The Tasmania, AUSTRALIA Fire!
Jan 5. 2013 My sister in Tasmania, Australia sent this in E-mails.
The area that has been devastated is called the Tasman Peninsula – it is my 2nd home & about 90 mins drive from here! Many friends live down there & are stranded, not knowing if their houses have survived or not but we know that they are all safe! Thankfully!
Many of them survive because they have access to beaches & the sea & many of them stood in the water up to their chests all day – telling the kids to take big breaths & holding them under the water for as long as possible to protect them from the radiant heat! Luckily most kids in Oz r water babies & surfies! They still do not know if their houses have survived!
It is my getaway retreat, where I go for w/ends away & visit & stay with old friends that I’ve known for about 25 yrs & it is really where my heart feels most at home – it’s stunning, big cliffs, dropping down to the great southern ocean & magnificent beaches & forest walks & trees on all the hills dropping right down to the sea from the magnificent cliffs!
I’m dreading my next visit – it’s devastated, sml towns burnt out totally, 600,000 acres of beautiful bush burnt out & many of my friends still stranded down there, sheltering up in emergency centers & friends homes!
We have a few days of cool weather & then by Tues – temperatures r due to soar again & high hot winds for next 10 days! A number of missing are now being reported. Smoke from the fire fills Hobart, Tasmania.
Jan 6th. A few friends got out today in convoy – they said they cried most of the drive (90mins) all the forest has gone! The peninsula has been torn apart! They’re all safe but can’t stay there, no power & food running out, water etc! They r in shock. The army will get supplies thru today, roads r still blocked, power off!
Well, the fires are still raging, nothing in my area yet which is amazing! Help is coming from all over Oz & NZ & they r bringing in the army today. I’m going out to buy cement sheet to put over all my windows – it’s just a matter of time in our area now! Once that’s done the house would stand a fighting chance! I’m still working away steadily trying to make the house fire proof! I have to face the fact that I might not be able to get down the drive way.
I haven’t slept much, getting extra hoses fitted to all the taps etc. etc & just keep on clearing away bracken & growth from embankments in front of house etc etc. I’m exhausted, smoke in Hobart is worse than down my way but it was lovely to come into town & relax!
They have charged a few people for leaving camp fires smoldering & starting them – this is how most fires start in Oz – people r so stupid!
Ok must get on with it, Smudgie keeps me sane – as I work away he comes up & drops the ball at my feet! He suffers back pain too – but it doesn’t stop him wanting to forget about it & play! He jumped out the car window as a puppy, when I was doing 60 kms! He has suffered ever since.
Everybody in the Huon, is so tense & all the shops have sold out on hoses, buckets, blankets etc etc! Anyway – so far so good!
Jan 7. As conditions get harsher, more & more countries around the world are importing eucalypts from Aussie. We have been exporting them for years. They r famous for their resilience & ability to handle dry conditions, so more eucalypt forests r being planted! I even saw them in Ireland, in Tullymore Forest Pk, last time I was home & in the Great Oregon pine forests as the pines cannot handle the lack of water! So there will be more fires, world wide.
They need to export the aboriginal knowledge along with them, on how to manage eucalypt forests & do regular cool burns to keep them healthy & regenerate them! Perhaps u would write that on ur blogg because no one is saying it. And the world needs to hear it, climate change or no climate change.
The eucalypt forests need fire to regenerate them too, all part of God’s plan? But the aborigines used to do small regular controlled cool burns! The white people stopped that, so when it goes up, it goes up in a big way now! That area has not been burnt for 45 yrs or so! They do not even do regular fire breaks here like they used to do in Western Australia!
It is not acceptable here to burn off now, with climate change & the green house effect but the forestry do it, when they clear huge areas of bush to plant pines for building! And they waste so much wood – we have been fighting to stop that & get low regular cool burns for the undergrowth & ground vegetation that fuels a fire up into the tree tops!
A big fire like that – 60-80 mtr high flames destroys a lot of the species because it is far too hot!! The aborigines knew how to manage their country & the white men don’t! The fire brigade told me that because I’m on a steep hill – the fire front would go over very fast! So that’s something to be grateful for. So far, so good! It’s raining!
Jan 8. Well it’s snowing now in some of the high areas in Tassie & fires are still raging in others!
All my friends are safe & out of the fire affected area except a few hardy ones that are well prepared & r staying to save their homes! It’s a super heat wave on the mainland – NSW is worst hit with temperatures up to 54 deg which is unheard of!
Going off the scale, past red & into purple! So it’s cool here compared to that 23-25 now! I’ve been in 48 deg in the mines up in the dessert of W. A.- it was like being in an oven! I don’t know what it is in Fahrenheit! 43 is about 122 fa.
I’ve got quite a few things done here & ordered all the cement sheet to cover the windows if I have to, got rid of everything that would give off toxic fumes & lagging the pipes from water tanks etc to protect them from heat etc etc.
Jan 9. Two fires are still raging on both sides of Pirate’s Bay at the moment where several of my friends live, they are water bombing them, one on either side of Eagle Hawk Bay to try to save that small community! So it’s still very tense!
Funny how great tragedies make you appreciate ALL the things that you take for granted! And are huge wake up calls, communities start pulling together, caring for one another & supporting one another! I’ve suddenly started appreciating the view from my window out over all the green trees & the hills & realising it might not be there for ever!
Jan 10. Well it’s mostly contained now, they managed to save the last 2 sml villages down there which was Eagle Hawk & Doo Town (named because every house has Doo in the name – Doo this, Doo that, Doo nothing, Doo drop in etc etc.) They fire bombed it all night & brought in the bull dozers & made fire beaks behind the houses & back burned! One has to ask why there were not already fire breaks in place?
So for now – it’s over & people can go back this w/end & see what they have to deal with! Next w/end we’ll all go down with rakes & shovels & food & drink & give a hand! That’s what we do here. We helped people build their houses & we’ll all help them clean up & rebuild, if we have to! None of our friends are rich, so it’s people that made the difference. And the rest who were not prepared are a lot better prepared now for it’s only a matter of time!
It’s cooler & we’ve had little bits of rain, but need a lot more. Still it’s a miracle that nobody died in the fires – they all headed for the sea & it basically saved a lot of lives. Love, Fern. End
Our thoughts, prayers and concerns are for those living on the Tasman Peninsula and with those in the path of the bush fires now burning in 5 of Australia’s 6 states with a serious risk in N.S.W.
From our experience with fires and high winds in San Diego County, C.A. it is imperative that those high winds are abated in order to halt the devastation and serious potential for loss of life in Tasmania and on the mainland of Australia where fires are burning out of control.
Please ask God who controls the weather, to create favorable climate conditions which will avert any farther devastation. Perhaps a loving God who really does exist and is not far away will hear our prayers and you will be able, as my sister could say on Jan 7th 2013 “It’s raining!”
April 12. 2012. The Autumn weather is in now & we have lovely long clear Autumn days.
The fire danger is over, it was an uncommonly hot summer in Taz & all over Aussie. They called it a super heat wave etc etc but while we were having fires down here, up in the northern areas they were having weeks of rain & floods for the 3rd yr in a row! Parts of Qld & nth NSW have been wiped out with floods again!
So I really do not think that anybody knows what is going to occur with climate change – I feel that its just going to become more & more unpredictable with time.
The day after the bad fires – there was snow on high ground here! So that just shows how changeable it is – we can have a heat wave one day & snow the next & that has been happening as far north as Sydney too!
The laws of nature (if it has any, do not adhere to the laws of Science & people’s predictions!)
Aussie was doing very well in the economic recession but with all these natural disasters they are taking their toll on the financial infrastructure, now!
Librarians Comment. I love Australia, having lived in the state of Victoria, and understand the natural disasters which occur in that climate zone similar to the extreme weather pattern as much of South America.
Be sure to read ‘Drought, Flood And Famine on Page 1 of the Library.