The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

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fuzzywuzzy
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

This is basically info for Australians so we can improve all State emergency services. I'd like to document what is said and what the outcomes will be in the coming months ....plus my own thoughts on each day of the hearing.

This is what Russelll Rees said at the Royal commission this morning

Country Fire Authority chief Russell Rees has told the Bushfires Royal Commission it was not his responsibility to warn communities of fire danger on Black Saturday.

Mr Rees was based at the Integrated Emergency Co-ordination Centre in East Melbourne on February 7 as bushfires raged throughout Victoria.

He said it was up to incident control centres at a more local level to decide what messages were given to communities under threat of fire.

The opening of the Bushfires Royal Commission's formal hearings - chaired by Justice Bernard Teague - began with a minute's silence this morning.

Questioned about the Kilmore fire - responisble for killing dozens of people in townships including Kinglake, Kinglake West and Strathewen - Mr Rees said he believed the CFA had, to the best of his knowledge, warned people about the weather change that fuelled the deadly fire.

"Yes I do say that, remembering we gave a lot of information prior to the day about the upcoming weather conditions," he said

Mr Rees said the IECC supported local control centres in giving out messages, in particular by posting warnings on the CFA website.

"There's a number of activities that take place inside the IECC ... in a general sense, the incident control centre and through the incident controller at that centre, is responsible for the determination of what is the message to be given to communities," he said.

"The information unit in the IECC monitors that and supports the incident controller ... to give that information out."

Mr Rees said he was aware fire behaviour experts had done work from the IECC in predicting and mapping fires but did not know they were doing it on Black Saturday or how their work was used.

"CFA's philosophy is to try and give as much information as possible so the community can make appropriate decisions and support the firefighting effort wherever possible," he said.

In a statement to the commission, Mr Rees said it was one of the CFA's core responsibilities to warn communities of the impending danger of bushfires and weather conditions.

The commission heard the CFA was made up of 59,000 registered volunteers, 400 career firefighters and 700 career support staff with more than 1200 brigades.

Mr Rees said no one in Victoria had statutory responsibility for warning the community about fire dangers.

"CFA seeks to give information but it depends on the public's understanding of that information and taking that information in,'' he said.

"CFA's policy is that it gives advice to the community before and during fires, it's talking about giving advice, if one wants to interpret that advice as a warning ... I don't shy away from that ... but there is much more in what the CFA is striving to do than simply to warn."

Mr Rees said the CFA gave out information so communities and people could take responsibility for deciding whether to prepare their properties and stay during a fire or leave early.

The commission heard that weather forecasts in the days leading up to Black Saturday had predicted February 7 had the potential to be more deadly than Ash Wednesday with higher temperatures combined with wind changes.

"Almost worse in almost every aspect but in a cumulative sense, worse in terms of fire danger,'' Mr Rees said.

The commission heard the Fire Danger Index on February 7 had registered 328.

Mr Rees said the rating was "off the scale'' as the index was designed to go up to 100.

"Certainly those numbers are very high, recognising the limitations of that fire danger indices system to make any relevance beyond 100 ... but it certainly is as an indicator quite severe,'' he said.

Mr Rees said the Fire Danger Index was not given to the community because most people would not understand what it means.

He said the Fire Danger Index was, in a sense, communicated to the community through the CFA's warnings of low to extreme fire danger.

"To understand those figures ... you need to understand what they mean so there needs to be an educative process,'' he said.

"The language of low, moderate, extreme, high extreme is considered best to explain that scenario."



The hearing continues.


Now, I understand what Chief Rees has said. It is illegal in this state to force people from their homes. You can advise, strongly urge, Tell them they are going to wind up very dead..........but you can't force people. The decision is ultimately their's to make about their own lives. (Unless it's apparent that they can't look after themselves, which did happen in my area when police forced an elderly woman from her property under duress. They needed an Inspector to Okay it though. *remembering the fire was on her doorstep*)

But whos' responsibility was it to tell people that their lives were in danger? My info came through the internet. But not everybody has that. ABC radio passes on the emergency info only from the IECC's website and verbal updates from anyone they can find.

I understand that it is not his job to inform the community personally, at the moment it's up to politicians in charge of our state to inform or declare an emergency It's chief Rees' job to inform them (or as I'm led to believe)..........But where on earth did this info go? I saw it, and it scared the crap out of me.

YouTube - Chief Officer Briefing 06/02/09 Part 1

YouTube - Chief Officer Briefing 06/02/09 Part 2

YouTube - Chief Officer Briefing 06/02/09 Part 3

There are plenty of these briefings.!!!!

and then he backed it up by giving us encouragement.

YouTube - Chief Officer Message 13/02/09

Here he tells us to pace ourselves and he understands that we just want it all over and done with. But that is not the way to go about it. My own town was directly under threat at this stage, (I think? I still have a loss of time and dates). And I can tell you I was getting tired and frustrated.

YouTube - Chief Officer Briefing 23/02/09



When he tells the commission about responsibility, it's up to individual brigades to monitor....................I'm guilty of it. And I'm trying to forgive myself for it. He's right, I should of said something to prepare the others on my truck ...................but I didn't. Basically I ****'ed up!!!

I should of told them of the fallen ember that fell at my feet when I went to my car to find my sunglasses. It was a burnt ember about three inches long .....I didn't believe it because the smoke cloud was so far away, even though the wind was blowing hard I just didn't take it in properly. And I didn't inform because I hadn't been with this brigade long and I had ...................*female syndrome* ......Don't say anything cause they'll think you're a wuss and not up to the job. Or worse ............panicking. I was the only female in our brigade at the time working, and I didnt want to come across as the 'panic merchant' in this rural very mysogynistic enviroment. I basically failed my crew because of this. Deep down I knew what we were about to go into and I didn't tell the others. I'm sorry about that.



so anyway ..............I don't think anything could have been done to save all those lives as the orders and rules stands at the moment .



Stay tuned.
fuzzywuzzy
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

UH OH!!!!!!

State faces 'worst-ever' fire season

Peter Ker

July 29, 2009

VICTORIA faces a fire season of unprecedented danger, with the state’s fire officials expecting conditions to be worse than last summer when more than 170 lives were lost to bushfires.

Less than six months after the Black Saturday disaster, a leaked Department of Sustainability and Environment report warns the next fire season could start as early as November and that fires will burn with greater intensity this summer.

The report, written by department fire management officer Paul Brockhoff, says the bush has dried out to such an extent that official methods for predicting fire behaviour will be less accurate, and will tend to underestimate the threat.

Singling out Melbourne and its hinterlands as being among the state’s driest areas, Mr Brockhoff used impassioned language to illustrate the extreme danger posed by the coming summer.

‘‘The prospect we are looking at is not just another above-average fire season with above-normal losses or risks to life and property,’’ he said.

‘‘The genuine prospect of a season with the greatest potential loss to life and property is now in sight, and as climate indicators strengthen, this looks to be an increasing likelihood.’’

The report, written on July 10, has not been officially released by the department, but it is believed to have been discussed at a meeting of top fire officials yesterday.

Central to the warnings are Victoria’s continuing drought and a forecast El Nino weather pattern, which is expected to bring even drier conditions to south-eastern Australia.

The first half of the year was the driest on record for Melbourne and nearby areas, which include the Central Highlands that were badly burned in February’s fires.

‘‘This area is also the area where the highest exposure to life and property exist, and it also includes the remaining water catchment areas that did not burn last year,’’ Mr Brockhoff’s report said.

‘‘The absence of natural barriers to fire (such as moist gullies, waterways, soaks) will increase the chances of fires becoming large.

‘‘That the terrain has not saturated over winter will mean our current models will under-predict fire behaviour.’’

Even if rainfall were above average in coming months, the report says Victorians would still go into summer with the ‘‘worst-case climate outlook’’ for fire ignition, spread and difficulty of suppression.

The department’s chief fire officer, Ewan Waller, confirmed the report’s veracity and said fire authorities were communicating with threatened communities well in advance of the fire season.

Mr Waller said further analysis of the risk would be conducted before summer, but he conceded there was ‘‘strong potential’’ for another bad season. ‘‘As fire managers, we must prepare for a worst-case fire season,’’ he said.

‘‘The science tells us that we are facing a very serious threat this summer; we are planning accordingly and ask that the community do the same.’’

The Country Fire Authority has started a countdown campaign warning Victorians the fire season is only 90 days away.

The royal commission into February’s bushfires is scheduled to deliver its interim report to the Brumby Government by August 17.




I guess I'll take one last look at me back garden as it is ................all the trees are about to be brought down . DAMN IT!!!!!
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mrsK
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The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

Post by mrsK »

Also heard that on Sunrise this morning .:yh_rotfl

Worse fire season than last year.

I hope not for all your sakes.
It's nice to be important,but more important to be nice.
fuzzywuzzy
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

Unfortunetly the bush we wanted gone last season didn't burn , this is not good news . The Otways and the Dandenongs are in worse peril though. The Dandenongs are a bit close to the suburbs and towns.

I've cleared so many trees in the last couple of months. I went out into the back yard last night to look at others that will have be be cut now.:(



Maybe I should turn the telly on :)
fuzzywuzzy
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

Footage of the royal commission . I think I feel sick.

"sniff the air"? Oh christ I want to deck that guy.

YouTube - I wandered lonely as a cloud
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Oscar Namechange
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The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

Post by Oscar Namechange »

fuzzywuzzy;1225379 wrote: Footage of the royal commission . I think I feel sick.

"sniff the air"? Oh christ I want to deck that guy.

YouTube - I wandered lonely as a cloud What was the death toll there in the end Meggs?

Truely awful :(
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. R.L. Binyon
fuzzywuzzy
Posts: 6596
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

In the next couple of months i'm going to flood this board with warnings because we're in for a worse time . and I want it to come up on the search engines or whatever way it can to get the message out there that it's not **** the CFA is talking. we're really in for it this summer. anyone who has any relatives in victoria or southern NSW's tell them to watch this space. I will put up as many references and contact details of emergency services as a can.
fuzzywuzzy
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

Firstly I like to point out to those people who said "evacuate " to look at the number of fires shown on the youtube link when the map of Victoria is shown. Evacuate to where?

During the fires the entire area where I live was blocked you couldn't get in or out.

To those who say don't live in the bush ..........please check your Australian geography and topography. Could you imagine an authority telling you you can't live on the outskirts of your town, that you can't live in a town that's been there for two centuries? that you can't live in the hills? or an outer suburb?. Because this is the 'bush' that is our landscape.

Yes bushfires are our lives, we have to live with them, but fire storms and fire balls that explode into infernoes are not part of what we are used to. we are looking at extreme tempertures and fire storms for the next couple of years. And we must be prepared.

fuzzywuzzy
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:35 pm

The Royal commission began this morning into the Vic fires..

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

oscar;1225382 wrote: What was the death toll there in the end Meggs?

Truely awful :(


I really can't tell you oscar I try not to think about it to be honest.

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