Above: an Aircrane helicopter battles spot fires on a bushfire near Mt. Bolton in Victoria, Australia. Photo provided by the Country Fire Authority.
On Tuesday we had some photos and information about smoke plume research going on at the fire near Mt. Bolton in Victoria, Australia. The Country Fire Authority recently distributed this photo. There’s a lot going in that picture. It looks like that Aircrane has its hands full. I wonder if it was able to pick up that spot fire across the road, but the structures on the right side were probably a higher priority.
Later the CFA said the fire had been contained. A satellite photo of the fire’s location showed that it was in a hilly forested area surrounded by treeless pastures and agriculture fields.
The photos below are also from the Bolton Fire. The CFA is saying the fire is now contained. A satellite photo of the fire’s location showed a hilly forested area surrounded by treeless pastures and other agriculture.
Photos from the front line…These photos were taken at the Mount Bolton fire earlier today by Waubra Fire Brigade…
Below is an excerpt from an article in The Age written by Craig Lapsley, Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner.
“…The only guaranteed way of surviving a bushfire is to not be there. That is the underpinning logic behind leaving early.
Fire is neither logical nor forgiving. Few people are adequately prepared, physically or emotionally, or have sufficient resources to remain and defend their properties. And so the message again this summer is to leave early. The message is captured in the slogan “Leave and live”.
On Christmas day, even after a recommendation to evacuate had been made, there were those in Lorne who chose to “wait and see”, the circumstance that has historically led to most bushfire deaths as people leave late and are caught on the roads, in the open or trapped in homes that cannot be defended.
Larger, more complex questions face our community in the months and years ahead. The issue of land-use planning is one of these. More people are seeking to live deeper in the bush and enabling them to do so safely presents significant challenges. A more structured approach to private shelters in high bushfire risk developments is one option.
More fundamentally, urban development both around Melbourne and regional centres, is being pushed into forested and even grassland areas that are inherently fire prone. New communities must be planned in a manner that does not inadvertently expose them to risk, be it from bushfire or other natural hazards. There is work being done within governments around this but a significant dialogue remains to be had with the broader community.
How existing communities are strengthened both physically and in terms of social resilience remains one of our biggest challenges. The vast majority of the existing building stock in high risk areas across the state is simply not designed to withstand the passage of a bushfire. This will not change within the foreseeable future. Community based planning that factors this inherent weakness into survival strategies has to play a part in strengthening communities against disaster…”
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has confirmed that at least 116 homes were destroyed in a bushfire that burned along the Great Ocean Road near Separation Creek and Wye River in Victoria Australia. Many people were forced from their homes on Christmas night, causing traffic jams as residents fled to Torquay or Melbourne.
One couple who live in nearby Lorne, Wilma and Ian Bishop, did not evacuate but slept in their car near the beach, planning to run into the sea if the fire spread into the town. However the fire bypassed Lorne, inflicting most of the damage in Wye River and Separation Creek.
The fire started December 19 from a lightning strike in Great Otway National Park eight kilometers west of Lorne. At the last report it had burned 2,290 hectares (5,659 acres). On December 24 the resources on the fire included 150 firefighters, 6 air tankers, 7 dozers, and a 40-person incident management team.
Firefighters in Victoria, Australia have been very busy in recent days fighting numerous bushfires. Approximately 10 homes and 23 outbuildings have burned.
The Guardian reports that three crews from the Country Fire Authority were overrun by fire.
…Three CFA crews, in two separate incidents, were lucky to escape when their vehicles became trapped when a storm cell ran into the smoke plume at Scotsburn, pushing the fire to the west while the winds came from the north.