Ozzy Man On The Bush Fires

monkeymania's picture

Ozzy Man Reviews: Australian Bushfires

Ozzy Man's unique take on the bush fires in Australia. The fact that there has been so much devastation and so much wildlife killed while their summer isn't even half over is incredible. Climate change is just a hoax but still.

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Woodsman's picture

 I can't claim to know exactly what has transpired in Australia, but I know quite a bit about wildfires and in all honesty fighting large wildfires is almost entirely waiting for weather to cooperate.  If the weather is conducive to extreme fire behavior (high temperatures, low humidity, high winds) there is almost no amount of resources you can throw at a fire that will control it.  Obviously the larger the fire the more resources you need to capitalize on any opportunities you have to get it under control, but in general Joe Public acts out of emotion and not knowledge and always assume that not enough was done.

 

Additionally, at least here in North America, a large part of the tendency for extreme fire behavior can be attributed to humans aggressively fighting fires.  In areas prone to natural lightning caused fires, prior to organized fire suppression fires would periodically sweep through large areas and burn off the ground fuels and ladder fuels.  In order to protect property, life, and forests humans have aggressively fought to put out wildfires as quickly as possibly which has caused a build up of fuels (called fuel loading) so when the weather is hot and dry, and a fire starts, things to from 0 to 100 right quick.

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monkeymania's picture

Get it together. The solution is bigly tremendously simple.

Seriously, good take. It doesn't seem like something of that magnitude can really be fought effectively.

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sato's picture

2 factors the people are pissed about.

you can't control a fire but you can try to divert it around property, and what that requires is funding for the equipment and manpower both to do backburning (destroying the fuel buildup you described in regular, small-scale fires). the government has been cutting funding for the fire services reducing their ability to do this.

the second is weather isn't just "hot" or "dry", there are degrees to consider. much hotter and much drier weather makes for much more intense and dangerous fires. while the government was cutting funding for fire reduction measures, they were pushing for development of the world's largest coal mine, while is just ludicrous given how much global warming is already costing australia.

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Woodsman's picture

As I said I know quite a bit about wildfires.  I did it for quite a while and I was a crew leader towards the end of my career in that field.  Back burning is misunderstood by most.  It is part of my weather-dependent statement.  In order to back burn you need the weather to be very cooperative and you need it to happen when you can capitalize on other considerations to conduct a back burning operation such as the fires proximity to favourable topography and natural or man made fuel free zones and the wind must cooperate.  Fires of these magnitude can send firebrands hundres of meters or even kilometers ahead that spark spot fires which quickly grow in size.  To simply say a fire can be diverted by backburning is an oversimplification.  Back burning under anything but ideal timing and conditions is completely reckless and I know of a few examples where there were major fuck ups.  Here wildfire control is a government endeavor with some contract crews operating under the direct control and supervision of government crew overhead.  So, like everything, when there is a fuck up (real or perceived) its the guverment's fault.  One would be foolish to try a cowboy back burn when they could make matters much worse.

 

As to your comment about weather, I don't know what you're getting at.  The three main weather components that pertain to fire behavior or are temperature, relative humidity and wind.  We can get into all the intricacies like the Fine Fuels Moisture Code, Duff Moisture Code, Drought Code which together dictate the Initial Spread Index and Build up Index and ultimately give a projceted Fire Weather Index, but ultimately that is a function of weather over time and injected into models.  Ultimately the fire behavior is dictated by weather, topography and fuel conditions (spacing, continuity, load).

 

Man made fuel loading is a real issue and frequently overlooked except by those in the industry.  I get aggrevated when people inject politics into things and instead of looking at the real science behind it they treat it like a smorgasbord and pick and choose the issues that suit their purpose.  For a while the forest service here was paying lip service to doing "modified response" to fires to allow nature to run its course when a fire wasn't threatening lives, property or resources, but Western Canada is a resource economy so the timber is usually looked at with quite a bit of value, and ultimately uninformed or misinformed public put an end to it.  I have personally heard an IC say they had helicopters bucketing a high elevation fire with helicopters just because they were getting so many angry calls about "why nothing was being done about it".  So this means they were spending a couple thousand dollars an hour because a fire burning near the top of a mountain that would burn itself out when it reached the alpine because people that don't know the first thing about wildfires were complaining.

 

Whats the part about the coal mine? I'm not sure how that is relevant to my post.

 

Rant over.

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Woodsman's picture

I hope this wasn't misinterpretted as a climate change isn't real post, its simply that the emotional layperson isn't the best judge if something was done right or not; shovelling money into a dumpster fire doesn't necessarily put it out; and don't capitalize on tragedies to advance a political agenda.  I always ask myself "if I liked, or disliked this leader, would that change my opinion of the events" and try to find honest answers that way.

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Woodsman's picture

Peer reviewed by the radical right wing hardcores at the University of California: https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8245.pdf

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Evulva 1's picture

Alberta/California/Australia/parts of British Columbia. All record-breaking conflagurations, all recently.

Climate change is utter bullshit leftist agenda fake news

 

 

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