Australia on fire

Canada has big fires as well. They're a natural part of the environment. The dominant tree species in northern Canada in fact require fire as part of their natural reproductive cycle.

What makes one fire worse than another is often more a matter of where it is than how big it is. A fire burning in an area where nobody lives is primarily an matter of the value of the loss of harvestable timber. When they affect inhabited areas then that's when the big problems start to stack up. When you get a big fire the main effort tends to focus on trying to keep it away from property, because it's hopeless to expect to extinguish the main blaze.

Man made factors can affect fires, but it's a complex issue with many natural factors coming into play as well. You get a really bad year when a number of those factors line up together.

There are things that Australia can do to mitigate the effects that fire will have on people, but they'll always have fires unless the place turns into more of a desert than it already is.
Ack all your points, but harvesting timber is frowned on these days. It still happens but is getting less common and rare in 'old growth' forests where the big timber won't grow any bigger. Timber harvesting of course leads to tracks being maintained and the under-storey being cleared.
 
It would be interesting to see where those graphs came from, the first one is particularly useful now. As for the second, the spikes in precipitation mean the grass and shrubs grow like mad, turning everything nice and green. The droughts that follow mean it all dies off and just lies there as fuel unless it is cleared away. That may in part explain the spike in fires a year or so after the heavy rains
Been through the Blue Mountains on the set-piece tourist-guided format a couple of times. It was heaven on earth.
I learned back then the name came from the tree-oil emitting vapours into a blue haze?
I did not know until recently that crackle- dried leaves are as combustible as vehicle fuel but it makes sense now...all thousands of hectares. I was in Albury-Wodonga as usual a couple of years after the Stirling Hills areas were ravaged. Drove the back roads to NE Melbourne, and the sight of blackened landscapes was bloody awful.
Managed to "dispatch" a brown snake in my B-in-Law's V8 Commodore Ute though...so that was OK.;)
 
Although called 'National Parks' the forests burning are a state responsibility.
And in Canada the forests are a provincial responsibility. Most of the forested land exists outside of parks. I don't know what the proportion is in Australia, but from what I've seen on maps a good deal of forests are outside of parks as well.

The proposal which was made in the story I posted was for a central pool of water bombers which would be federally owned, and which could be loaned, rented, or whatever to the provinces or states as needed to deal with exceptionally severe fire problems.

If you looked at the video that I posted earlier where the water bombers were scooping up water from a lake, you could see the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources logo on the side of them. They belong to the province of Ontario and are used each year to fight fires. At present in Canada, the provinces will lend resources to each other, including equipment and personnel, to help fight fires when one or more provinces has a particularly bad year.

There are Canadian fire experts down in Australia right now, helping them out. They're not labour to haul hoses however, they're experts on particular specialities when it comes to predicting, planning, and managing fire fighting.

I suspect that the water bomber proposal was being made in response to a request by Australia for proposals on what can be done to increase cooperation in fire fighting in future.
 
Ack all your points, but harvesting timber is frowned on these days. It still happens but is getting less common and rare in 'old growth' forests where the big timber won't grow any bigger. Timber harvesting of course leads to tracks being maintained and the under-storey being cleared.
I assume you're referring to Australia in this instance, as forest products are a major industry in Canada. I don't pretend to know what the forestry industry is like in Australia.
 
I don't pretend to know what the forestry industry is like in Australia.
Big business according to this.
In 2018–19, the forest industry generated $23.9 billion of sales and service income and employed around 52,000 people
 
I'm not sure what you are talking about with respect to a private company. A private company has proposed it. The government has to pay for it though, as the government are the ones who own the forests that burn and so are the ones who are responsible for controlling the fires.
But the Government is not going to sign an exclusivity deal or guarantee bush fires, if you make it they will come, maybe. why don’t they JFDI and stop proposing it!
 
And in Canada the forests are a provincial responsibility. Most of the forested land exists outside of parks. I don't know what the proportion is in Australia, but from what I've seen on maps a good deal of forests are outside of parks as well.

The proposal which was made in the story I posted was for a central pool of water bombers which would be federally owned, and which could be loaned, rented, or whatever to the provinces or states as needed to deal with exceptionally severe fire problems.

If you looked at the video that I posted earlier where the water bombers were scooping up water from a lake, you could see the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources logo on the side of them. They belong to the province of Ontario and are used each year to fight fires. At present in Canada, the provinces will lend resources to each other, including equipment and personnel, to help fight fires when one or more provinces has a particularly bad year.

There are Canadian fire experts down in Australia right now, helping them out. They're not labour to haul hoses however, they're experts on particular specialities when it comes to predicting, planning, and managing fire fighting.

I suspect that the water bomber proposal was being made in response to a request by Australia for proposals on what can be done to increase cooperation in fire fighting in future.
Australia doesn't have suitable lakes like Canada, plus we are in year 3 or 4 of a drought and many traditional water sources (farm dams and tanks) are dry.

That said, all overseas help is greatly appreciated.
 
Big business according to this.
In 2018–19, the forest industry generated $23.9 billion of sales and service income and employed around 52,000 people
I would think it’s fairly state based though, Tasmania is a huge forestry state, there were a lot of tax breaks for plantations when I was in South Australia, haven’t seen much in NSW which is heavily forested but seems to be old growth not plantations/managed but granted I haven’t traveled extensively in NSW.

Queensland perhaps in the tropical region, NT is to hot, would imagine effective, possibly similar ro WA but have never been there.

We had a fire come right up to our perimeter, currently over 1m tonnes of coal on site, however we proactively manage fire breaks as you can imagine and as a state asset we get a dedicated response, however, the RFS are recommending an addition few meters either side, I think (please don’t quote me) a fire break should be 6 meters currently but this will probably change after this season.

I might get a picture tomorrow, on one side of the road where the fire was you can see really far into the bush, on the other side (same forest no fire) you cannot see a meter into it such is the ground fuel.
 
Australia doesn't have suitable lakes like Canada, plus we are in year 3 or 4 of a drought and many traditional water sources (farm dams and tanks) are dry.

That said, all overseas help is greatly appreciated.
How much water is needed for retardant? Is it a water mix or dry powder?
 
Big business according to this.
In 2018–19, the forest industry generated $23.9 billion of sales and service income and employed around 52,000 people
From what I can see from the Australian government web site, Australia seems to be including a lot of things in that number that aren't forest product industry statistics by normal standards. I get something around $9 billion if we just count harvesting, lumber, paper, and related products. That's much smaller than Canada, but still large enough to indicate that they do have a forest products industry that harvests a significant number of trees.
 
I would think it’s fairly state based though, Tasmania is a huge forestry state, there were a lot of tax breaks for plantations when I was in South Australia, haven’t seen much in NSW which is heavily forested but seems to be old growth not plantations/managed but granted I haven’t traveled extensively in NSW.

Queensland perhaps in the tropical region, NT is to hot, would imagine effective, possibly similar ro WA but have never been there.

We had a fire come right up to our perimeter, currently over 1m tonnes of coal on site, however we proactively manage fire breaks as you can imagine and as a state asset we get a dedicated response, however, the RFS are recommending an addition few meters either side, I think (please don’t quote me) a fire break should be 6 meters currently but this will probably change after this season.

I might get a picture tomorrow, on one side of the road where the fire was you can see really far into the bush, on the other side (same forest no fire) you cannot see a meter into it such is the ground fuel.
I've read mention that fire breaks should be 100m. I have seen (Canberra 2003) large embers being blown horizontally like huge tracer rounds. I'm sure the ideal distance would vary depending on vegetation density, type and proximity to settlements.
 
I'm not sure which of the Australian fire threads is the canonical one, so I'll take a chance on this one.
As Australia burns, a plan for a joint seaborne firefighting unit is getting a second look
There is apparently a proposal for Australia and Canada to set up joint water bomber squadrons, based on the premise that the fire seasons in Australian and Canada occur at opposite times of the year.

The proposal involves using a sort of aircraft carrier with a capacity of 14 planes to transport the planes across the Pacific as required. Apparently flying them between the two countries would be a major logistical problem due to some of the countries they would have to pass through.



The proposal was originally submitted to the Canadian government and shared informally with Australia by Davie Shipbuilding and Bombardier in 2016 as an unsolicited proposal.

That didn't go anywhere at that time, but apparently the Canadian government has very recently dusted off the proposal and asked Viking Air (a Canadian aircraft manufacturer who bought the rights to Bombardier's water bombers) about it.

Under the proposal, Canada and Australia would share the annual cost of $145 million as a lease, with the companies backing it providing aircraft, ships, and crews. Other possibilities are also open to investigation.

Water bombers have been used for many years in Canada and Europe, with the purpose built CL-415 being the most common. I believe it is the world's only purpose built water bomber, and has gone through a variety of improved models over the years.

Here's an Australian news channel saying that more water bombers are needed (it does not mention the above proposal).


Here's some water bombers in action, scooping and then going off to a fire. They are used extensively in Canada, where they typically scoop from lakes and rivers. They are also very heavily used in Europe, where they scoop from reservoirs and from the sea. They can typically deliver a lot more water on fires than helicopters because of greater capacity and endurance or conventional aircraft because they can make quick circuits between the fire and the source of water rather than having to go back to an airport to refill.

Here's the manufacturer's web site.
The majority of bombing done is Australia is fire retardant, dropped from land-based aircraft. Most of the debate is around the need for larger aircraft, not more smaller aircraft.
I'm not sure which of the Australian fire threads is the canonical one, so I'll take a chance on this one.
As Australia burns, a plan for a joint seaborne firefighting unit is getting a second look
There is apparently a proposal for Australia and Canada to set up joint water bomber squadrons, based on the premise that the fire seasons in Australian and Canada occur at opposite times of the year.

The proposal involves using a sort of aircraft carrier with a capacity of 14 planes to transport the planes across the Pacific as required. Apparently flying them between the two countries would be a major logistical problem due to some of the countries they would have to pass through.



The proposal was originally submitted to the Canadian government and shared informally with Australia by Davie Shipbuilding and Bombardier in 2016 as an unsolicited proposal.

That didn't go anywhere at that time, but apparently the Canadian government has very recently dusted off the proposal and asked Viking Air (a Canadian aircraft manufacturer who bought the rights to Bombardier's water bombers) about it.

Under the proposal, Canada and Australia would share the annual cost of $145 million as a lease, with the companies backing it providing aircraft, ships, and crews. Other possibilities are also open to investigation.

Water bombers have been used for many years in Canada and Europe, with the purpose built CL-415 being the most common. I believe it is the world's only purpose built water bomber, and has gone through a variety of improved models over the years.

Here's an Australian news channel saying that more water bombers are needed (it does not mention the above proposal).


Here's some water bombers in action, scooping and then going off to a fire. They are used extensively in Canada, where they typically scoop from lakes and rivers. They are also very heavily used in Europe, where they scoop from reservoirs and from the sea. They can typically deliver a lot more water on fires than helicopters because of greater capacity and endurance or conventional aircraft because they can make quick circuits between the fire and the source of water rather than having to go back to an airport to refill.

Here's the manufacturer's web site.
The 23 strong advisory group that your first video refers to are split on what is needed. Some of them want much bigger aircraft; the biggest in the local fleet is a 737. There’s a DC10 bombing here at the moment.

The big issue i can see is water. Australia doesn’t have much inland water and many of the big fires are a long way from the literal. Turn around time could well be too great.

A lot of the bombers are dropping retardant, not water. They aren’t actually fighting fires, they’re protecting property.
 
I suspect that the water bomber proposal was being made in response to a request by Australia for proposals on what can be done to increase cooperation in fire fighting in future.
Should've also asked Elon Musk/ Cali to pitch in with funds/ proposals....after all Cali has huge fires pretty much every year and Elon would love the PR with some of his ideas. And he has heavily invested in OZ anyways..
 
Australia doesn't have suitable lakes like Canada, plus we are in year 3 or 4 of a drought and many traditional water sources (farm dams and tanks) are dry.

That said, all overseas help is greatly appreciated.
They use the same planes in Europe, and they scoop from the sea and from reservoirs behind dams. You would need something a lot bigger than a farm pond for that though.

I'm not going to claim to have any knowledge of fire fighting in Australia, but it was Australian fire fighting managers who said they needed them.
 
Should've also asked Elon Musk/ Cali to pitch in with funds/ proposals....after all Cali has huge fires pretty much every year and Elon would love the PR with some of his ideas. And he has heavily invested in OZ anyways..
"That's as much use as a submarine in a forest fire......." :p :)
 
They use the same planes in Europe, and they scoop from the sea and from reservoirs behind dams. You would need something a lot bigger than a farm pond for that though.

I'm not going to claim to have any knowledge of fire fighting in Australia, but it was Australian fire fighting managers who said they needed them.
You're quite right. Some of the fires are a long way from the sea though but that delivery means could be used for the fires closer to the littoral. An image of some of the things that live in the sea around Aus being scooped up and dropped inland, great whites and so on has just flashed into my mind . . . that would make rural fire fighting interesting.
 

Dicky Ticker

War Hero
I've read mention that fire breaks should be 100m. I have seen (Canberra 2003) large embers being blown horizontally like huge tracer rounds. I'm sure the ideal distance would vary depending on vegetation density, type and proximity to settlements.
It changes from state to state, NT seems to have bigger breaks than the other states.
 

Dicky Ticker

War Hero
The majority of bombing done is Australia is fire retardant, dropped from land-based aircraft. Most of the debate is around the need for larger aircraft, not more smaller aircraft.

The 23 strong advisory group that your first video refers to are split on what is needed. Some of them want much bigger aircraft; the biggest in the local fleet is a 737. There’s a DC10 bombing here at the moment.

The big issue i can see is water. Australia doesn’t have much inland water and many of the big fires are a long way from the literal. Turn around time could well be too great.

A lot of the bombers are dropping retardant, not water. They aren’t actually fighting fires, they’re protecting property.
The problem with bigger aircraft is that while they cary more water, it all gets dropped at once (I believe} and take longer to refill between trips.
 

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