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Increased Fire Threat In Australia

Australian Broadcasting reports on the new threat:

A number of communities east of Melbourne are being urged to consider evacuating before today’s extreme bushfire conditions.

Three major bushfires are continuing to burn across the state.

Authorities are concerned the extreme fire conditions will see them spread towards towns in the Yarra Valley, Warburton Valley and Enoch Point, north-east of Melbourne.

The problem is a lack of access, with few roads in the area. This situation is familiar to residents of San Diego county where there may be only one road to a rural town, and the Northern Gulf Coast where all of the major roads run East-West.

High temperatures, low humidity, and increasing winds – there is no way of telling what will develop, and if they wait too long they may get caught on the road with devastating results.

3 comments

1 Kryten42 { 02.23.09 at 1:06 am }

We’ve been packing important things today. The fires have returned in my ‘neck of the woods’ (no pun intended, kinda).

Been another bad day, and tomorrow may be worse with winds expected to gust upto 60km/hr again. Four fires have erupted or gotten worse near Warburton, Dandenong (my area), Dayelsford (I liked there for a couple years and have friends in that area), and Wilsons Prom. Two fire trucks were destroyed fighting the Dandenong fires, and fires have already destroyed homes in Upwey (outer suburb in Dandenong on the edge of Melbourne). Some firefighters have suffered some injuries (I don’t know the extent).

Bushfire edges closer to Warburton

2 Bryan { 02.23.09 at 11:49 am }

You sit around watching the wind gauge wondering what’s going to happen, just like a hurricane entering the Gulf and starting to spin up. You don’t want to leave unless you have to, but if you have to it is better to leave early. Hurricanes usually follow somewhat predictable tracks, but a gust can change the direction of a fire, so start new ones in separate locations.

Stay safe, and dig that trench. Screw the planning board.

3 Bryan { 02.23.09 at 11:53 am }

Oh, this is part of my local weather forecast:

Statement as of 5:46 AM CST on February 23, 2009

… Red flag warning remains in effect from 10 am this morning to
6 PM CST this afternoon…
… Fire Weather Watch remains in effect from Tuesday morning
through Tuesday afternoon…

A red flag warning remains in effect from 10 am this morning to
6 PM CST this afternoon. A Fire Weather Watch remains in effect
from Tuesday morning through Tuesday afternoon.

The red flag warning today means that critical fire weather
conditions are either occurring now… or will shortly. Low relative
humidity… will increase fire growth potential.

The Fire Weather Watch Tuesday means that critical fire weather
conditions are forecast to occur. Listen for later forecasts and
possible red flag warnings.