Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Disaster management expert warns Australian bush fires will be amongst worst ever seen

Date:
October 19, 2013
Source:
Kingston University
Summary:
New South Wales firefighters could not possibly have done any more to tackle the bushfires engulfing the area around Sydney and are now ultimately at the mercy of the elements, according to a senior academic.

New South Wales firefighters could not possibly have done any more to tackle the bushfires engulfing the area around Sydney and are now ultimately at the mercy of the elements, according to a senior Kingston University academic.

Dr Neil Thomas, an expert in environmental hazards and disaster management who has worked extensively with emergency response crews in the Australian region, said all the boxes had been ticked for the major incident sparked by freak heat in south eastern Australia. "The weather in the past three weeks has been particularly bad -- it's been very dry and windy and unseasonably hot," he said. "I've never seen the likes of it at this time of year in Sydney."

New South Wales has one of the world's biggest volunteer fire services, with local resident and newly-elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott being a member. Dr Thomas said they were doing as good a job as they possibly could in the circumstances. "They're probably the biggest volunteer fire service in the world and they're doing their jobs superbly," he said. "The tragedy is that many of them have lost their own homes while they've been out saving those of others."

California was also prone to similar problems and Dr Thomas said exchanges of professional expertise and technology between the United States and Australia had allowed firefighters to manage the blazes as best they could. However, nature often had the last say. "The Blue Mountains are a tough enough place anyway, because they're so rugged and inaccessible, and once it becomes a crown fire -- in the trees, off the ground -- that's the most destructive type there is," he said. "It creates its own weather system and the heat and dynamic of the fire make it almost uncontrollable. The authorities almost have to just let it burn itself out and hope for rain."

Events of such a magnitude at this time of year were almost unprecedented, Dr Thomas said. He cautioned that the situation would probably deteriorate before it got better. "We're not used to this at this time of year, it's usually nearer January or February," he said. "The winds usually come from the north west, but occasionally there's a southerly change which appears to have happened and cooled things down a bit. However, it's not lasted long -- there's been a little rain, but not much. Looking at the Bureau of Meteorology forecast, it's going to get hot again. The firefighters will be hoping for the best but preparing for the worst."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kingston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kingston University. "Disaster management expert warns Australian bush fires will be amongst worst ever seen." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131019224715.htm>.
Kingston University. (2013, October 19). Disaster management expert warns Australian bush fires will be amongst worst ever seen. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131019224715.htm
Kingston University. "Disaster management expert warns Australian bush fires will be amongst worst ever seen." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131019224715.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins