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  • The Australian wildfire crisis

    Australia bushfires: Sydney suburb is 'hottest place on earth' as heat creates storms

    Strong winds and high temperatures are expected to bring flames to more populated areas, including the suburbs of Sydney.

    Bushfires raging across Australia are generating so much heat they are creating their own storms, with authorities warning wind conditions are causing some of the biggest fires to merge.

    Fire tornadoes and dry lightning have sparked even more blazes, as temperatures soared to new highs today - 48.9C (120F) in Penrith, 45C (113F) in Sydney and 44C (111F) in Canberra.

    Penrith, a suburb of Sydney, was believed to be the hottest place on Earth on Saturday. It was the hottest day ever recorded in greater Sydney.


    The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has updated emergency warnings, telling those who have not evacuated at-risk areas: "It is too late to leave. Seek shelter as the fire approaches."

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "In recent times, particularly over the course of the balance of this week, we have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level."

    Victoria had 14 fires rated at emergency or evacuate warning levels on Saturday evening, while New South Wales had 11 rated emergency and more than 150 others burning across both states.

    NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said: "There are a number of fires that are coming together - very strong, very large, intense fires that are creating some of these fire-generated thunderstorms.

    "And unfortunately we've still got many hours to go of these elevated and dangerous conditions."

    Winds of up to 80mph are fanning the strength and unpredictability of the fires, with many places facing their worst day yet.

    "We are in for a long night and we are still to hit the worst of it," New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said. "It's a very volatile situation."

    The storm conditions are caused by pyrocumulonimbus clouds - thunderstorms formed from the smoke plume of a fire that causes air to rise rapidly and collide with ice particles in the higher, cooler air, and building up electrical charges that create lightning.

    Rising air also produces intense updrafts that suck in so much air that strong winds develop - making fires hotter and spreading them further and faster.

    The phenomenon is expected to become more frequent in Australia as the global climate changes, according to a 2019 report by the country's Climate Council.

    On Monday, a firefighter was killed when a pyrocumulonibus cloud formation collapsed and flipped over his 10-tonne truck. The total number of people killed since the fire season began is 23 - 12 from this week alone, with six people missing in the state of Victoria.

    Australia's government has called up 3,000 reservists and committed $20m AUS to hire four special fire-fighting aircraft. A third navy ship with disaster and humanitarian relief equipment has been deployed, while the first of those rescued from a beach in Mallacoota arrived in Melbourne after a 20-hour sea journey.

    US singer Pink has pledged $500,000 to help fire services battling on the frontlines. She tweeted: "I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires.

    "I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines. My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz."

    Firefighters say some areas cannot be defended.

    Sky News' Alex Crawford witnessed the fires from a helicopter, where she said visibility was almost at zero in white-outs caused by the smoke.

    "There's a lot of anxiety here, a lot of fear," she said. "I've seen a lot of posters thanking the firefighters, who are doing their utmost to contain these raging fires."

    New South Wales Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers warned the fires could move "frighteningly quick". Embers carried by the wind had the potential to spark new fires or enlarge existing blazes.

    "We still have those dynamic and dangerous conditions, the low humidity, the strong winds and, what underpins that, the state is tinder dry," Victoria Emergency Services Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.

    One fire on Kangaroo Island, which has killed two people, has broken containment lines and been described as "virtually unstoppable" as it roared through 14,000 hectares (35,000 acres) of national park.

    Professor Ray Wills, of the University of Western Australia, produced a map that showed the size of the area burned by fires, if transplanted to the UK, would have scorched most of England, from the south coast to almost as far north as Leeds.


    https://news.sky.com/story/australia...loyed-11900782
    I am heartbroken for the lovely people and animals of Australia - over 500 million animals have died and over 20 people, it's a tragedy.

    To all of our UKMIX friends who live in Aus and to the 10,000+ Australian people that have visited UKMIX over the last 12 months - sending you best wishes and hoping you're safe and well.

  • #2
    This is devastating. Coming soon to other countries in 10-20 years.

    And their asshole PM doesn't believe in climate change. I've enjoyed the videos of Australians refusing to shake his hand!

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    • #3
      One of the most devastating world events of our lifetime, the scale of it is terrible. I don’t see how they’re going to put them out?!

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      • #4
        I'm not the most emotional person, but every time I see a video of a distressed koala I get tears in my eyes.

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        • #5
          It's so awful. We've donated what we can to help. It's just devestating!
          Love you like a love song!

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          • #6
            My heart bleeds for the videos I am seeing
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            • #7
              It's quite bad. I mean we've had bad fires before but this scale is just something else and dragging on for a third month.

              Watching a few of those videos of the firies battling the blazes and embers where the wind changes direction and it just whooshes up through the tree canopy sweeps over quickly is pretty scary. That's why its so important to evacuate as soon as you can if theres a chance of the fire sweeping through your region depending on the conditions of the day.

              I don't know if the rest of the world has followed suit but after the 'Black Saturday' Fires of early Feb 2009, our fire danger warning settings gained a sixth category above 'Extreme', known as CATASTROPHIC, meaning that if a a fire were to start in these conditions beyond a spot fire that Fire services are able to cover in time, its highly unlikely to be able to fight it effectively to shut it down quickly in terms of trying to save homes, so the focus switches to protecting lives first and foremost.

              Mum and I drove up to the Gold Coast in QLD at Halloween for a third cousins wedding and there had been some fires that had started up there on the way up, we drove through an area on the highway with some thick smoke haze on the way up through Northern NSW. I flew home to go back to work and mum made her way back down about a week later, in the meantime in the Sydney region we had the Catastrophic warning one day in mid November, and there were some fires and smoke still burning in the mid north coast.

              Then by the end of November/first week of December Sydney started to have regular days of heavy smoke haze and visibility in some areas that hadn't really been seen that bad since the infamous 'Sydney Dust Storm' of September 2009 where the sky turned orange with dust blown across from inland Australia. More fires started burning surrounding the greater Sydney area (Blue Mountains, far western Sydney outskirts, Northern Sydney Central Coast region etc).

              The week before Christmas there was a fire that started encroaching on a town a suburb or two away from where we lived before where we are now. in South Western Sydney outskirts (I'm about 10-15 mins closer to Sydney than the area before) and we got cautionary text warnings to keep alert for updates (in this day and age there are apps you can track 'fires near me' and such) but they were able to curb it from coming any closer towards south west sydney.

              The smoke haze can come and go, depending on the different areas and the wind changes (sometimes it'll clear up/blow out somewhere else of an afternoon or night or come through on some days around mid morning or lunch for the day). It's been pretty ok over Christmas and New Year, but now we've got the fires down on the South Coast Far south Like Nowra, Eden, Kangaroo Valley and the Snowy Mountain region, even starting in some parts of Northern Victoria. It got a little hazy again today in my area.

              Yesterday's temps was ridiculous. New Years Eve was 41 degrees C here, we've had a couple high 20's days (which is nice in comparison) then yesterday was 45 C here, and didn't drop below 30 degrees until like nearly 10 PM (the sunset is around 8:10pm with Daylight Savings in Sydney atm) and was sitting around 21 degrees at midnight.

              Does not surprise me regarding Penrith. Rule of thumb is inland is generally 2-3 degrees hotter in summer on a hot day than Sydney on the coast (unless theres a different conditions between them). Penrith is about as further West as you can go before hitting the Blue Mountains (its on the outskirts of the Greater Sydney area).

              We had about a 27 degree day today which was a nice change, Hoping the rain forecast this week on the weather apps comes through, We havent really seen a good summer downpour/thunderstorm this summer AFAIK, which would help a lot, There was a very fine mist happening earlier this afternoon and its about 18 C now at nearly 8PM.

              There's the whole other political angle too which I wont get into now as this is a large post but Just thought I'd give a bit of a perspective from New South Wales. Hoping this can end soon.
              Last edited by Affillate; Sun January 5th, 2020, 10:56.
              UKMIXtapes Vol.3 | ROUND 9!

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              • #8
                Some of that is heart breaking to read [MENTION=36732]Affillate[/MENTION] - are you and your family safe at least?

                I spoke with some Australian friends and they said that they are quite far away from the fire and are safe.

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                • #9
                  I feel sorry more for the animals than the humans to be honest.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wayne View Post
                    Some of that is heart breaking to read [MENTION=36732]Affillate[/MENTION] - are you and your family safe at least?
                    Yeah we are ok. Today was cloudy and cool. some light rain in parts which may help a little.
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                    • #11
                      5.05.2009 / 6.22.2011 / 4.24.2013 / 4.25.2013 / 3.1.2014 / 9.13.2014 / 7.21.2016 / 7.14.2018 / 7.15.2018

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                      • #12
                        I heard it is raining in some parts of Australia.
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                        • #13
                          This is the way the world's gonna end eventually. It's absolutely horrifying but the signs point to it.
                          The next 5-10 Western summers will wake up a lot of people who are still in denial.
                          Winter basically doesn't exist anymore in most of Europe as of this year and I bet we'll get more record breaking Summer seasons with lots of increasing heat and not much rain over the next decade.
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                          • #14
                            The Minogue family have donated half a million dollars to the firefighting efforts.

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                            • #15
                              I'm not sure what these donations are attempting to accomplish. Fires like these cannot be stopped if not by natural causes. Humans have planted the seeds and now are collecting the consequences. Here, above the Arctic circle, temperatures are really high, with rain instead of snow for weeks. 19°C a few days ago in Southern Norway, an all time high Winter record in early January.

                              Things are going insane, but the show must go on, sadly. Capitalism is truly this world's plague.
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                              • #16
                                They probably plan on using it for reforestation, wildlife rescue areas, people losing their homes etc. But yes these donations are pointless if people don't change their way of living and 70% of world population don't even acknowledge climate change. This is just the beginning. Politicians need to step up their game.
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                                • #17
                                  My heart hurts for everyone on Australia.
                                  Half a billion animals dead, 25 people have died.
                                  So much beautiful nature has been destroyed, people's homes/belongings.



                                  This second picture just literally broke my heart.
                                  Warning, it's graphic.

                                  Been watching a lot of documentaries lately about our planet and its depressing to see how bad it's getting and what the forecasts are (short term even!!!).
                                  "I see it, I like it, I want it... I GOT IT."

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Hejira View Post
                                    This is the way the world's gonna end eventually. It's absolutely horrifying but the signs point to it.
                                    The next 5-10 Western summers will wake up a lot of people who are still in denial.
                                    Winter basically doesn't exist anymore in most of Europe as of this year and I bet we'll get more record breaking Summer seasons with lots of increasing heat and not much rain over the next decade.
                                    Tea. Winter doesn't really exist since some years. It it just a 6 month long autumn now. Also the hot summer weather starts from April. Seasons are basically turning into 6 months of summer and 6 months of autumn.
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by DnBLover View Post
                                      Capitalism is truly this world's plague.
                                      Originally posted by BeeBoy View Post
                                      these donations are pointless if people don't change their way of living and 70% of world population don't even acknowledge climate change. This is just the beginning. Politicians need to step up their game.
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                                      • #20
                                        Hopefully [MENTION=34626]Bellus[/MENTION] (Summer) is okay.
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                                        • #21
                                          Originally posted by BeeBoy View Post
                                          They probably plan on using it for reforestation, wildlife rescue areas, people losing their homes etc. But yes these donations are pointless if people don't change their way of living and 70% of world population don't even acknowledge climate change. This is just the beginning. Politicians need to step up their game.
                                          Good luck with bookin that. Politicans won't stop being greedy bastards and there are always enough ignorant idiots who will believe everything these politicans spew out.

                                          Sadly I don't see anything really changing until it's way too late.
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                                          • #22
                                            I think humans need to extinct in order for the world to be a better place.
                                            Cha Cha Instructor

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                                            • #23
                                              We had the chance to elect a party who had plans to act on climate change in May 2019 but the public voted the current government back in. They were elected in 2013 on the promise of repealing the climate legislation that the previous government had put in place and in 2014, they did just that.

                                              Our Government is entirely beholden to organisations/industries who would prefer there be no action on climate change. I'm not sure even this catastrophe will lead to any change.
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                                              • #24
                                                Originally posted by samra View Post
                                                Our Government is entirely beholden to organisations/industries who would prefer there be no action on climate change. I'm not sure even this catastrophe will lead to any change.
                                                I think that sadly, you’re right; there was an Australian MP interviewed on one of our morning shows yesterday who belonged to the same party currently in government and he apparently denied that the current bushfires were related to climate change.

                                                It’s just gobsmacking how people can still deny climate change.

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                                                • #25
                                                  There are still so many people denying that climate change is happening.
                                                  They love to refer to it as left wing or liberal propaganda.
                                                  Comment sections in news outlets here in The Netherlands are flooded by comments from such ignorant people.
                                                  It’s baffling, scary and sad!
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