GFMC: Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

 Fires in Australia

29 November 2004

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) hasdeclared Total Fire Bans across NSW from midnight tonight until midnighttomorrow to reduce the risk of fires starting and spreading in weather predictedto include 45 degree temperatures and winds gusting to 85kph tomorrow.
RFS Commissioner Phil Koperberg declared Total Fire Bans across all NSW FireAreas. No fires may be lit in the open from midnight tonight and the people ofNSW are asked to prepare their properties now in case bushfires break out.
“We are expecting very hot, dry and windy conditions tomorrow, the worstweather possible in terms of fire because it means any fires that start are morelikely to spread in difficult conditions to become major bushfires,” theCommissioner said.

Fire danger ratings are expected to be very high to extreme across the State.

“This is a good opportunity to encourage people to prepare their properties forbushfire by doing such tasks as clearing leaves from gutters, organising hosesand pumps and taking a trip to the tip with ground fuels raked away from aroundsheds and houses.

RFS volunteers are always on standby to attend incidents. The RFS issupplementing brigade preparation this afternoon with early identification andorganisation of task force crews that can be quickly deployed to assist withfires that may start.

Many RFS volunteer members will be working at their brigade stations tomorrow inorder to increase response times. I have asked all other agencies andorganisations involved in firefighting to go on standby in order to be preparedin case their personnel are required.

Major Incident Coordination teams are being pre-emptively established at RFSheadquarters and RFS regional offices.

RFS district fire control centres are prepared and Incident Management Teams tocoordinate possible fires and resources will also be pre-emptively establishedat a number  of fire control centres.

We are fortunate in that we have not got any major fires running at the momentand there has been some significant rain over much of NSW in the past fiveweeks.

But, with extremely hot conditions and the possibility of severe weatherwarnings due to strong winds, we do expect tomorrow to be a very difficultday.”

Latest MODIS Scene:

In eastern Australia, in the Queensland Territory, dozens of fires were burningon 29 November 2004.
Fortunately no big fires were detected further south in NSW.
Source: MODIS

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Further Information on the Fire Situation in Australia:

Near-Real Time Wildland Fire Monitoring  Current weather situation, forecasts, fireweather Actual fire Situation Tasmania Actual Fire Situation Maps, Tasmania More Information on Australian Fires IFFN country notes Further Information Australian and New Zealand links. Background information Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics

Australia´s fire seasons

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