Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Chit-Chat => Topic started by: Martin13 on February 07, 2009, 11:19:11 pm

Title: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin13 on February 07, 2009, 11:19:11 pm
G'Day All,

Just a quick message to concerned forum members.

Both Linda and I have received emails and phone calls from members re the Victorian Bushfires. Yesterday the temp peaked at 47.C with wind gusts to 90 kph. Both of us are volunteer firefighters and have been involved in the current situation.

The fires came close to our home but a late southerly change swung the fires away from our property.

Linda is part of the Incident Management Team and has been on Comms all night and just returned home. I will be off this afternoon for change over shift.

There has been many deaths and countless properties destroyed.

Thanks again for your concerns re our health. I will be keeping in touch with John (Bluebird) via telephone for updates.

Yesterday I honestly thought my next post of Brave Borderer build would be a burnt out hull


Martin and Linda doon under :-))
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: nhp651 on February 07, 2009, 11:27:28 pm
good luck to you all down there, and i probably say this for all on the forum, our prayers are with you at this time.
best wishes, neil. :-))
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Bunkerbarge on February 07, 2009, 11:34:35 pm
Our thoughts are with you Martin as we watch the news each evening.  Fire fighters in particular always give cause for concern as thier own dedication and committment can sometimes cause them to compromise thier own safety.

So strange that at the moment the other half of your country is currently under water and I am writing this from the midst of the most extensive snowfall and freeze that the UK has experience for the last 18 years.  I sincerely hope that temperatures start to come down a bit soon and you can return to a more normal way of life.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Colin Bishop on February 08, 2009, 12:42:02 am
Thinking of you Martin, do take care, both of you. It's making the headlines over here and looks absolutely horrifying. Temperature down here in Southern Enland is below freezing at the moment!

Keep us up to date with events when you can.

Colin
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin [Admin] on February 08, 2009, 12:45:31 am
Glad to hear you are safe, must have been real scary!
Is there any sign of a let up in the weather?
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: bigfella on February 08, 2009, 01:26:00 am
Martin and Linda

You guys are real heroes. Some say that this sports star or this celebrity is their hero but to me people like you and your good lady are true heroes. People who for no other reason than a sense community and duty risk their lives to put out fires (most of which are deliberately lit by deranged idiots). It is a truly brave thing and as a fellow Aussie I thank you. Keep safe.

Regards David
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: tigertiger on February 08, 2009, 03:05:17 am
I hope you a a change in the weather that helps you with managing these fires.

Keep safe.

Our thoughts are with you.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: derekwarner on February 08, 2009, 04:20:47 am
Hi Martin....here are a few words I put to PD's today....take care  :-)).......Derek
...

Hi PD's....as the world knows we people from OZ are tough  ...we love sitting around the BBQ on a Sunday afternoon with friends & a beer & smelling the gum tree branches & gum nuts burn on the fire

However there is nothing at all pleasant in searing 50 degree C temperatures with a dampened down potato sack trying to put out bush fire  flames whilst breathing that same..... but now ACRID gum nut smoke which is probably to 80 degrees C post combustion

mmmm un-pleasant is not the correct word.....more like scary & un-nerving, two bottles of Murine over the next days do not help the sting in your eyes, litres & litres of water do not help the chared vocal chords....& a week later you are still blowing great black bits of crud from the nasil passages

This is also a time to reflect that you know you have had enough......when a cold beer  burns your throat ....& you resort to tap water again..

May the Lord preserve those still fighting our fires.......Derek
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi PD's...... Roderick or Peter [W] would be the best to offer comment from Victoria....I watched the 0400 news headlines this morning reporting 14 lives lost in the past 24 hours.... ....

Mother nature can seem unkind in cases like this ....however there are reports emerging of intentional fire lighting     .....

It was in 1969....as a third year apprentice when I spent 24 hours fire fighting here in my local area ...just 80 km south of Sydney on our eastern seaboard.....Derek



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
The news reports here in the UK say the fires are getting worse, and a number of people have lost thier lives - I sincerely hope all our PD members are safe. Your in my thoughts and prayers...

Regards
Eddy
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: cbr900 on February 08, 2009, 11:27:14 am
In the fearfull bush fires rampaging through Victoria at
the moment there have been 84 comfirmed dead
and the tally will increase, there have been over 700
homes destroyed, several towns have been wiped out.
Good luck guys and gals I hope it stops soon.......

Roy
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: tomocj on February 08, 2009, 11:57:56 am
Likewise from me we are thinking of you and those fires ,take care,
Chris
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Arrow5 on February 08, 2009, 12:13:03 pm
..and special thoughts for all concerned in fighting the fires, brave people.  Hope the situation improves soon. Good luck  Oz.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: bigfella on February 08, 2009, 12:25:07 pm
And what did the Greens leader in Australia say "I told you this would happen, it is because of global warming" Typical cheap political point scoring by a politician while 84 people have died and 700 homes lost.

I am under the impression that some of these fires were deliberately lit. The punishment should certainly fit the crime.

Regards David
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: John W E on February 08, 2009, 04:09:08 pm
hi there one and all

a short time ago - had a short conversation with Linda (Martin's wife) she informed me that Martin is on a 12-hour call out shift - he is driving fire trucks.   He should be home again about 10.30 p.m. approximately (UK) time.   Linda was also saying there are still several fires burning out of control in and around Victoria where they live - but, hopefully, not too close to properties.   She did mention that an awful lot of homes/loss of life had occurred though.

If Martin is not too tired, he might even post on here what is happening.

Let us all hope all is safe and that there are no more tragedies.   Sometimes Mother Nature has a cruel hand.

John
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: bigfella on February 08, 2009, 08:13:01 pm
The death toll has reached over 100. God be with those families and those who are in the ares were the fires are heading.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Rex Hunt on February 08, 2009, 08:31:48 pm
good luck to you all down there, and i probably say this for all on the forum, our prayers are with you at this time.
best wishes, neil. :-))

Amen

Rex
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 08, 2009, 09:04:07 pm
I am very pleased to hear that Martin and his wife, Linda, are safe and well. I knew they lived near the fire affected areas, and was concerned for their safety.

The rest of Australia has watched in horror as the toll from the Victorian bush fires reached 108 confirmed dead, as of half an hour ago. We are hearing from doctors in the burns unit in Melbourne that it could, and probably will, go higher, as many people are suffering life threatening burns. It is now the worst natural disaster in Australia's history, with whole towns having been wiped out. Kinglake and Marysville, 2 small towns to the north east of Melbourne, have both been practically obliterated, with Kinglake having the highest death toll - over 60 confirmed.

People had almost no chance to escape as the fires approached with terrifying speed. A number of the victims were trapped in their cars while trying to escape the fires, but dense smoke, or fallen trees caused road blockages and some collisions, and the occupants were burnt to death.

One terrible aspect of the disaster is that it is suspected that some of the fires were deliberately lit.

In a twist of irony, far north coastal Queensland is a sea of flood water, following torrential rain in the area.

I watched the reports on Sky News this morning, and felt absolutely horrified and sickened by what I saw. My thoughts and prayers are with the survivors, and the wonderful fire fighters and other volunteers who are performing superhuman acts to try and contain the fires, or rescue and care for the lucky ones who escaped the flames.

There are still a number of fires burning, but reports indicate that no property is under immediate threat, and also temperatures have dropped dramatically.

Peter.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: dave301bounty on February 08, 2009, 09:12:04 pm
Thanks for that update .Peter , i want to phone as soon as ,it looks HORRIBLE and very scary ,poor buggers
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Colin Bishop on February 08, 2009, 09:26:10 pm
Terrible situation Peter, it's the top news story over here with some terrifying pictures and we all feel for you Aussies.

Colin
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: djrobbo on February 08, 2009, 09:31:51 pm
Hi martin...glad to hear you are ok.............just spoke to brother in law , he lives in croyden  , melbourne , and he says the fire wiped out the two houses next to his but missed his so he has now got the horses from those two in his paddocks......

               We wish you well and keep safe

                  regards...bob.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Stavros on February 08, 2009, 10:49:29 pm
Good to hear that all our Australian mebers are alive and well.This is a terrible tradgedy and I do hope that they catch the fire starters and send then to jail indefinatly



Stav
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin13 on February 08, 2009, 11:29:46 pm
G'Day from the Victorian Bushfires :-))

Just returned only an hour ago from a 14 hour shift - frankly, I'm Bu**ered.

The fire raging near my home - overnight we managed to contain the fire, that is, the fire is burning inside the perimeter only. We have lost many farms and countless stock with only one fatality.
Our main task was "Asset Protection".  Many farms escaped the fire but had trees burning at the base and especially in burning Hollow Trees. Our overnight task was to find and extinguish these trees to protect the farm houses.

Overnight temperatures were around 15 C which is quite common for inland but we still have a very strong wind which is fanning the fires here and elsewhere. Fortunately with night time and everything black, these trees are easier to find and you can see burning embers being blown by the wind
Task - Search and Destroy.

Blacking out a an area after a fire has gone through has the highest priority as in many cases, if not done correctly, fires can restart weeks later.

I was assigned as Driver. The 4WD fire truck weighs 10 ton and carries 3 - 4 tons of water. As the water level drops, any truck/lorry driver will tell you, there is nothing like a shifting load especially over rough terrain. It's my responsibility that when we reach a hazard to extinguish, that I place the truck in such a way that we can make a quick and safe escape. We had several of these cases overnight with trees falling as we tried to extinguish them - definitely keeps you alert but I keep my crews safe.

One property we entered where the very old homestead was burnt to the ground, we found hundreds upon hundreds of burnt sheep everywhere.
On exiting the property, a crew member noticed something moving at the base of a tree. It was a young Koala about 14 -16 inches high sitting quietly and shivering. These little fellas do not like humans so when you approach they usually shoot up a tree - but not this chap. He was severely dehydrated and his tiny little ears burnt. We picked him up in a fire blanket and took him back to the Staging Area where there were some Wildlife Rangers at hand - They told us that with a bit of care and attention, he will be okay and released into the bush elsewhere away from the fire ground.

Temperatures are about 15 to 20.C lower in the past 2 days but the fire hazard in Victoria and Southern NSW remains extreme due to the dryness and strong winds. It's these conditions that will keep the fire hazard here for quite some time yet.

Anyhow, I now have three days of work ( a rest period) before the next 4 days off where I'll more than likely be posted to another Strike Team and deployed to another Bushfire somewhere in the state.

Linda, myself and my crew  would like to thank the forum for your kind thoughts and prayers as these fires will rage for some time yet. I just wish that we do not lose any more life..


Martin and Linda Doon Under

.............................................................These were a few lines to show and explain what the News media don't - for your insight.....................................................................................

P.S = A number of these fires were actually started by Lightening Strikes
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Colin Bishop on February 08, 2009, 11:34:51 pm
You and Linda deserve a medal Martin. Certainly puts our "winter problems" into pesrpective.

Colin
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin13 on February 08, 2009, 11:46:24 pm
You and Linda deserve a medal Martin. Certainly puts our "winter problems" into perspective.

Colin

No medal needed Colin - it's just the Aussie way....next time on the news, look at all the men and women firefighters in Yellow - they are ALL Volunteers doing the same job....

Besides, there appears to be EXTREME weather conditions all over the world including the UK. Personally I could not cope with your cold weather. In my youth riding a motorcycle to work in the middle of winter, I slid my hands off the handlebars then I hugged the exhaust system to thaw out. In this case the temp was about 5.C - a lot warmer than than conditions you gents are experiencing at the moment.

Martin
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: oldiron on February 09, 2009, 12:04:55 am
Just to let you know we are thinking of you folks in the 'down under' and wish you all the best of luck. Our condiolences to those who have lost family and friends as a result.
I saw the mess on the news tonight. Words fall short.

John
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 09, 2009, 01:30:23 am
No medal needed Colin - it's just the Aussie way

Yes it is, Martin, but that doesn't stop the rest of us admiring, and being extremely grateful for, the job that you, and countless other volunteers do. It's wonderful work, and you all deserve any recognition coming your way.  :-)) :-)) :-))

Stay safe,

Peter.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: OMK on February 09, 2009, 02:33:58 am
I have first-hand experience of the horrors brought about by fire. My heart goes out to the folk of Australia who have lost their loved ones and friends and their homes in such wretched circumstances. The same goes for the animals and wildlife.
Words aren't enough. Those volunteer firefighters and rescue workers deserve more than medals; they all deserve the utmost respect.

Martin down under, you and I haven't exactly seen eye-to-eye in the past, so pse pardon me for being a tit. For what it's worth, you don't have to fret about kicking my butt because I'm already doing it myself.
Respect to you, man - and your good lady.

Good luck with everything down there.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: barryfoote on February 09, 2009, 08:39:33 am
Been following this thread closely. Excellent work and congratulations to you and Linda and the rest of the volunteers. many thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

Barry
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: barriew on February 09, 2009, 09:53:55 am
Last time we were in Sydney (2004) we went on a couple of tours - Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley. Our guides on both these tours said the same thing as Germaine Greer says in this article from the Times today - bush fires are inevitable, and the only way to control them is by controlled burning.

Barrie

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5689447.ece
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: derekwarner on February 09, 2009, 11:11:18 am
One can not dispute the truth in the words from your posting here Barrie...relating to Australia.....that.... "bush fires are inevitable" , however we nationals of OZ probably 'turn a blind eye'   to issues & blame 'mother nature'....when in retrospect it could be 'human nature' that contributes by allowing such events to occur by approving residential developement in the bush..........or should we allow buildings on the edge of the shore line only?.................... {:-{ {:-{ {:-{ {:-{

Our Victorian Government has offered a Royal Commission to review safety & emergency procedures relating to such events.........  it would be inappropriate for me to comment further as I have lost one direct family relative to the Victorian fires on 08.02.2009......Derek
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: tigertiger on February 09, 2009, 01:32:11 pm
That is terrible news Derek.

My condolences to all those affected by the loss.

Mark
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: chingdevil on February 09, 2009, 01:35:12 pm
Derek

That is horrible news, please accept my condolences.


Brian
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Colin Bishop on February 09, 2009, 01:41:53 pm
So sorry Derek.

Colin
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin [Admin] on February 09, 2009, 02:06:04 pm
Sincere sympathies.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 09, 2009, 09:35:27 pm
My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family, Derek.

Barriew, Germaine Greer said nothing in her article that most Australians did not already know. However, her comment "The cause of these disasters is not global warming; still less is it arson", would appear to be way off mark regarding arson, as police are treating the sites of most of the fires as crime scenes. On this morning's Sky News, police are quoted as saying they are "closing in" on a suspect or suspects. If such a person is caught, he will be charged with murder, in fact, mass murder. With the official death toll now standing at 173, and expected to increase, mass murder is exactly what it is.

Peter.

Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Hagar on February 09, 2009, 09:49:34 pm
To all of you guys in Oz may I extent my heart felt condolences to all that have lost family and friends in this tragidy. having just read Peters post and learning that 173 and rising have lost their lives must put this up in the worst disasters in the History of Oz.

To all that are risking life and limb to fight the fires, It might be that you are only doing what anyone else would do, BUT you are doing it. I think a medal is well in order.
Makes me wonder a bit about my brother and his daughter. last I heard from them they lived in Orange, but I have no idea where that is, or even if they still live there.

Thinking of you all.

Ian M
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 10, 2009, 03:41:45 am
Ian M, firstly, Orange is just under 300 km WNW of Sydney, and as far as I know, there are no serious fires near there.

Secondly, the Victorian fires are the worst peacetime disaster in Australia's history. For the story, go to the Sky News Australia web site at http://www.skynews.com.au/ (http://www.skynews.com.au/) This is constantly updated as more information comes in.

Peter.

Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin13 on February 10, 2009, 06:59:27 am
I have first-hand experience of the horrors brought about by fire. My heart goes out to the folk of Australia who have lost their loved ones and friends and their homes in such wretched circumstances. The same goes for the animals and wildlife.
Words aren't enough. Those volunteer firefighters and rescue workers deserve more than medals; they all deserve the utmost respect.

Martin down under, you and I haven't exactly seen eye-to-eye in the past, so pse pardon me for being a tit. For what it's worth, you don't have to fret about kicking my butt because I'm already doing it myself.
Respect to you, man - and your good lady.

Good luck with everything down there.

PMK,

Thanks for your kind words and thoughts.

Re the past, I firmly believe on that particular post that our cultural differences and sense of humour was mistakingly misunderstood - mainly by me. I forgot about it a long time ago (namely the next day). Lets shake hands and forget about it. If you lived in Oz, I would say "lets go down to the pub, have a few beers and have a good laugh about it."

Don't kick yourself about it as it's not necessary - it took a lot of guts just to post here as you have - I thankyou

P.S - The good Lady also agrees it was a misunderstanding and said that was courageous of you to post as above...

Martin and Linda doon under



Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: barryfoote on February 10, 2009, 09:11:25 am
I don't know what you two fell out over, but the above posts from PMK and Martin brought goose bumps to my skin. Good on you both.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: wideawake on February 10, 2009, 09:29:46 am
My condolences to you on your family loss Derek.   I have distant relatives somewhere on that side of Australia but I'm not sure exactly where.   My partner's brother is living across the other side in Fremantle.   I only remarked to her a couple of days ago how forums like this bring home the reality of events of this sort this in a far more hard-hitting personal way than TV news coverage.  That was even before your post, Derek.

I'm sure the thoughts of many on this forum are with you and all those struck by tragedy in the last week as well as with those in the front line of defeating the fires.   It puts our small battles with snowy weather in the UK in perspective and reinforces my dislike of the over-use of words like devastating, tragedy and appalling to describe these minor inonveniences.

We're a world apart but still part of the same world.

Guy
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: derekwarner on February 10, 2009, 10:45:30 am
Thanks all....let us comment no further on the loss of a distant [nee] Warner....but to reflect the loss of of another direct decendent from the HMS Scarborough in the "First Fleet" of convicts to OZ in 1788

Australia was populated by convict stock.....Martin & Linda are but some of our proud examples of OZ toughness.......... some 220 years later...........regards Derek
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: cbr900 on February 10, 2009, 11:37:56 am
They have just announced on the idiot box over here
that the total dead is now 181 with another township
of 140 still missing, they could be added tomorrow,
hopefully not, there has been over 300,000 hectares
of land destroyed, which is a fair chunk , gods knows
how many animals have perished, it is totally unbelievable.

Roy
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: oldiron on February 10, 2009, 12:27:38 pm
 Following the news, here on the fire, and I'm curious, are water bombers used when fighting these brush fires in Oz? I haven't seen any on the news reports. Or is it a case of no large enough body of water close by?

John
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Damien on February 10, 2009, 01:14:39 pm
Yes there are choppers and fixed wing bombers, New Zealand is sending a crew & the largest chopper bomber in the southern hemisphere to help.
We have firemen from South Aust, NSW, Tasmania, USA & New Zealand attacking these fires & a large task force of forensic police hunting the arsonists. I hope they get more than a slap on the wrist arsonists usually get Prime Minister Rudd is talking of charges of Mass murder laws will have to change for that to happen though.
Damien
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: oldiron on February 10, 2009, 01:28:26 pm
Yes there are choppers and fixed wing bombers, New Zealand is sending a crew & the largest chopper bomber in the southern hemisphere to help.
We have firemen from South Aust, NSW, Tasmania, USA & New Zealand attacking these fires & a large task force of forensic police hunting the arsonists. I hope they get more than a slap on the wrist arsonists usually get Prime Minister Rudd is talking of charges of Mass murder laws will have to change for that to happen though.
Damien

  It seems to me the practice of keel hauling should be reintroduced.

John
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: cbr900 on February 10, 2009, 03:22:35 pm
John,

They catch them take them back to Kinglake and let the victims have the mongrels.........
That would even be to good for them....

Roy
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin13 on February 10, 2009, 03:24:23 pm
G'Day All,

Having some problems sleeping and headaches so I thought that it's a good time for an update on our local scene - or in other words "what the news media is not broadcasting".

Currently there are 30 Major Bushfires burning in the state of Victoria but the news media are only reporting on where the main deaths have occurred - that's okay, but its a lot worse than what's reported.
The fire near my home - Sunday night the fire was contained and the boys did a sterling job in saving several homesteads from burning. Monday afternoon we had a report that the fire flared up on the Southern flank and is now in a Blue Gum  Plantation. Tuesday morning we then had reports that the Northern flank has also flared up by the strong winds and heading towards the SE corner of Bendigo where 50 homes have been lost. #$%@**^^

Our group consisting of 8 towns have been released from this fire and a group from Adelaide will be in taking over. Currently this fire has burnt 75,000 acres. It has been decided that our group needs 2 - 4 days rest as we are about to be deployed to NE Victoria in the Ovens and Kiewa Valleys near Beechworth to relieve the current crews. Beechworth is about 300 Kim's to the NE of Melbourne.

Fires ravaged this area 6 years ago when I was living in the Kiewa Valley. The fire at that time lasted 21 days, 21 days of living hell - that was before I became a Volunteer. That was the fire that changed my life and left a permanent imprint on my brain. According to Linda, I became a far better person after that fire but we never talk about it - or at least, I don't. I can remember to this day the night the fire peaked at about 3.00AM on Australia Day 2003. The mountain behind my home and less than 1 kilometer away, the flames breached the crest and the flames were twice the height of the Mountain Ash trees atop (these trees were at least 100 feet tall) including the noise that sounded like a freight train - believe me, you NEVER want to hear this sound.

To this day, I do not understand how my life and home were saved - I have no explanation - these fires burnt  1.4 Million Hectares .........and now it's back again.

I have been chosen to fight the fires in this area due of my local knowledge of the roads and tracks - after a fire has passed through, with landmarks gone, it's hard to tell exactly where you are. It's not the first time a fire truck got lost in a fire area..After those fires in 2003, most Victorian fire trucks have had GPS units installed. Really handy when a message comes over the radio asking what is your exact position....

Derek, my heart goes out to you with the loss of relatives here in Oz. I have friends (not related) that live in the Wondong and Kinglake areas that I have not heard from since Saturday. The news media has started putting photo's on the TV of people that have perished in the fires. I look at these pictures and pray that I DO NOT recognise anybody.

That's it for now, I will have another attempt at sleeping....Good Night and God Bless....

Martin

Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin13 on February 10, 2009, 03:42:58 pm
One other thing I forgot to mention and on a lighter note.

Here in Oz, the day after the fires started, the Red Cross launched an Appeal to raise funds for the fire victims. Currently the Red cross are receiving donations of $1 million per hour :-))

Last night there was a One Day Cricket match between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval. During the game, cricketers/players were going around the crowd collecting donations for fire victims  and companies  were phoning in donations. At the end of the game, the total monies raised $4,023,000 - unbelievable.

That's one great thing about our country, in time of need, Aussies dig deep in their pockets and give all they can....


Martin doon under
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 10, 2009, 10:23:01 pm
One other thing I forgot to mention and on a lighter note.

Here in Oz, the day after the fires started, the Red Cross launched an Appeal to raise funds for the fire victims. Currently the Red cross are receiving donations of $1 million per hour :-))

Last night there was a One Day Cricket match between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval. During the game, cricketers/players were going around the crowd collecting donations for fire victims  and companies  were phoning in donations. At the end of the game, the total monies raised $4,023,000 - unbelievable.

That's one great thing about our country, in time of need, Aussies dig deep in their pockets and give all they can....


Martin doon under

Absolutely right Martin. The crowd at the Adelaide Oval gave over $500,000 plus, as you mentioned, the phone in donations from companies. The Commonwealth Bank also gave $100 for each run scored, plus $5000 for each six hit. Public appeals currently stand in excess of $30 million, and this is separate from government money.

Sky News did say that over 30 major fires were still burning, and many are causing grave concern. In one town with a population of 519, over 100 are thought to have died - it's almost incomprehensible that in peace time, so many from one small community could perish in one incident. Parts of our area are prone to flooding, and floods can be quite devastating, but nothing could compare with the horror of a big bushfire, where people, the ones who survived, have lost absolutely everything, including some of the friends and neighbours.

Unless you have experienced something like this disaster, it is almost impossible to know what people in the affected areas are feeling - I know I simply can't imagine what it would be like. It is sickening, and horrifying enough just to watch the TV news reports. My heart, and that of all Australians, goes out to those in the fire ravaged areas.

Peter.

 
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: ggeorge on February 11, 2009, 03:06:48 am
Hi Martin,
 My hart go out to you and your family. I am a district fire chief in Toronto Canada. We have an exchange program with Australia and I have had some of your chaps working for me and have my firefighters working over there. The exchange is for the year.We have two exchange over there at this moment but are not down in your area.
  Another concerned member
  G. George 
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Damien on February 11, 2009, 05:59:10 am
A story of survival amid mayhem.
http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25038852-661,00.html

Bear in mind Koalas are normaly shy and don't drink water they get what they need from the Eucalypt leaves they eat, this little lady was sure dehydrated.

Damien.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 12, 2009, 09:53:17 pm
Some heartening news, following the bushfire disaster. The Nine TV Network held a telethon last night in aid of the thousands of people affected by the Victorian fires, and the people of Australia (and in some cases from overseas) opened their hearts and their wallets to the tune of over $20 million. Included in this amount were many significant contributions from companies and corporations, as well as media personalities and Australian film stars. Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban donated $500,000 to the appeal, and Canadian crooner Michael Buble gave $50,000. Other Aussie actors and singers, including Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and Olivia Newton John were also forthcoming, and it was reported that Kylie Minogue and her sister Dannii will be holding a benefit concert in London.

The money from the telethon brings the total amount raised by Australians (and others) to over $75 million, which will go a long way towards helping to rebuild the affected communities. This money is separate from any insurance pay-outs or government assistance.

Peter.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin13 on February 12, 2009, 10:11:21 pm
Hi Martin,
 My hart go out to you and your family. I am a district fire chief in Toronto Canada. We have an exchange program with Australia and I have had some of your chaps working for me and have my firefighters working over there. The exchange is for the year.We have two exchange over there at this moment but are not down in your area.
  Another concerned member
  G. George 

G.George, Thanks re your concerns - come and visit.......

What a great program you have. I have relatives in Toronto and absolutely love the place. If it wasn't for the snow two thirds of the year, I could easily live there. G.George, your a professional Fireman, I'm only a Volunteer although well trained.
We have a very large country and a very small population hence nothing can be achieved without volunteers but am proud to be one. My Brigade has been given the weekend off ( a break) as we have been relieved by firefighters from the USA. New Zealand has also sent over Firefighters to assist. As of yesterday we had 30 fires raging in Victoria and another 22 started by lightening strikes overnight (which is the usual way fires start here). Although we have had some rain, no substantial stuff is predicted for some time.

Thanks again,

Martin doon under
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 12, 2009, 10:22:26 pm
Martin, enjoy your break, you've earned it. I heard on this morning's news that a big fire is nearing Healesville; it's to be hoped that it can be stopped before it reaches any houses. I said in an earlier post that our area is subject to floods, and I have experienced many of them over the last 55 years. A flood can be very damaging, but I don't think anything could be more terrifying than a big bushfire. After a flood goes down, you at least still have your house even if it is water damaged, but when the fires go through you have nothing left.

Peter.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin [Admin] on February 13, 2009, 08:49:31 am
That was quick!

BBC:  Australian man charged with arson

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7887561.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7887561.stm)
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: barryfoote on February 13, 2009, 09:17:33 am
If he is guilty....that man is one of the worlds scum <*< :police: <*< :police:
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: cbr900 on February 13, 2009, 12:08:46 pm
As far as I know the death toll seems to have stopped
thank heavens, but the loss of houses has risen it is now standing
at 1800 homes lost..........

Roy
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin [Admin] on February 13, 2009, 01:35:32 pm
Topic renamed.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 13, 2009, 10:56:20 pm
Roy, the police and Victorian premier, John Brumby, are still saying the death toll will rise even more, as investigators are still sifting through the burnt out buildings. The total money raised from public appeals has now passed $100 million, and some of the money has started to flow through to the thousands of people made homeless by the fires.

The man arrested for arson has been charged with lighting the fire near Churchill in Gippsland, Victoria, which killed 21 people. He was moved to a prison in Melbourne "for his own safety".

Peter.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Damien on February 13, 2009, 11:00:24 pm
The story of the passing of a town.
The horror of the onslaught as the inferno aproaches and wipe out the town of Marysville, through the eyes of survivors.

 http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25051191-2862,00.html (http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25051191-2862,00.html)

Damien.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin13 on February 14, 2009, 12:25:31 am
Martin, enjoy your break, you've earned it. I heard on this morning's news that a big fire is nearing Healesville; it's to be hoped that it can be stopped before it reaches any houses. I said in an earlier post that our area is subject to floods, and I have experienced many of them over the last 55 years. A flood can be very damaging, but I don't think anything could be more terrifying than a big bushfire. After a flood goes down, you at least still have your house even if it is water damaged, but when the fires go through you have nothing left.

Peter.

Peter,

You can appreciate this having lived  on the land yourself.

The fires at Kinglake and Marysville, these homes were built in the mountains surrounded by heavy bushland  - no where to escape.. The fires behind my home went through farm land of which had very few trees, mainly grazing. 14 farm houses were lost, all farming machinery including stock of which we identified thousands of sheep (we also noticed that some farm machinery had melted with the heat). These people not only lost there homes but also their source of income.

What do these farmers do now?

It's as you say, as bad as a flood can be, at least you have a property to return to. Repairs can be carried out and continue living but my neighbours/friends..........lost for words..

Linda and I had a discussion last night re last Saturday and the extreme weather. We both agreed on how lucky we are. Behind our home there are thousands of acres of grazing land. Had we not had the wind change late that afternoon, the fire would have hit the row of gum trees behind and created a fireball that would have wiped out our property. That day the temp at 47.C with an 90kph winds - totally abnormal/freak conditions (similar to the Canberra fires) didn't make a difference whether you lived in the bush or farmland - if that fire was heading in your direction , you were bu$#@%*&ed

Makes you think and thank god you survived....

Martin du

Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Colin Bishop on February 14, 2009, 12:37:38 am
Yes Martin,

I have been in a few flood situations and very unpleasant they are. In some ways they are not unlike fire in that they happen with bewildering speed. One moment you are OK, the next the water is coming in everywhere. But you do not get the total devastation that you do with fire and there is usually none of the immediate threat to life. We have been following the events in Australia with horrified fascination and great sympathy. I'm just glad that you and Linda have escaped unscathed when so many did not.

Colin
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: derekwarner on February 14, 2009, 01:00:22 am
Martin...........many thanks have been raised & praised....... from the people..... to the PM & the GG .......my only recommendation could or would be

one glass of chilled tap water
one glass of your favourite beer

Then get back to ship building  .......& thanks from all of the humble  people in OZ...... :-))............Derek
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 14, 2009, 03:11:39 am
Martin, one aspect of the bushfire appeal that touched me was the fact that many people in flood affected North Queensland have donated to the appeal, despite themselves suffering from the floods. It makes you feel very humble.

Peter.
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Martin13 on February 14, 2009, 09:33:46 pm
Martin, one aspect of the bushfire appeal that touched me was the fact that many people in flood affected North Queensland have donated to the appeal, despite themselves suffering from the floods. It makes you feel very humble.

Peter.

Yeah Peter, I saw an interview on telly during the week where a news reporter was interviewing a hardened farmer standing knee dead in water. His comments and tears said it all, the flood victims have put aside their troubles and are saddened and giving freely to the fire victims - just shows what a great country we live in.

Early next week we have been forcasted with light rain and thunderstorms/lightening followed by hot weather again. Personally, I won't be able to relax till ALL fires are out.

I thank all forum members for their good wishes and thoughts to our well being. Linda and I are only 2 of many volunteers down here in Victoria but we all try to do our little bit. Thank god for the Salvo's and Red Cross ladies - they are a sight to see when you come off the fire ground and many wish to give you a hug and a smile:-)

Martin doon under

PS - managing to do a little modelling this weekend....but the beer doesn't taste right....maybe, if I have a few more the taste will improve. %)
Title: Re: For Concerned members...... (Australian bush wildfires)
Post by: Peter Fitness on February 14, 2009, 09:48:57 pm
Martin, it's good to hear that the weather conditions have improved in your area. This is certainly helping the fire fighters to bring the 12 major fires that are still burning, under control. According to Sky News, 1834 homes have been destroyed, and 413,000 hectares, or over 1 million acres, have been burnt out - mind boggling statistics.

Australia is certainly a land of contrasts, the central Queensland town of Longreach is flooded by the Thomson River, and the outback NSW town of Bourke is also under water. We have had good rain here now, too - 67 mm in the 24 hrs to 7 am today, but other areas near us have had much more. I hope the weather gods are kind to Victoria and send you some rain.

I think a few more beers will definitely improve the taste  :-)) enjoy your modelling, and don't forget to post some more pictures.

Peter.