No let up from the fires in Australia

Warrigal

SF VIP
This thread is for stories about the catastrophic situation many Australians are facing right now. I will try to keep things as uplifting as I can but there are many tragedies happening at the moment.

As Balmoral* burned, one man survived by hiding in a makeshift 'coffin' in his backyard

Steve Harrison is lucky to be alive.


The 67-year-old artist became trapped on his property as the Green Wattle Creek fire roared towards his home in Balmoral in the NSW Southern Highlands on Saturday afternoon. His wife had already evacuated but Mr Harrison had stayed to defend the property. By the time he changed his mind, it was too late.

"I ran to my ute but my garden was already on fire, the driveway was on fire, the road was on fire so I couldn't evacuate," Mr Harrison told the ABC.

With nowhere to go and no firefighters to help, the professional potter hid inside a makeshift shelter made out of fireproof ceramic fibres as the flames approached.

"The day before I had actually built myself a small kiln down the back — a coffin-sized kiln — just big enough for me to crawl inside," he recalled while fighting back tears.

More story and video here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-22/tales-of-survival-from-balmoral-bushfires/11822210

* Balmoral is a small hamlet south of Sydney. There is not much left of it today.
 

Warrigal

SF VIP
It is. So many people have been left with nothing but the clothes on their back as their homes, businesses and crops have been incinerated. These fires come on top of a relentless drought and many rural communities are suffering badly. We greatly appreciate the assistance offered by US and Canadian volunteer firefighters who have arrived in the last couple of days. Our men are beyond tired. They are exhausted yet still front up each day to fight the monster fires.

This photo from a couple of days back shows just what they are up against.
Enlarge the image to see the men in the photo. I've counted six.

 

Warrigal

SF VIP
Another unbelievable photo. A volunteer fire fighter waits to defend what I think is a vinyard and beside him on the road sits a koala. This is most unusual animal behaviour.

 

Pinky

SF VIP
Location
Toronto
I recall the fires in the Adelaide Hills and how the smoke covered the city. That was scary enough for me. The one time it hit 40C, I couldn't breathe.

What will become of Australia, and what can be done? :cry:

Warrigal, I hope you and yours are keeping safe.
 

Warrigal

SF VIP
Warrigal, I hope you and yours are keeping safe.

I'm Ok and so are all of my family members although one granddaughter has been hospitalised twice with asthma from the smoke. Air quality in Sydney is atrocious and on some days has been worse than Beijing or Cairo. A cricket match in Canberra had to be abandoned because the players couldn't see the ball.

Firefighters are concentrating on saving lives and where possible, properties. The fire grounds are so extensive that they are allowed to burn while measures are taken to contain them. They will not be fully extinguished until either there is nothing left to burn or we get heavy rain. None of that is expected for another six weeks.

Warrigal, are there many koalas in the wild?

Koalas are very specialised in their habitat. They live in the eucalypt forests which is where the fires are raging. We don't know how many have been incinerated. Those that survived a fire now have nothing to eat and face starvation. Wild life people, as soon as they are allowed into an area that has been burnt out, go in looking for survivors and take them to specialised animal rescue centres to attend to their injuries and to feed them up. Even the seriously injured animals are needed as breeding stock if we don't want to see them lost as a species.
 

Kadee46

Well-known Member
Location
South Australia
I recall the fires in the Adelaide Hills and how the smoke covered the city. That was scary enough for me. The one time it hit 40C, I couldn't breathe.

What will become of Australia, and what can be done? :cry:

Warrigal, I hope you and yours are keeping safe.
@Pinky we have ongoing fires in the Adelaide hills now 90 homes have been destroyed and one person was killed trying to save his horses ,it was Very smoky in Adelaide yesterday from the fires it’s has caused millions of $$$$$$ in damage to allot of grape / fruit growing areas as well as the devastating loss of so many homes

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news...d/news-story/a43aad3dd1d97f4ea18906d0b2efa511
 

Pinky

SF VIP
Location
Toronto
@Pinky we have ongoing fires in the Adelaide hills now 90 homes have been destroyed and one person was killed trying to save his horses ,it was Very smoky in Adelaide yesterday from the fires it’s has caused millions of $$$$$$ in damage to allot of grape / fruit growing areas as well as the devastating loss of so many homes

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news...d/news-story/a43aad3dd1d97f4ea18906d0b2efa511

This concerns me a great deal as friends and previous family members live all over Adelaide, as well as in the Adelaide hills.

This high heat is so bad considering it is only mid-summer there.
 

peppermint

Senior Member
Location
East Coast
Prayers for everyone....

We only had one horrible fire in our area....I remember my husband hosing down the roof....We have a lot of pine trees....They were burning..
We were lucky we were a couple of blocks away...But the whole town was covered with smoke....We thought we would have had to evacuate....

God Bless the people that are losing their homes....Very devastating...
 

Kadee46

Well-known Member
Location
South Australia
Another unbelievable photo. A volunteer fire fighter waits to defend what I think is a vinyard and beside him on the road sits a koala. This is most unusual animal behaviour.

@Warrigal this photo you posted is the Adelaide Hills ( South Australia )
Fire
(Lobethal) which is famous for its Christmas lights / and many wineries
Devastating for all concerned including NSW & Qld
 

Pinky

SF VIP
Location
Toronto
I texted my sis-in-law last night. She's in Hawthorndene and says the fires aren't near them.
So sad about Lobethal @Kadee46. I visited one of the wineries there. My heart goes out to
all.
 

Kadee46

Well-known Member
Location
South Australia
Great to hear your family haven’t been effected by the fire’s in Adelaide Hills @Pinky
I love the hills as well we used to go up pick our own strawberries 🍓 buy fresh apples and the most important stop was the chocolate factory :) :)
 

Warrigal

SF VIP
Kangaroos may be dumb but they aren't silly.
This one has found respite from the heat.

https://www.facebook.com/abc/videos/422647438662386/

Yesterday I heard one man from Sth Australia on radio talking about his decision to stay and defend his property. He hoped to save his shed where he makes wine from his vineyard crop.

As it turned out the fire came quickly, consumed the shed and he had to run for the dam. He jumped in, with the mob of kangaroos already there. Never mind any port in a storm. Over here it's any pool in a bushfire.
 

OneEyedDiva

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey
I realize this is about Australia and it's so tragic this is happening but I do have an experience with fire. I lost everything I had including my sweet cat back in 1986. It's very traumatic to go through fire and loss. I'm so sorry people are going through this now.
OMGoodness Ruthanne! So sorry to read you've gone through such a tragedy. Losing one's beloved pet is loosing a family member. These fires are frightening. I feel so bad for the people who are affected by them. I saw a video of one of the ones in California where people were literally driving through fire....I would have been scared to death.
 
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Ruthanne

SF VIP
Location
Midwest
OMGoodness Ruthanne! So sorry to read you've gone through such a tragedy. Losing one's beloved pet is loosing a family member. These fires are frightening. I feel so bad for the people who are affected by them. I saw a video of one of the ones in California where people were literally driving through fire....I would have been scared to death.
Yes, it was my cat Tom who was only a year old. He didn't try to escape but hid under the bed sheets. Yes, it is very scary. The entire house was engulfed in flames. After everything had the stench of being burned--an awful smell that is hard to get out of your nose. Sigh..
 

Rosemarie

Well-known Member
Location
England
I wonder about the water situation. If the firemen are taking water from the reservoirs to fight the fires, won't this result in a shortage of water for domestic use?

I have a lot of family in Australia. I pray they are all safe.
 


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