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Discussion: Early Fires Season in Oz?

in: Orienteering; General

Sep 6, 2019 10:18 PM # 
Alarming to hear of fires in the granite belt of Qld. Best wishes to orienteers who live there. And second to well-respected maps.
Sep 7, 2019 7:25 AM # 
Spring is the fire season in Queensland (strong dry winds don't normally occur that far north in summer), but this is unusually early and unusually severe.

As far as I've been able to work out, the fire area is on the west side of the highway for a few kilometres westwards, from Stanthorpe north to somewhere around the Summit. It doesn't appear to have crossed to the east side of the highway to any significant extent. I don't think any mapped areas have been affected.

I have not heard anything about orienteering people who live in the area, but will pass it on if I do. I think, but am not certain, that Liz Bourne is further out from town than the fire was.
Sep 11, 2019 1:22 AM # 
Have confirmed that the Bournes were not (directly) affected.
Sep 11, 2019 11:41 AM # 
riley mcfarlane :
Still pouring down with rain in Perth, then having a 30-degree day, then a foggy day, then 26 degrees tomorrow. Spring weather before ASOC or Oceania is always unpredictable in Perth.
Sep 11, 2019 12:10 PM # 
Blair - something I've been kicking around over the past few years. Is it a matter for some consideration at OA level that strong consideration be given to safety issues/fire threat when QLD hold Aus champs? Obviously not all areas are likely to have threats but the timing of fire season and Aus Champs dates are worryingly coincident in certain parts of the country.
Sep 11, 2019 10:22 PM # 
Or WA holding an early Easter?
Sep 11, 2019 11:06 PM # 
WA's been lucky that all of its Easters have been late.

It's certainly something I've been thinking about (and mentioned when, for example, making a submission to an ACT government report on the impact of climate change on spot). We've dodged bullets with major events a few times in recent years - twice (Oceania 2015 and Bathurst 2017) there have been extreme fire weather days during the carnivals but in both cases they've fallen on sprint days, and there was also an extreme fire weather day (with significant fires) in Victoria two days after the end of the 2015 nationals.

Riley - you may or may not have heard that Perth has, twice in the last couple of weeks, set records (by substantial margins) for the hottest it's ever been so early in late winter/spring. Nothing normal about getting 30s this early.
Sep 12, 2019 1:36 AM # 
MTBO in Vic (2018 selection trials) hasn't been so lucky.
Sep 12, 2019 7:38 AM # 
:-(( that really focussed attention!
Sep 13, 2019 10:23 PM # 
This year I updated our (fire) emergency response plans for school activities and have had to rule out a bunch of areas for term 1 and 4 activities.
This was forced by a booking I had in March at Kurth kiln...
Sep 14, 2019 1:05 AM # 
Much of Albany, Western Australia - and I presume Australia in general - is covered by increasingly restrictive bush fire compliance building codes - many people with reasonably sized blocks of land now either cannot build on them, or cannot sub-divide because the permitted building envelope is now so small given the presence of nearby natural vegetation and minimum clearances required.
Sep 14, 2019 2:30 AM # 
presence of nearby natural vegetation and minimum clearances required

...or just someone's overgrown front garden. The BAL assessment for my reasonably suburban 80x20m block, where red = BAL-FZ, orange = BAL-40 etc:

Thanks to the neighbour having some tall trees and a bit of over-planted garden.

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