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Jo Bird View Drop Down
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  Quote Jo Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2013 at 17:48
Sorry tohear all the bad news from OZ Margi.
Is it worse than usual for the time of year?
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2013 at 13:48
Much worse Jo. Its only spring and the bush fire season has started way too early. I'm on a girls' weekend away with 7 others. One of the ladies with us got a call from her husband saying that the police had door knocked and told him to prepare to evacuate. He told her not to come home as there was no point as she would have to go to an evacuation centre. There are over 80 fires burning in NSW so its one of the worst we have had. My friend who lives in the mountains is ok. She said that the fire that started near where she works in Lithgow started on a military target practise range and it was unsafe for fire fighters to go in due to any unexploded ammunition.
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  Quote Jo Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Oct 2013 at 19:03
Just watched a news report about the fires Margi.
Showed people being evacuated from their homes.
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Oct 2013 at 08:29
The big worry now is the fire in the mountains. There afre 5 separate fires, but the big worry is that the strong winds and high temperatures forcast for Wednesday will cause them to join together to form one major fire that will have a front of hundreds of kilometres.
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Oct 2013 at 14:14
I have a friend who lives in suburb called Wilton. They were told this afternoon to evacuate due to embers being blown over from a fire in a town called Balmoral in the Southern Highlands. My friend in the mountains is OK, but they have been told what to expect and to be prepared in case the worse case scenario does occur in the mountains.

The smoke over Sydney was really bad today and some schools near the fire areas, but not directly affected were closed as the poor air quality made it unsafe. People were urged to stay indoors if they had no need to be outside, with doors shut and nair conditioners on due to the smoke. Asthmatics were given instructions on how to be prepared as asthmatic attacks were likely to be higher than usual.
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2013 at 03:11
I just heard the best sound - rain. I just hope its raining in the right areas to give fire fighters some urgent help. Fire fighters have been sent from other states to help as most of the ones from NSW have been fighting the fires for 5 days straight and need to be relieved from duty for a few days.

Edited by MargiABC - 22 Oct 2013 at 03:12
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2013 at 15:16
They said on the news that over 2000 firefighters from other states have come over to help fight the fires. Because they are expecting extreme conditions tomorrow - high temperatures and gusty winds (100 km per hour predicted), all schools in the Blue Mountains area will be closed and nursing homes evacuated. The worse case scenario is that the separate fires in the mountains will join to form one big fire that will have a fire edge of 1500 km.

At the moment there are over 50 fires burning around the state with 18 out of control, most likely in areas with very difficult terrain.

5 juveniles have been charged with arson. One of those is 11 years old and the fire he lit burnt out 5000 hectares of land over several days near the Newcastle srea. There are other causes of bush fires as well - lightning strikes, discarded cigarette butts (this was the cause of a large grass fire near the Sydney Olympic site over a week ago - the fire was near the Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre. It took hold and destroyed over 50 cars in the carpark.)

Edited by MargiABC - 22 Oct 2013 at 15:29
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2013 at 08:23
The fire has reached Blackheath where my friend and her family live. I don't know if they are staying to protect their property or going. Water bombing has kept the fires at bay for the moment.

Residents who are evacuating have been asked to leave a sign if they have a backyard pool so the water can be pumped and used by firefighters on the ground. The water bomb helicopters scoop the water from farm dams and backyard pools if they are the closest source of water. The buckets used hold 100 litres of water. Luckily a lot of houses do have backyard pools.

The police just announcd $5,500.00 fines for anyone caught flicking cigarette butts.
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2013 at 12:53
My friend at Blackheath is Ok. She has a fire plan in place, prepared her property as much as possible. She has packed the car with all the important stuff and is ready to go if the word comes down to evacuate. The fire was less than 5 km away from her.
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 2013 at 07:26
Its been over a week and the bush fires are still burning. There are still about 60 fires around the state, but the Rural Fire Service has said that they are not a threat to homes now. When they have had cooler weather, they have managed to do some fire control measures such as back burning to remove vegetation that could be potential fuel sources near homes by backburning.

One of the reasons we have had such a bad bush fire season is that we have had plenty of rain over the last three years which has encouraged a lot of vegetation to grow. This year however; we have had a very dry winter which has made a lot of plant material potential fuel for the fires. Very hot temperatures, high winds and something or in some cases, someone starts the fire and 'whoosh' its up, fast and fierce.

Thank goodness for the Rural Fire Service and its thousands of volunteers.
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2013 at 00:07
I'm pretty sure most of the bush fires are out now. We have had a lot of rain so that would have been a great help for the fire fighters. I downloaded an app to my phone from the Rural Fire Service that maps out where the fires are and how far they are from my location.

Edited by MargiABC - 23 Nov 2013 at 00:08
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Dec 2013 at 21:39
It's going to be a scorcher today. 40°C predicted for today.
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014 at 12:20
I drove to Canberra yesterday and came back today (500km round trip) to see an amazing exhibition of maps from 1400s to 1800s. The maps were not reproductions. One was from Venice from the 1500s and was at least 2 x 2 metres in size and the first time it has been seen outside of Venice. There were maps produced in Spain, Holland, England, France and Venice. It was interesting to see how the cartographers of the time developed their maps based on the available knowledge.
The development of the map of Australia was of keen interest. It was known as Terra Australis Icognito - South Land Unknown, and only hypothesised to exist on very early maps. When maps proved that it did exist, the west coast was mapped, then the upper part, which on maps was joined to New Guinea. Tasmania was joined to the mainland as no explorer at the time had sailed between Tasmania and the mainland or between New Guinea and Australia. The east coast was uncharted and did not exist on maps until later.
It was interesting to see the handwritten notations on the maps and where cartographers thought certain countries were/ the names were recognisable on the maps such as China, India, Cambodia, Korea (Corea on some maps) Japan (which on many maps was one land mass rather than several islands). Large continents such as Africa and North and South America were shown on many maps with more accuracy as centuries passed.
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  Quote Toots Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014 at 18:01
Originally posted by MargiABC

I drove to Canberra yesterday and came back today (500km round trip) to see an amazing exhibition of maps from 1400s to 1800s. The maps were not reproductions. One was from Venice from the 1500s and was at least 2 x 2 metres in size and the first time it has been seen outside of Venice. There were maps produced in Spain, Holland, England, France and Venice. It was interesting to see how the cartographers of the time developed their maps based on the available knowledge.
The development of the map of Australia was of keen interest. It was known as Terra Australis Icognito - South Land Unknown, and only hypothesised to exist on very early maps. When maps proved that it did exist, the west coast was mapped, then the upper part, which on maps was joined to New Guinea. Tasmania was joined to the mainland as no explorer at the time had sailed between Tasmania and the mainland or between New Guinea and Australia. The east coast was uncharted and did not exist on maps until later.
It was interesting to see the handwritten notations on the maps and where cartographers thought certain countries were/ the names were recognisable on the maps such as China, India, Cambodia, Korea (Corea on some maps) Japan (which on many maps was one land mass rather than several islands). Large continents such as Africa and North and South America were shown on many maps with more accuracy as centuries passed.


Oh Margi. My husband would have given anything to have been with you. He adores maps and sea charts
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  Quote MargiABC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 2014 at 06:30
Another year and another bush fire season has started. Two houses lost in the Blue Mountains. Yesterday was a scorcher. By 8.30am it was already 28°C. The state government has relaxed tree cutting laws so that owners of homes in designated high risk areas of bush fires can remove trees that are up to 10 metres from their homes without council permission. This is to reduce the threat of bush fires near those homes.

Two weeks ago we had very high temperatures for a couple of days, then the weather changed and we then had a few days of very cold weather with snow in the Blue Mountains, almost a year after the worst bush fires in the mountains where 200 homes were lost. The weather is certainly weird.

Edited by MargiABC - 02 Nov 2014 at 06:31
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  Quote deborah31 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 2014 at 16:09
i just 'spoke' to my aussie friends in Brighton (nsw) yesterday on FB
they just got back from Nepal, was lucky just missed the avalanche.
One of them broke her ankle tho, so they had to hire a donkey for 3 days to get her off the mountain.
we used to go bush trekking with them in the blue mountains when we lived in sydney.
would love to be over now,
my other friend , Faith, very south of Sydney is very close to where all the bush fires go, as back onto national park, we spent new years day with her last year!! seems so long ago now.

Maybe I need to get organised and see if i can organise a house swap for sydney next year!!
Loose Lips, Sink Ships !!   or as they say in Jamaice, 'Mouth open, Story fly out!'
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