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On 1/8/2020 at 5:25 PM, jmlh said:

Thank you so very much for posting this link.  We leave for Australia on the 18th and this will be a valuable resource.

The US State Dept increased its Australia Travel Advisory to Level Two.

You might check similar for Canada.

 

https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/australia-wildfire-update

 

Advisory:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/australia-travel-advisory.html

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3 hours ago, Janet987 said:

The US State Dept increased its Australia Travel Advisory to Level Two.

You might check similar for Canada.

 

https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/australia-wildfire-update

 

Advisory:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/australia-travel-advisory.html

Thank you for the links.  I do have a Canadian advisory app on my phone so do continue to monitor the situation.  I think that all travellers are advised to be constantly aware of their surroundings and to follow the advice of Australians monitoring the fires.

Friends have friends currently in Melbourne and they say the temperature and the smoke levels go up and down (so take a variety of clothes!) but they are having a nice time anyway. Hopefully firefighters will get some rain assistance.

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On 1/9/2020 at 3:31 AM, Jamietravelstheworld said:

Found this great resource on how the bushfires are impacting visitors/tourism: https://www.australia.com/en-us/travel-alerts.html

 

Jamie

Jamie, I actually think website gives you more accurate information than both the US and Canadian Governments’ travel advisories. 
 

Leigh

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On 1/9/2020 at 2:31 AM, Jamietravelstheworld said:

Found this great resource on how the bushfires are impacting visitors/tourism: https://www.australia.com/en-us/travel-alerts.html

 

Jamie

To check current bush fire/smoke haze conditions, I recommend you check the situation in places you intend visiting.  Eg Adelaide had smoke haze from Kangaroo Island's bush fires and Melbourne has hazardous bush fire smoke conditions today.

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And today Sydney has lovely clear air with recommendations to open windows to let the fresh air in. 

 

It's so variable at the moment but in Sydney, for example, we're only getting one really bad day in every 6 or 7. Some days have been Moderate (which is the next level up from Good but still OK) and occasionally tipping over to the "Unhealthy for sensitive groups" level. 

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4 hours ago, MMDown Under said:

To check current bush fire/smoke haze conditions, I recommend you check the situation in places you intend visiting.  Eg Adelaide had smoke haze from Kangaroo Island's bush fires and Melbourne has hazardous bush fire smoke conditions today.

Yes, do check the expected air quality where you intend to visit and take appropriate precautions. Melbourne's air quality is now at very poor, it was hazardous earlier this morning. It's probably the worse we've had so far, so have got out of it quite lightly compared to Sydney and Canberra.

 

The air quality in Melbourne is expected in improve over the next day or so as the winds turn more to the south.

 

Leigh

 

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9 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Ick! Hang in there, Leigh, it should be back in the green or yellow by Thursday if the forecasts are correct.

Thanks OzKiwi, I'm staying indoors! Just spoke to my daughter who is at the Kooyong Tennis Challenge with our grandson who is a ball boy for the tournament. She said that the air has improved there and also that the tournament doctor had rung her to check if it was still ok for grandson to do it. So they are keeping an eye on the kids. He does get asthma occasionally. But of course has his puffer with him. I'm assuming if the air quality deteriorates play won;t go on.

 

But really compared to other areas, particularly the fire areas we have been very lucky.

 

Leigh

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8 minutes ago, QueSeraSera said:

Local (US) news says firefighters moving from defense to offense against these d### fires, I hope this is true.  Continue to worry about you folks, and hope for things to improve soon.

Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by moving from defence to offence (Australian spelling). My husband was a volunteer firefighter for over 35 years and has never heard that term used in relation to fighting bush fires.

 

When the fires are spreading, water bombers are used where possible, and firefighters with their trucks are moved where needed to put out fires and to protect assets such as towns and farmhouses where possible. Now that the weather conditions are more benign, there is back burning happening to stop the spread of fire and water bombers will still be working until the fires are contained or if conditions worsen.

 

Thank you for your kind thoughts. For most of us smoke is the main concern but for those in the affected areas, the people are struggling but with plenty of help will get through it.

 

Leigh

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I am getting very skeptical of the press these days (from both sides of the spectrum here), and I apologize if I quoted nonsense and respect very much your husband's service.  

Below, hopefully if I do this right, is the article I read and referred to, only for informational purposes.

 https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-01-11/firefighter-dies-as-australia-works-on-long-term-battle-plan

15 minutes ago, possum52 said:

Thank you for your kind thoughts

Thank you for understanding.

 

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4 minutes ago, QueSeraSera said:

I am getting very skeptical of the press these days (from both sides of the spectrum here), and I apologize if I quoted nonsense and respect very much your husband's service.  

Below, hopefully if I do this right, is the article I read and referred to, only for informational purposes.

 https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-01-11/firefighter-dies-as-australia-works-on-long-term-battle-plan

Thank you for understanding.

 

Thank you for the link to the article. Once I read it I understood what you meant. It is basically as I wrote in my last post. 
 

Leigh

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On 1/12/2020 at 2:17 AM, Janet987 said:

The US State Dept increased its Australia Travel Advisory to Level Two.

You might check similar for Canada.

 

https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/australia-wildfire-update

 

Advisory:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/australia-travel-advisory.html

As of Monday 13th, the US State dept has reduced its Australian Travel Advisory back to Level 1 except the fire areas stay at Level 2. The statement that the fires would last until April has also been removed.

 

Leigh

 

 

 

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At this stage, most of the fire areas are under control. Various authorities, including Police and local councils, are starting 'open for business' campaigns - tourists are now welcome, the threat has passed. Yes, rebuilding has to commence, but livelihoods are dying without a tourist season.

 

NSW Police - South Coast Re-opens for Business

 

9 News - South Coast Tourism

 

Having said that it would be a good idea to check conditions before entering a (former) fire area - some roads are still closed, and air quality is about what you'd expect. (Though having said that in my opinion if you don't have an existing respiratory condition you really won't be affected... I AM NOT A DOCTOR)

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3 hours ago, nchpmn said:

(Though having said that in my opinion if you don't have an existing respiratory condition you really won't be affected... I AM NOT A DOCTOR)

Unfortunately you don't necessarily have to have an existing respiratory condition to be sensitive and badly affected by the smoke, as I discovered.

 

If anyone has any concerns my recommendation is to buy a P2.5/N99 anti-pollution mask. Amazon have a good selection including ones that are very lightweight and easy to pack. Avoid walking around if there is heavy smoke, travel in air-conditioned vehicles. But don't cancel your trip, the smoke could be completely gone by the time you arrive in Australia or, at least, only affecting certain areas.

 

BTW it's another lovely safe air day in Sydney today.

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We were in Sydney from Dec 19 to Dec 23 when we boarded Celebrity Solstice to NZ.  2 of the 5 days the air was pretty smokey (they happened to be the very hot days) while the other 3 days were relatively clear and cool.  The smokey days only affected visibility.  We unfortunately did have a wildlife tour scheduled that was cancelled by the operator because of the fires.  That was probably the biggest impact on us.  

 

2C8D1775-2D0E-46E1-B71E-F28899D4A9BB.jpeg

Sydney, Dec 19 2019

 

5302A7AA-8804-465C-823F-2E8E8B0FDD08.jpeg

Sydney, Dec 20 2019

Edited by mahdnc
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This crash brings the terrible fires a little closer to home 😥

 

  • Captain Ian H. McBeth born November 24, 1975: Ian lived in Great Falls, MT and is survived by his wife Bowdie and three children Abigail, Calvin, and Ella. Also, by his parents Willian and Anneliese and his siblings Rick Fernandez, Eleanor McBeth, and Aislinn McBeth. Ian’s love for his wife and children was evident for anyone who spent time around him. Ian was a highly qualified and respected C-130 pilot with many years fighting fire, both in the military and with Coulson Aviation. Ian served with the Wyoming Air National Guard and was still a member of the Montana Air National Guard. He has spent his entire career flying C-130’s and was a qualified Instructor and Evaluator pilot. Ian earned his Initial Attack qualification for Coulson in 2018. 
  • First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson born July 21, 1977: Paul lived in Buckeye, AZ and is survived by his wife Noreen. Paul graduated from the Naval Academy in 1999 and spent the next twenty years serving in the United States Marine Corp in a number of positions including C-130 pilot Paul retired as a Lt. Colonel and received many decorations during his career. He earned Masters in both Business Administration and Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School. 
  • Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr. born October 13, 1976: Rick lived in Navarre, FL. and is survived by his two children Lucas and Logan, his parents Rick Sr, Linda, and his sister Virginia. Rick served in the United States Air Force with eighteen years as a Flight Engineer on the C-130. Rick had over 4,000 hours as a Flight Engineer with nearly 2,000 hours in a combat environment. Ricks passion was always flying and his children.
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20 hours ago, Maui Girl said:

This crash brings the terrible fires a little closer to home 😥

 

  • Captain Ian H. McBeth born November 24, 1975: Ian lived in Great Falls, MT and is survived by his wife Bowdie and three children Abigail, Calvin, and Ella. Also, by his parents Willian and Anneliese and his siblings Rick Fernandez, Eleanor McBeth, and Aislinn McBeth. Ian’s love for his wife and children was evident for anyone who spent time around him. Ian was a highly qualified and respected C-130 pilot with many years fighting fire, both in the military and with Coulson Aviation. Ian served with the Wyoming Air National Guard and was still a member of the Montana Air National Guard. He has spent his entire career flying C-130’s and was a qualified Instructor and Evaluator pilot. Ian earned his Initial Attack qualification for Coulson in 2018. 
  • First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson born July 21, 1977: Paul lived in Buckeye, AZ and is survived by his wife Noreen. Paul graduated from the Naval Academy in 1999 and spent the next twenty years serving in the United States Marine Corp in a number of positions including C-130 pilot Paul retired as a Lt. Colonel and received many decorations during his career. He earned Masters in both Business Administration and Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School. 
  • Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr. born October 13, 1976: Rick lived in Navarre, FL. and is survived by his two children Lucas and Logan, his parents Rick Sr, Linda, and his sister Virginia. Rick served in the United States Air Force with eighteen years as a Flight Engineer on the C-130. Rick had over 4,000 hours as a Flight Engineer with nearly 2,000 hours in a combat environment. Ricks passion was always flying and his children.

 

I saw this this morning..just heartbreaking.  God Bless these men who reached across the earth to help their fellow men.  RIP

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On 1/24/2020 at 12:18 PM, Maui Girl said:

This crash brings the terrible fires a little closer to home 😥

 

  • Captain Ian H. McBeth born November 24, 1975: Ian lived in Great Falls, MT and is survived by his wife Bowdie and three children Abigail, Calvin, and Ella. Also, by his parents Willian and Anneliese and his siblings Rick Fernandez, Eleanor McBeth, and Aislinn McBeth. Ian’s love for his wife and children was evident for anyone who spent time around him. Ian was a highly qualified and respected C-130 pilot with many years fighting fire, both in the military and with Coulson Aviation. Ian served with the Wyoming Air National Guard and was still a member of the Montana Air National Guard. He has spent his entire career flying C-130’s and was a qualified Instructor and Evaluator pilot. Ian earned his Initial Attack qualification for Coulson in 2018. 
  • First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson born July 21, 1977: Paul lived in Buckeye, AZ and is survived by his wife Noreen. Paul graduated from the Naval Academy in 1999 and spent the next twenty years serving in the United States Marine Corp in a number of positions including C-130 pilot Paul retired as a Lt. Colonel and received many decorations during his career. He earned Masters in both Business Administration and Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School. 
  • Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr. born October 13, 1976: Rick lived in Navarre, FL. and is survived by his two children Lucas and Logan, his parents Rick Sr, Linda, and his sister Virginia. Rick served in the United States Air Force with eighteen years as a Flight Engineer on the C-130. Rick had over 4,000 hours as a Flight Engineer with nearly 2,000 hours in a combat environment. Ricks passion was always flying and his children.

Thank you for sharing the personal details of those who lost their lives helping out fighting Australian bushfires.  My sympathy to their wives, children and families of these brave men. 

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