote']

 

Kingos: We have had very little rain here in NSW for months and September and October this year have been unusually warm to hot. Today (Wednesday ) we are experiencing high temperatures and gusty NW winds which is fanning fires that have been burning for days. It's a dire situation and we have the most brilliant fire fighters who are out there doing their thing. We are most proud of these men and women who are mostly volunteers. Tourist buses are NOT allowed up there until these fires are contained and the general public have been told to keep away so not to congest the roads and of course to keep safe. The Blue Mountains have had these fires for countless years and the re growth is remarkable. Many people have lost their homes and we pray that no lives will be lost.

 

Appreciate so much these and others comments' date=' insights and background on these fire challenges in the Sydney area. Hopefully things will continue to get more under control. Will share this info on our roll call.

 

THANKS! Terry in Ohio[/font']

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Celebrity Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 144,955 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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I think I saw a map somewhere from the USA where the whole of Australia was down as burning. My son lives in Sydney and works on the CBD and said yesterday was a stunning day there.

 

So while there are sadly bushfires still raging in the east, tourism will not notice the effects. And it seems the cataclysmic day forecasted for Wednesday did not eventuate. Bad enough but not the disaster predicted. Now we need a good rain once the back burning has been completed. And the Defence force to think about changing their practices.

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I think I saw a map somewhere from the USA where the whole of Australia was down as burning. My son lives in Sydney and works on the CBD and said yesterday was a stunning day there.

 

So while there are sadly bushfires still raging in the east, tourism will not notice the effects. And it seems the cataclysmic day forecasted for Wednesday did not eventuate. Bad enough but not the disaster predicted. Now we need a good rain once the back burning has been completed. And the Defence force to think about changing their practices.

 

like this on this link?

http://www.news.com.au/technology/american-network-nbc-publishes-map-showing-the-whole-of-australia-is-on-fire-oops/story-e6frfrnr-1226746114107

 

there is this one from the Australian goverment

http://sentinel2.ga.gov.au/Sentinel/imf.jsp

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snip...

Agree with all the remarks above. These fires should not impact tourism in January but rather enhance it. A good guide would be able to explain and show the positive affects of these fires...snip...

We hope that everyone in the fire areas remain safe.

Hugh

 

We were in Tasmania in March and saw the destruction caused by the fires earlier,very sad, but the trees had all started to regenerate very quickly as is the way with eucalyptus varieties...so we were told

 

Here in our part of Andalucia in Southern Spain several times a year we see fires blazing across the hillsides and the helicopters carry water to them...scary esp when later when it is reported some of the fires are started deliberately

 

Stay safe everyone

 

Sandy in Spain

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I think we can blame our Prime Minister Tony Abbott for the bush fires because the first thing he did when elected in September was move to abolish the carbon tax, which everybody in the world knew was stopping global warming......so it must be his fault..........nothing to do with the greenies opposing hazard reduction which reduces the fuels available for the fire..... The aboriginals for thousands of years have burnt the land and helped to regenerate it but a few D...heads with an opposing view have stuffed it up........anyway no that I have had my say......TLCOhio it will not adversely affect your trip down under at all, in fact if you were to visit those areas affected by the bush fires when you are here they would be even prettier.

By the way ,when you do check in for your cruise come an say "gidday mate" ....cheers

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