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Australian Broadcasting lays out the problem: Vic firefighters prepare for the worst

Victorian firefighters are working to prepare for bad weather conditions on Friday as they battle major blazes across the state.

Crews are working on seven fires, including a 300-hectare blaze at Upwey in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, where the awareness message has been downgraded.

Later in the article fire Strike team leader Craig Hepburn explains what they expect:

“[We are] just preparing it for the bad weather they’re expecting on Friday, with the wind going back to the north, and the temperatures predicted to be 38 at the moment.

“The winds are going to strike up, so this southern side will be the problem area Friday.”

Temperatures around 100°F and high winds. There have been flooding rains next door in New South Wales, but not in Victoria. The problem still exists, but hopefully there are more resources available to deal with it.


1 Kryten42 { 02.25.09 at 6:27 am }

Yep. Will be a bad day. The expected Nth-Easterly wind is the main problem, then a sudden southerly change could send the fires back. Not good.

They predict rain late next week… but even the weather guy on the news didn’t seem to believe that. This is now our driest start to a year recorded in 150 years.

Sth. Australia is happy because a lot of flood water from Qld. has finally made it’s way there. Coincidentally, the size of the area in Qld. flooded is about the size of Sth Aus. A recent report stated that dryland salinity is now a big problem and threatens at lest 6 of our major water catchment areas due to salt water seeping into the water table because of much reduced rainfall. They expect that the cost will increase water treatment by about $50 mill/ year over the next 50 years. They also expect that at least 15% of irrigation systems feeding farm land will be affected by increasing salinity.

2 Bryan { 02.25.09 at 7:56 pm }

We have had the salinity problems, but they are abating. Our local town hall had to stop irrigating the lawns around the building. They were looking bad and with usual stupidity the maintenance man tasted the water and found it was salty.

We have had a lot of rain in the last few years and the problem has been remedied, but another hurricane will bathe everything in salt water picked up from the Gulf and bayous. That increases the salt in the soil for a year after the fact and causes the delayed death of trees and plants.

Once the land heats up you can expect the winds to come out of the South, which is the normal situation here – out of the North at night, and out of the South in the afternoon.

It’s obvious that a national water distribution system is necessary, but every federal system is infected with the same tension between the two levels of government. We’ve talked about it before.

If you have to remove salt anyway, it makes more sense to just stick the inlets in the ocean and let the water on the land do it’s own thing. That will certainly take care of the drought problems.

3 Kryten42 { 02.26.09 at 7:34 am }

PM Rudd is not flavor of the month this Month. People who have spent thousands on solar energy systems because they want to help the environment, have discovered that for every dollar the public spends on efficient, renewable energy systems to reduce pollution and emissions, the Gov gives to the major polluters and allows them to increase pollution and emissions (the so-called carbon tax deal). Also, Many people now are actually generating an excess of energy and putting it into the grid, which they thought would mean electricity costs would decrease (Once again, people expect Corporations and Governments to be honest and reasonable!) The power companies sell this freely provided energy as *Green Energy* to foolish people believing they are doing something good that’s worth paying a bit extra for, at a 10-15% markup over the energy that costs them to produce! Then, to top it all off, they discover that all the solar systems they are spending $30-$35k on could be had in other parts of the World for about $10k because the Gov adds a tariff, import duties, GST and sales tax on! People naturally (and of course foolishly) believed that the Gov would do the right thing (LMAO) and cut costs so more people could afford them! This would be at the expense of their friends the giant polluting power companies. Aha. LOL

Rudd is also in trouble for several other things. People are not amused here. Like the people who elected Obama, the people here that elected Rudd expect him to do what he was elected to do. Unlike American’s generally, Aussies tend to show their displeasure once it reaches boiling point in serious ways and rapidly. After a decade of Howard, people were only just beginning to move down to a simmer. Rudd is making some bad miscalculations and will regret it.

NOT happy campers over here!

4 Kryten42 { 02.26.09 at 7:35 am }

Oops! “…for about $10k…” should read “…for about $25k…”

5 Bryan { 02.26.09 at 12:56 pm }

Of all places, the state of Florida got solidly in a big utility’s [Florida Power & Light] face over a “green energy” scheme it was promoting. It turns out upon inspection that the program was PR and nothing more, but people were paying extra for it.

We have had tax incentives for solar and wind for a long time and they have been renewed. Utilities are required to buy excess power in many areas, not all, but they also charge extra for the special meters [because relays and diodes are so expensive].

It will take a while for them to figure out that the goal is to reduce carbon emissions, not move them around. The “incentive” for business would be not getting charged for emissions.

Florida floats on natural gas, but they still use coal-fired power plants. Tell me that makes sense.

In your system you can change governments whenever you get torqued, we have to wait. We wouldn’t need the entire impeachment process if we could just hold an election and kick the bums out all at once.

Liberals have gotten cowardly, and dependent on business. Maybe they’ll realize that their “benefactors” are the ones who created this mess we are all in and we can see a return to real liberal values in government. This centrist crap has gotten very old.