#1 Bushfires wipe out 330 square miles in NSWSonnabendGuest10-17-2013, 08:37 PM
LIVE UPDATES: One man has died and there are grave fears for many more as dozens of houses are lost and over 100 blazes continue to burn, 36 of them out of control, across NSW. Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has fought back tears while describing the tireless work of his firefighters, many of whom have lost their own homes while defending the lives of strangers. Police confirmed the first fatality of the disaster this morning. A 63-year-old man died in the NSW Central Coast yesterday after he collapsed while defending his Lake Munmorah home. Two volunteer firefighters are being treated for injuries in hospital, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said.Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons fought back tears describing the tireless work of his firefighters, many of whom have lost their own homes defending the lives of strangers.
"We have the best firefighters in the world. There's no doubt about it," he said.
10-17-2013, 09:32 PM
Be careful Sonna and I hope none of your friends or family are affected.
SonnabendGuest10-17-2013, 09:39 PM
We are in suburban Sydney, we're fine. Two of my friends are in the fire zone, and they advise that the fires are moving away from them.
We will get this under control eventually. Lower temperatures and cooler weather fronts are moving in, which should help. We are hoping for rain...but the last thing we need is a lightning strike to start another one. Unlike a certain imbecile Mayor in a city I wont name, we Aussies have activated THE PLAN, we all know our jobs, we all know what to do and how to do it. We prepare for every contingency, and that planning is working fine.
We're on this.
SonnabendGuest10-17-2013, 09:56 PM
Thats our operations room
SYDNEY, Jan 13, 2013 (AFP) - As dozens of unpredictable bushfires break out in Australia's extreme heat, military-style operations are in full swing at a "nerve centre" that harnesses state-of-the-art technology allied to the power of social media.At the state operations room at the western Sydney headquarters of the RFS, fire officials sit alongside representatives from the police, the Department of Defence, utilities and state bodies to coordinate the fire response.Before them is a giant digital video wall, the largest in the southern hemisphere, displaying information about all fires burning in the state, including maps, number of firefighters at the front and weather forecasts. "This is the nerve centre for all the fires that are going on in New South Wales at the moment," media spokeswoman Brydie O'Connor told AFP.
All information -- including fire behaviour analysis, air resources, number of fire trucks available, streets and homes that might come under threat -- is plugged into an online system and is immediately available to all who need it.
The centre itself is disaster-proofed, with custom designs ensuring "if there is a major power outage or some sort of catastrophic event in NSW that electricity would still run in this building", O'Connor said.
This is how we plan, this is how we work, this is what years of planning and preparation have accomplished.
10-18-2013, 08:09 AMMay the FORCE be with you!
SonnabendGuest10-20-2013, 08:20 PM
Map of the fires here
Prime Minister Abbott joins the firefighting
EVERY resource NSW can muster - including possibly the military - is being sent to fight the Blue Mountains bushfires, as fears grow that a mega-fire could form. While there are 56 fires still active across the state on Monday - 12 uncontained - the focus is the large State Mine fire near Lithgow.Residents in the township of Bell were this morning again urged to evacuate ahead of temperatures in the mid-30s, low humidity and problematic winds around 25km/h. The great concern in the region west of Sydney is the chance of a mega-fire forming in worsening conditions on Wednesday.
Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons concedes it's a possibility."I don't think I've ever use the word mega-fire," he said."But the reality is that the modelling indicates that there's every likelihood that in the forecast weather conditions that these two fires, particularly up in the back end of the mountains, will merge at some point.'' The Lithgow fire could burn along the Bells Line of Road, threatening communities in Sydney's northwest from Kurrajong to Richmond. It may be that some communities "will be simply unsaveable", Mr Fitzsimmons said.
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