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Author Topic: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires  (Read 7877 times)

zridling

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Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« on: February 11, 2009, 02:39:03 AM »
koalacuteness12.jpg

This picture of a fireman giving water to a parched koala bear speaks volumes. Look at the koala's tongue, and the koala's paw on the fireman's hand! The koala seems so polite and so grateful. This makes me want to truckjack a water truck and drive through the ocean to Australia. [backstory] The koala friend was rescued by firefighters after it was found roaming a burned up forest 90 miles from Melbourne. The koala friend had burnt paws, but she's doing better now and will hopefully be released back into the wild in about 5 months.

Edvard

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 11:48:27 AM »
What's really amazing is that (so I've heard...) wild Koalas are just that... wild.
They'll happily make an attempt at ripping your face off if they feel threatened. Obviously this poor little lady had more pressing needs than exercising her fight or flight reflexes.

Heart-string-pulling pic, BTW. I've heard the fires were started by arsonists.  >:(

Edvard

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 04:18:09 PM »
More of the story plus pics and video here and here.

Okay everybody say "Aaawww..." in 5... 4... 3...

sam-koala-bear-2.jpgIncredible photo from Australian wildfires

Ehtyar

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 04:23:35 PM »
The fireman is lucky he didn't have his face torn off, though it's good so see wildlife coming out of the fires alive.

To give some facts before too much speculation is provided, the current death tole stands at 181, higher than that of the Ash Wednesday and Black Friday bushfires combined. Currently, upward of 1,000 homes have been destroyed and over 300,000 hectares of land has been burned, which is considerably less than that which was destroyed in the Ash Wednesday or Black Friday fires. The fires are largely burning in the south-eastern state of Victoria and primarily in rural areas, as was the case with Ash Wednesday and Black Friday.

As you can see here:
4.png
there is no one "fire", but a large number of fires that makes up this disaster. A small number of the more ferocious fires are suspected to have been lit by arsonists. There are also a number of fires than are suspected to have been lit by "tossers", or people who dispose of lit cigarette butts out their car window. The government is considering whether it will be possible to charge them with murder for each of the deaths their fire caused.

To add a personal note, the Australian State and Federal Governments are largely responsible for this, having significantly lessened the amount of controlled burning taking place in exchange for preferences from the green party. This kind of political pandering is costing many lives and cannot continue any longer.

Ehtyar.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 04:27:56 PM by Ehtyar »

tomos

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 04:45:34 PM »
To add a personal note, the Australian State and Federal Governments are largely responsible for this, having significantly lessened the amount of controlled burning taking place in exchange for preferences from the green party. This kind of political pandering is costing many lives and cannot continue any longer.

what are controlled burnings Ethyar ?
 - I have an idea what they are, but I'm dont know why they in turn should be controlled (or why some people think they should).
AFAIK in Ireland people are allowed burn land -mainly to cut back gorse bushes- not in summer naturally - but OTOH it rains there a lot ...
Tom

Target

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 04:59:38 PM »
controlled burns are used to reduce the likelihood of huge bushfires like we're experiencing at the moment

done under controlled conditions (usually under the supervision/management of the local fire service, and within a defined area) it reduces the amount of combustible materials in the bush and reduces the potential for fires to get out of hand

Local agencies used to do them more often, but environmental (read political) concerns have significantly reduced them.

Personally I think this is only half the issue as home owners and local governments also need to be a lot more vigilant/responsible (having said that, it probably wouldn't have helped much in the current situation... :(

Ehtyar

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 05:08:33 PM »
Controlled burning is a practice whereby areas of dense vegetation and high forrest-floor buildup is set alight by the fire services in the winter months in order to prevent buildup of fuel over time which is consumed by fires in the summer months when they're virtually inevitable. The ferocity of the fires currently burning in Victoria is in direct proportion to the amount of fuel they have to burn. Suffice it to say if a sensible amount of controlled burning was taking place, these fires would not be causing the damage and costing the lives that they are.

Ehtyar.

Ehtyar

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 05:09:46 PM »
True, homeowners were disastrously unprepared for these fires, as tends to be the case unfortunately. However, it's likely that support from authorities on this matter is minimal.

Ehtyar.

Deozaan

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2009, 02:22:52 AM »
Controlled burning is a practice whereby areas of dense vegetation and high forrest-floor buildup is set alight by the fire services in the winter months in order to prevent buildup of fuel over time which is consumed by fires in the summer months when they're virtually inevitable. The ferocity of the fires currently burning in Victoria is in direct proportion to the amount of fuel they have to burn. Suffice it to say if a sensible amount of controlled burning was taking place, these fires would not be causing the damage and costing the lives that they are.

Ehtyar.

Yeah but fires aren't "green" and just think of the carbon footprint of all those controlled burns! Much better to kill humans who are the cancer of the earth anyway instead of clearing out dried out weeds/bush. That's the Earth's natural beauty we're talking about here! Can't destroy that for the sake of some stupid humans who think they own the planet or something!

[/sarcasm]


Ehtyar

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2009, 03:06:35 AM »
I tried to restrain myself Deo, really I did, but reading that just made me feel so good, lol. Next time I'll be sure to beat you to it :P

Ehtyar.

Ehtyar

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2009, 06:06:16 PM »
An update.

The fires will henceforth be know as Black Saturday. On Saturday February 14, smoke from the fires was visible over New Zealand, more than two thousand kilometers off the east Victorian coast. The death toll currently stands at 201, with more than 500 people admitted to hospital with fire related injuries and over 7,500 people left homeless.

The Churchill fire has been confirmed as being intentionally lit, and police have charged a man with the crime. Brendan Sokaluk, a volunteer firefighter, is charged with one count of deadly arson and one of lighting a wildfire. He will also face court on an unrelated charge of possessing child pornography. The Churchill fire death tole stands at 21. He faces a maximum prison term of 40 years and will remain in solitary confinement for his own protection at least until his committal hearing on May 25.

To give an indication of just how responsible government is for these fires, fire services in Victoria have reported of waits a year long for approval to conduct controlled burning. In many cases, the volunteer rural fire services have given up seeking approval because they don't have the manpower to pursue the requests. There were even reports of waits up to three years long.

Every report into wildfire prevention since the 1930s has listed controlled burning as a necessity to avoid uncontrolled outbreak. They are typically followed by government initiatives that do not list controlled burning among the measures to be taken. This response has come from both major parties when in power (frequently put there by Green Party preferences).

In one case, a couple living in a fire-prone area were fined $50,000 and faced a potential prison term for felling trees on their property without council approval. Their home is now the only building left standing within a 2km radius.

Ehtyar.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 06:09:41 PM by Ehtyar »

Deozaan

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2009, 08:18:04 PM »
The Churchill fire has been confirmed as being intentionally lit, and police have charged a man with the crime. Brendan Sokaluk, a volunteer firefighter, is charged with one count of deadly arson and one of lighting a wildfire. He will also face court on an unrelated charge of possessing child pornography. The Churchill fire death tole stands at 21. He faces a maximum prison term of 40 years and will remain in solitary confinement for his own protection at least until his committal hearing on May 25.

Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist or anything, but this guy makes too good of a scapegoat. First of all, the guy could have been trying to do a controlled burn that got out of hand. So the people and the government want someone to blame, so the authorities blame him. Then they accuse him of possessing child pornography so that everybody will automatically assume he's an evil dirtbag and the trial finds him guilty and everybody is happy that somebody "got what they deserved" for the damage and anguish caused by these fires.

I wouldn't have seriously considered this idea, but with all the steps lately by the Australian (and other nation's governments) to control media (national internet filter?), deny responsibility by blaming someone or something else, I don't find it too far fetched these days. :(


Ehtyar

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2009, 03:03:24 AM »
Halfway through the first paragraph was getting pretty pissed, but now that i've reached the end you make a good point. It has been bothering me how they actually managed to nab an arsonist like this guy. Good lesson Deo: question question question.

Ehtyar.

Ehtyar

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2009, 03:07:36 AM »
Another update.

The death toll today officially stands at 210. There are still several fires burning out of control across Victoria continuing to threaten homes having destroyed over 1800 already.

Yesterday was the national day of mourning for those affected by the fires with a mass ceremony held in Melbourne, Victoria's state capital.

Some good appears to have come from the fires, with the announcement of a (long overdue) Royal Commission into the Government's bushfire strategy. In other good news, the Red Cross has raised over $100 million in an appeal for the victims of the bushfires.

However, there has been further bad news revealed in the past few days.

It has been brought to the public's attention that 38 (yes, three - eight) signatures from various individuals/organizations are required to gain permission for but a single controlled burn. On top of that, there have been claims that authorities have come into a habbit of "bartering" with those applying for burns, asking them to reduce the size of the burn in exchange for a swifter approval.

It has also been revealed that a 2003 report into bushfire prevention stated that controlled burns were the most prevalent and effective method fighting bushfires. By the time the final version of the report was published, all mention of controlled burning had been stripped from the document.

Utterly contemptible.

Ehtyar.

zridling

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2009, 06:10:21 AM »
That is damn sad, indeed. Sounds a lot like the policy-making we do in the US!  :mad:

Deozaan

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2009, 01:03:28 PM »
That is damn sad, indeed. Sounds a lot like the policy-making we do in the US!  :mad:

No kidding! Did you hear about HR 80, the Captive Primate Safety Act? This was rushed through Congress after the recent Chimp attack in which a "domesticated" Chimp ripped off a woman's face and bit off her hands. You'd think the act was designed to protect humans by making it illegal to own a primate, but the truth is that the bill was introduced by the Humane Society because they say keeping a primate in captivity (in a cage) at home is cruel and unusual punishment to the animal.

Isn't it great to know that Congress is more concerned for the welfare of animals than human beings?


Clive

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2009, 07:08:24 PM »
I offer this link to a discussion about the alternate view on so called controlled burns. I live very close to a National Park & controlled burns there have caused more destruction ,by getting out of control, than many naturally occurring fires. We have had a ringside seat observing the folly of Man believing that he can control Nature.
http://realdirt.com....blame-game/#more-181

Ehtyar

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Re: Incredible photo from Australian wildfires
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2009, 09:49:11 PM »
It's not about prevention of the fires, it's about protection of communities in the path of the fires. No one is saying we should run around burning down a third of Australia's bushland annually as that article suggests, we're suggesting the outskirts of rural communities be purged, at times when fire is more controllable, of fuel buildup to prevent the loss of homes and lives.

Ehtyar.