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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Firefighters "down under" getting hammered with bushfires

    Keep them in your prayers...they are experiencing extreme fire behavior...More stories in the wildland section.

    ______________________________ _______

    SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Powerful wildfires destroyed houses and
    cars on the outskirts of Sydney on Thursday, but 3,000 firefighters
    managed to save dozens of other dwellings.
    Fire service spokesman John Winter said 18 homes had been razed
    since the fires erupted Wednesday afternoon - fewer than previously
    feared.
    Television images showed flames engulfing buildings in the
    northwestern Sydney suburb of Glenorie as residents and
    firefighters tried to douse the flames.
    "The saves have been quite incredible," said Phil Koperberg,
    commissioner of New South Wales state Rural Fire Service. "The men
    and women on the ground today have performed miraculously."
    Hundreds of elderly people and children were evacuated as flames
    bore down on their homes but fire officials urged others to stay
    with their houses and hose them down to minimize damage.
    A 73-year-old man died as he tried to herd horses away from a
    wall of flames, according to media reports.
    Extra firefighters were being transferred to Sydney, Australia's
    most populous city, from other states to relieve their exhausted
    colleagues.
    Prime Minister John Howard also offered the nation's defense
    forces to help battle the blazes which were fanned by hot, dry
    winds from the Outback as temperatures nudged 86 degrees.
    A pall of gray smoke drifted over downtown Sydney from fires
    raging to the northwest and west of the city of 4 million. Other
    blazes were burning out of control to the southwest.
    After a relatively calm morning, fires started to pick up in the
    early afternoon.
    "There is no doubt the fires are stirring and threatening and
    we can reasonably expect ... that there is going to be a lot more
    activity before this day is out," said New South Wales Emergency
    Services Minister Bob Debus.
    Police said they arrested an 18-year-old student and charged him
    with starting one of the blazes on Wednesday.
    Others are believed to have been started by people tossing
    cigarette butts out of car windows. New South Wales political
    leader Bob Carr said throwing butts out of cars would be treated as
    arson, which carries a maximum 14-year sentence.
    "This is the most extreme form of anti-social behavior you can
    see in our society," Carr told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
    radio.
    As well as thousands of firefighters on the ground, dozens of
    water bombing helicopters and planes were in the air.
    The main western highway in and out of Sydney was closed as a
    fire started in the Blue Mountains about 55 miles west of the city.
    In the intense heat, flames leaped 200 feet in the air and
    oil-filled eucalyptus trees exploded.
    Sandra Johansen said she, her husband and a friend were trapped
    in their home in Glenorie while, just outside, five firefighters
    huddled inside their fire truck as flames raged around them.
    All were saved when two more firefighters appeared and carried
    the eight to safety in another vehicle.
    "They are our guardian angels - they saved all of our lives,"
    Johansen said.

    APTV 12-05-02 0441EST
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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  2. #2
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Default They are fighting hard.

    check out http://onenews.nzoom.com/onenews_det...25-1-9,00.html

    Look in the Related links, some video footage as well.

    To our Four Brothers injured yesterday. Kia Kaha Brothers.

    Rain is not due in Sydeny until Monday at the earliest and gale force winds, high temperatures and low humidity have been in effect for two days.

    We are waiting the call if needed from across the ditch.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  3. #3
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Be Safe Brothers!

    SYDNEY, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Firefighters fought flames from
    house to house in northwestern Sydney on Friday as gale-force
    winds whipped up fierce bushfires threatening scores of homes
    in Australia's main city.
    Another firefront raged in the nearby Ku-ring-gai Chase
    National Park that stretches through lush gorges of gum trees
    to the gleaming foreshores of Sydney harbour, as 79 fires
    continued to burn for a third day through New South Wales
    state.
    The body of an 81-year-old man was found in a burned-out
    caravan in scorched bushland, bringing to two the number killed
    since the latest fire emergency flared up on Wednesday. The
    first death, of a 73-year-old man, was believed to have been
    from a heart attack.
    "It (the fire) is going like a steam engine," said Les
    Smith, 65, as along with his neighbours he defended his
    property in the suburb of Berowra Heights from an inferno that
    surrounded their residential street on all fronts.
    Thick grey smoke billowed around the homes as firefighters
    and residents armed with hoses kept the flames at bay.
    All night long the firefighters had dashed from house to
    house, successfully preventing the fires from catching, and as
    winds gusted up to 60 km (40 miles) per hour on Friday
    afternoon, the desperate effort began again.
    "We've got an almost unprecedented line of fire," rural
    fire service commissioner Phil Koperberg told reporters.
    But Koperberg added that weather conditions on Friday,
    which saw temperatures drop 10 degrees Celsius to 23 Celsius
    (73 Fahrenheit) from the previous day, were helping. Monday
    would again see potentially devastating conditions, he said.
    HUGE EFFORT
    With the island continent of 20 million in the grip of one
    of the most severe droughts in a century, firefighters have
    been kept busy since the southern hemisphere's winter month of
    July.
    More than 4,000 firefighters and at least 80 water-bombing
    aircraft have joined the fight against fires that officials say
    could be far worse than those of last Christmas, when Sydney
    was ringed by flames, and in fact among the worst in 30 years.
    In northern Sydney, the charred landscape ran right up to
    the doorsteps of dozens of homes, a testament to the
    nail-biting efforts of fire brigade volunteers and residents.
    Around 20 houses have been destroyed since Wednesday.
    Reinforcements were being flown in from other states while
    Prime Minister John Howard has ordered the army into the fray.
    Strong winds saw one blaze double in size overnight to
    16,000 ha (40,000 acres) and invade the Ku-ring-gai park.
    In 1994, bushfires raged through Ku-ring-gai, reaching
    within a few kilometres (miles) of the harbourside area of Lane
    Cove.
    Fire service spokeswoman Meeka Bailey said the firefighters
    would not be able to douse that fire.
    "It is milder today...(but) there'll still be winds that
    will flare this fire," she said.
    INCREDIBLE HULK
    Back at Berowra Heights, the drone of helicopters,
    including giant Sky Cranes dubbed "Elvis," "The Incredible
    Hulk" and "Georgia Peach," which are each capable of dumping
    nine tonnes of water at a time, could be heard through the
    smoke overhead.
    "Come on, hit it," one man shouted at the invisible
    helicopters as they dropped their loads on the flames.
    Fires are natural to the combustible Australian bush, and
    are often lit by lightning. But the current blazes did not
    coincide with any storms and, in many cases, investigators
    suspect arson.
    An 18-year-old mentally impaired man appeared in court on
    Friday, charged with setting a blaze in the west which swept
    across Sydney's main army barracks. He was refused bail.
    Traffic chaos also struck the city of four million on
    Friday after the bushfires closed the main exit routes to the
    north.
    Trucks parked on roadsides in lines that were tens of
    kilometres (miles) long while police occasionally organised
    escorted convoys to ease the congestion.
    REUTERS
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  4. #4
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post

    SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - The worst bush fires in a generation
    raged out of control around Sydney on Friday, forcing hundreds of
    people to flee their homes as firefighters struggled to contain the
    towering flames.
    The fires claimed their second victim as the body of a
    71-year-old was found in a trailer surrounded by burned-out
    bushland northwest of Sydney.
    Strong, hot winds fanned more than 60 fires around Australia's
    largest city, including one in a park just six miles from downtown.
    Water bombing helicopters plunged into plumes of choking gray smoke
    to douse fires that lapped around back yards of homes to the north,
    south and west of Sydney.
    After crossing a major highway north of Sydney and a river, the
    flames dived into inaccessible forests that lead to Sydney's leafy
    and affluent northern suburbs.
    "That has caused some significant problems because now we are
    going to have to chance down into the bush areas to try and contain
    that fire," fire service spokesman John Winter told Australian
    Broadcasting Corp. radio.
    An intense blaze sprang up in the Blue Mountains, 55 miles west
    of Sydney, late Thursday, destroying one home and forcing hundreds
    of evacuations.
    At least 19 homes have been lost since the fires erupted two
    days ago and 173,000 acres of bush land have been devoured by some
    79 fires burning across New South Wales state.
    Police said they tried Thursday to reach the 71-year-old man
    whose body was discovered Friday, but fierce flames beat them back.
    A 73-year-old man died of a heart attack late Wednesday.
    "The immediate environs of Sydney have probably not faced a
    threat like this for 20 to 30 years," said New South Wales state
    Rural Fire Service Commissioner Phil Koperberg. "We're going to be
    in trouble in New South Wales until it rains."
    Light rain fell Thursday night in southern Sydney, but had
    little impact on fires there.
    Meanwhile, new blazes broke out to the west and north of the
    city and quickly raced out of control in winds gusting up to 50
    mph. The fires closed major highways into Sydney, stranding
    hundreds of evening commuters who were forced to take shelter.
    Firefighters have been warning for months that Sydney faced a
    devastating bush fire season over the hot Southern Hemisphere
    summer. The city and much of New South Wales state has been in the
    grip of a devastating drought for months.
    But some of the blazes were caused by arson.
    Police said they arrested an 18-year-old student and charged him
    with starting one of the fires on Wednesday.
    Others are believed to have been started by people tossing
    cigarette butts out of car windows - an offense officials said
    could draw a 14-year prison sentence.
    Bob Crowley, who has lived in Dural, northwest Sydney, for 15
    years, watched in horror and amazement as flames swept over his
    home but left it virtually unscathed.
    "All of a sudden the wind blew a big fire storm over the top.
    Everyone was running for their lives. We are just lucky the wind
    changed and saved us," he said. "My skin was burning as I was
    running. I have never been scared in my life like that."
    Prime Minister John Howard offered the nation's defense forces
    to help battle the blazes, as a pall of gray smoke drifted over
    downtown Sydney, a sprawling city of 4 million.
    Fire commissioner Koperberg said he would draft firefighters
    from other states to relieve their exhausted colleagues, whose
    heroism he praised. "The saves have been quite incredible," he
    said. "The men and women on the ground today have performed
    miraculously."
    About 200 firefighters from other states arrived in Sydney early
    Friday to help battle the flames.
    Sandra Johansen said she, her husband and a friend were trapped
    in their home while five firefighters who'd pulled up to help them
    were prevented from leaving their truck by a ring of flames.
    All were saved by two more firefighters.
    "They are our guardian angels - they saved all of our lives,"
    Johansen said on television Thursday as she stood in front of the
    smoldering remains of her home.
    Viewers also saw Christine Lamont from the southern Sydney
    suburb of Sandy Point watch her home of 28 years go up in flames.
    "Nothing at all, I have got nothing," she said.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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