Aussie bushfires continue, record temperatures

The weather here in southern New Zealand over the last few weeks has been very variable and mostly cool for summer – some will see it as crappy weather.

But it is much easier to deal with than the heat (record temperatures yesterday) and bushfires that continue to force evacuations and wreak havoc, especially in the south east in Victoria and New South Wales.

ABC News:

Fires in NSW, Victoria and SA still burning out of control

Bushfires are threatening dozens of communities in Victoria, a southerly cool change is fanning problems in NSW, and more than a third of Kangaroo Island has burned in South Australia.

The blaze that devastated Corryong was pushed back towards the town, and was also impacting Walwa, Tintaldra and Towong, where officials fear properties have been lost.

It comes after a day of searing temperatures in the region.

All-time heat records were broken at Albury Airport (41.6 degrees Celsius), and at Rutherglen (45.6 degrees Celsius).

NSW fires likened to ‘atomic bomb’, Sydney records hottest day ever

Authorities say at least 15 properties have been destroyed during a horror day — in which a new temperature record for the Sydney Basin was set — with fears of further “damage and destruction” from fires through the night.

During the worst of the day there were 13 emergency warnings across the state, while the mercury in Penrith, in Sydney’s west, reached 48.9 degrees Celsius — a new record temperature for the Sydney Basin.

NSW residents were urged to reduce their power usage after bushfires took out transmitters in the Snowy Mountains.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has received preliminary reports of at least 15 properties lost across the fire grounds — including in the towns of Batlow and Talbingo in the NSW Snowy Mountains, and in Manyana on the South Coast.

Fire and Rescue NSW said it responded to reports of 20 people trapped at the caravan park in nearby Bendalong and was able to free them after extinguishing fires in three homes in the suburb.

Heat records continue to be reset around the country

Heat records around Australia continue to tumble, with the ACT today reaching its highest-ever recorded temperature and Penrith reaching a sweltering 48.9 degrees Celsius.

We are grumbling about 15 degrees here but I’d much rather deal with that than temperatures in the forties.

Army choppers evacuate Victorians huddled on sports ground as six remain missing

Army helicopters are used to help dozens of people escape the fierce fire threat in Victoria, where more than 100 properties have been razed and towns remain at risk.

‘Our worst nightmare’: Video shows luxury resort gutted by fire

The Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island was once a luxury resort, but has now been largely reduced to a charred wreck. It is one of many sites of devastation caused by the island’s bushfire disaster.

Two people have died in fires on Kangaroo Island.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been under fire in a different way – his handling of the crisis continues to be criticised.

He returned from Hawaii last week when criticised for holidaying while Australia burns. A couple of days ago news showed him being jeered when visiting fire affected areas – twice he bizarrely forced handshakes with people who were obviously not wanting physical contact with him. Now:

‘Like being sold to at a funeral’: Morrison slammed for running political ads during fire crisis

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been lambasted for releasing videos on social media advertising his Government’s response to the country’s current bushfire crisis.

His mishandling of a crisis is a big contrast to Jacinda Ardern’s empathy and understanding.

Scott Morrison says he won’t be distracted after being abused, snubbed by bushfire survivors

The extent of Saturday’s damage won’t be known until after daylight arrives today in Australia.

RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said the true extent of the damage would not be known until daylight on Sunday.

“Southerly winds have come through, [and there are] a lot of reports of property loss. They won’t know the full extent until tomorrow (Sunday),” he said.

“Predicted weather conditions lived up to prediction; it’s been awful. We’ve seen fires down in the Snowy Mountains that got so big they were putting lightning out 20 to 30 kilometres ahead of the main fire.”

A cold front has moved through but that was the cause of worsening conditions yesterday.

What makes a horror fire danger day?

The extent of the fires:

https://myfirewatch.landgate.wa.gov.au/

Leave a comment

40 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  5th January 2020

    It looks like things at Halls Gap Victoria aren’t great,I stayed in this small hamlet for a short time a few years ago, and were impressed with the tall(elephant skin)cliffs. We did a walk in a park to the MacKensie? waterfall and i commented to my wife that we were walking in a fireplace due the amount of dry wood lying on the ground, pretty scary

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th January 2020

      For a terrible moment I thought that the weather map was the fire map.

      The news made it sound as if Kangaroo Island was a write-off, but one must hope that the 1/3 is the reality, although that’s horrible enough.

      The sky outside here is grey again and the light’s glary. It feels very sinister. It’s bad for asthmatics, it must be hell for them in Australia if it’s that bad here.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  5th January 2020

        Really, PDTs, have a little compassion for the people in Australia and don’t show that you hope for the worst, even if you do.

        Reply
  2. Corky

     /  5th January 2020

    One thing you have to give Scott Morrison… his hide is as thick as a brick. If I was receiving the same amount of odium he is, I think I’d be questioning whether I was the right man for the job.

    I have also noticed many bushfire victims camping around lakes and water holes. That’s all fine if the water source is situated on the plains. However, should a water source be surrounded by steep hills or canyons, and should surrounding bush ignite, there is a chance people may suffocate as the fire consumes surrounding oxygen.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  5th January 2020

      Couldn’t help notice an Irony on One News tonight. They had a lady playing a beautiful Cole Clark guitar and singing a song for Aussie bush fire victims.

      The Irony is Cole Clark and Maton are world famous Australian guitar makers, and their point of difference is they mainly use Australian native timbers for their production. One of their best tone woods is Tasmanian Blackwood and Queensland maple.

      I don’t know whether burnt trees can still be used ( the inside wood?), but whatever, the smoko rooms at these places is probably a sombre experience at the moment.

      Reply
  3. David

     /  5th January 2020

    Comparing Arderns competence to Morrisons PR fail is a little strong. Arderns challenges were over immediately and required no ongoing management or decision making, aside from her communications skills there was little for her to do. Also she has a media still largely in thrall to her.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  5th January 2020

      And Key didnt have the media ‘in thrall’ for his ‘events’ – he was the one who made the visits by the Pm a thing …just as Bridges now pushes his young kids on the pages of the womens mags with exclusive photo shoots, Key kept his young kids away from the cameras

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  5th January 2020

        I don’t read women’s mags, but would have noticed Simon Bridges on the cover as I pass through the checkout. They seem to have women on the covers, mainly the Royal Family.

        I would guess that magazines use stories that will sell them, not people wanting free publicity.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  5th January 2020

          I dont see them at all in my supermarket…but google is your friend
          This seems to be the website which re pupublishes the stories
          https://www.nowtolove.co.nz/search/bridges

          and
          https://www.nowtolove.co.nz/parenting/family/simon-bridges-daughter-jemima-turns-one-40100
          ”’She’s our special princess and she brightens up the entire family’s lives.”
          Its clearly an exclusive photo shoot for Womans Weekly – which Ardern doesnt do, they of course ‘make up stories’ and use public access shots and old photos

          “To celebrate Father’s Day, we check in with some famous Kiwi dads, but it’s Simon’s story about his cheeky five-year-old son that takes the cake!” Clearly not ‘made up’ and some new photos to boot . Bridges wife seems to make it her full time mission to push her young kids events and life in media – something no previous party leaders have done, like Ardern they protect them for the spotlight. She is a PR consultant to boot who is doing the reverse of most mothers who protect their kids

          Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  5th January 2020

        #turnbridges

        Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  5th January 2020

    The temperature records are consistent with a global temperature rise of about 1.5 degrees per century.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  5th January 2020

      Well, given Australia’s record hottest temperature was recorded 111 years ago, I do doubt this is the case.

      Reply
  5. Pink David

     /  5th January 2020

    “We are grumbling about 15 degrees here but I’d much rather deal with that than temperatures in the forties.”

    It’s 18 degrees in Canberra today. Interestingly, the previous record was set in 1968.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th January 2020

      It’s about 20 where I am in the Waikato, which is a big drop from what we’ve been having.

      Reply
  6. artcroft

     /  5th January 2020

    Smokes arrived in Auckland. A distinct orange tinge to the sky.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th January 2020

      It’s now a rather odd dingy yellowish grey and the light is like electric light in the Waikato.

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  5th January 2020

        Yes. Getting dark as well.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  5th January 2020

          Does it look as the sky is translucent glass with electric light behind it ? it’s sort of like looking at a lightbulb.

          I have had to turn a lamp on (3.40pm) and had to come inside earlier because I was wheezing…2000km + from the actual fires ! It’s hard to imagine how ferocious they are close up.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  5th January 2020

            Smoke is very high altitude…you wouldnt notice it ..only psychologically

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  5th January 2020

              Not really, I have been wheezing for some time and it is not all in my mind, as it didn’t occur to me until a few days ago that the fires might be the reason. One doesn’t imagine that sort of wheezing and chest congestion.

          • Duker

             /  5th January 2020

            If you were in Sydney etc you would be affected by smoke….in NZ the smoke haze is so high you can’t breathe it…. There may be plenty of reasons why you are wheezing..but it’s pyschological if you attribute it to bushfire smoke.
            Aerial pictures of the smoke columns remind me of flights into Cairns when they are firing the sugar cane… Mostly they don’t need it for mechanical havesting but if it’s been a rainy season then they need to burn it first…towering columns of smoke resulting

            Reply
  7. A bit of misinformation there:

    The highest maximum temperature was recorded as 50.7 °C at Oodnadatta on 2 January 1960, which is the highest official temperature recorded in Australia.

    Australia had its all-sites average hottest day on record on December 17 last year, with a nationally averaged temperature of 40.9 °C according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. This beats the old record of 40.3 °C on Jan. 7, 2013.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th January 2020

      I have been in 40o in Christchurch, with a hot wind blowing. Coming out of an air conditioned building was like stepping in front of a giant hairdryer.

      I went from 37o in Perth to -11o (in the day) in London, going down 48o in 24 hours.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  6th January 2020

      “The highest maximum temperature was recorded as 50.7 °C at Oodnadatta on 2 January 1960, which is the highest official temperature recorded in Australia.”

      This isn’t true.

      The highest temperature recorded was at Bourke, 51.6 deg C in 1909. It is recorded in the official temperature record.

      “Australia had its all-sites average hottest day on record on December 17 last year,”

      When did this ‘all sites average temperature’ become a thing then? Has it ever been reported on before? How far back does the record for this measurement go?

      Reply
  8. Zedd

     /  5th January 2020

    The last couple of days.. it smells of smoke in Dn..
    BUT not from smoking (just in case Croky might think it) !

    oh dear.. how sad… I do mind ! 😦

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th January 2020

      Croky ?

      We’ve had the smell of smoke. I thought that someone must be still having fires, and wondered how they could stand it. Then someone said that the smell of smoke had travelled.

      Reply
  9. lurcher1948

     /  5th January 2020

    If i was a bitchy Mullar and fantasised i wouldn’t attack anyone in the middle east but i would send a team to the USA and shoot/assassinate Ivanka or Baron, as in the godfather film he said” YOU CAN KILL ANYONE, there is no defence you can get to them,” the general was a personal friend of the leader(an eye for an eye)its an eastern custom…SO back and forth to the golf club a suicide killer will do the deed, he’s already booked in…NOW THAT’S A PLAUSIBLE THEORY
    PS if i was Iranian, i would attempt this,but i am a New Zealander of Christian decent like the orange tRump, but this will be an option

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th January 2020

      This is the bush fires discussion, Lurch.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  5th January 2020

      Lurchy..10 minutes of classical music..and 20 deep breaths..NOW!

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  5th January 2020

      Lurchy, I want to Trumpy and Israel to take Iran out. ”Death to America..death to Israel these ferals shouted out. What the fug had Israel to do with it?

      But just imagine Trumpy and the Jews take Iran’s leadership and military out. What happens when it dawns on Iranians that they are FREE again? Women will no longer have to wear tents..sex will be good and gays may yet get a chance at life. While I doubt these things wouldn’t be flaunted in public…I doubt a death squad would come calling.

      Reply
  10. Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th January 2020

      What exactly is the connection then? How much, how often and where? Measurable or speculation?

      Reply
  11. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th January 2020

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/118595000/australia-bushfires-couple-and-13-animals-ride-out-fire-in-shipping-container

    As all scouts used to know: “Be Prepared”. It can save your life far more effectively than relying on someone else.

    Reply

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