Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby stepbystep » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 4:01 pm

north-north-west wrote:
stepbystep wrote:Latest mapping shows the fire working west along the Gordon Gorge and over Dome Hill.

?????
Do you mean Great Dome, or is there something down there unofficially named Dome Hill?

ListMap shows the hill to the SW of Wright is named Dome Hill. In the pic I posted it's the high ground in front of The Thumbs. Current mapping also shows it's nearly on Great Dome...
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby north-north-west » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 4:42 pm

Well gee golly gosh, so it is. They really need to do something about this duplication of names. It's *&%$#! confusing.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Tortoise » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 4:52 pm

Very sad I'll never get to see the area as it was. We often say 'it'll still be there' if we have to postpone a trip. But that's not actually always the case. :(
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby RicktheHuman » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 5:26 pm

Interestingly, Chapmans notes on the Denison Range shows a picture of Rhona's beach with the slopes behind burnt. Does anyone have any idea on when the pic was taken?
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby stepbystep » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 6:46 pm

RicktheHuman wrote:Interestingly, Chapmans notes on the Denison Range shows a picture of Rhona's beach with the slopes behind burnt. Does anyone have any idea on when the pic was taken?

Rhona was badly burned in 1982 when a controlled burn went out of control. Many of the pine stags evident now were killed in that event.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 7:06 pm

stepbystep wrote:
north-north-west wrote:
stepbystep wrote:Latest mapping shows the fire working west along the Gordon Gorge and over Dome Hill.

?????
Do you mean Great Dome, or is there something down there unofficially named Dome Hill?

ListMap shows the hill to the SW of Wright is named Dome Hill. In the pic I posted it's the high ground in front of The Thumbs. Current mapping also shows it's nearly on Great Dome...


Great Dome, according to LIST is West of Rhona

GreatDome.PNG
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versus Dome Hill

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby bushwalker zane » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 7:27 pm

stepbystep wrote: I do hope it's not lost...this is pretty hard to watch unfold on a computer screen :(

I agree, SBS. It feels strange to be a remote bystander to this destruction of a place we all hold so dear, and not being able do do much in the way of help.

By the looks of the fire map, all the area to the left of the Gordon in this photo is burnt. Let's hope it doesn't jump the river...
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby devoswitch » Wed 09 Jan, 2019 8:25 pm

By looking at the fire map now am I correct in assuming that Lake Rhona has been completely burnt?
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Rabid K9 » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 12:46 am

http://www.bushfirecrc.com/sites/defaul ... _sizel.pdf

Some very interesting analysis of the 2012/13 fire events, with obviously the Giblin fire being particularly relevant in both circumstance & terrain.

A couple of key take home paragraphs:

"The Giblin River fire was started by lightning early-afternoon on 03/01/13. During this storm, it is probable that about 0.6 mm of rain fell over the fireground. The fire was first reported mid-afternoon on 03/01/13 and at about 15:00 was reported to be 1 to 2 ha in size and burning slowly.12 No attempts were made to suppress the fire at this time owing to the fire’s remoteness, the difficulty of performing effective suppression, the lack of fire suppression resources due to other fires and the very low probability of fire suppression operations being effective." (Pg 30)

"During the major fire run of the Giblin River fire on 04–05/01/13, the Soil Dryness Index (SDI) at the fireground was about 12. The relationships published in Marsden- Smedley et al. (1999) predict that at this level of SDI, only buttongrass moorland and wet scrub should be dry enough to carry fire. Post-fire assessment indicates that only very limited areas of eucalypt forest and no rainforest were burnt (Figure 41)." (Pg 49) (Auspiciously the 04/01 was the major fire run day, to date for the Gell fire)

"The southeast movement of the Giblin River fire was checked by a recent planned burn (Gunfight Creek planned burn performed April 2011) on its southern boundary and wet forest and rainforest on its southeast boundary. The fire then continued to burn up the Spring and Crossing River valleys towards the northeast, mostly as a flank fire." (Pg 32) (With milder current conditions, likely the Gell fire is behaving more as a flank fire, with lower intensity at present, although obviously with unfavourable conditions, can rapidly develop into faster moving, high energy head fire)

"The critical findings from this assessment of fire-suppression resource requirements relate to the importance of:
• early response with adequate resource levels,
• effective mop-up and patrol, and
• the identification of the conditions where suppression is not going to be
effective.
This assessment indicates that where there are adequate resources available to suppress fires (e.g. as occurred during the Butlers Hill, Freshwater Lagoon and Gretna fires), effective suppression can be performed, even under adverse conditions. It also underlines the importance of effective mop-up and patrol following fire knockdown.
Another major finding is that under extreme fire conditions (i.e. high to very high levels of fire danger and extreme levels of C-Haines), effective suppression of running fires will frequently not be feasible, and fire management agencies need to be prepared to pull back and put all available resources into protecting life and property."
(Pg 58)

Obviously, this event is significant & affecting areas of very high natural value, which many of us hold dear, but rational scientific consideration & context has to be given to both fire behaviour & history within the Southwest, Wild Rivers & adjoining areas.

Basically, all is not lost.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Nuts » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 6:28 am

SDI, that was the acronym I was thinking of. We didn't 'seem' to have a long lead up of dry hot days? It would be helpful to get a close up look at the creek and lake verges and the fragile species transition zone (in a positive frame of mind). Still, removing those walkers x2 indicates planning didn't work out. Was it always planned to let the fire burn itself out. It's probably relevant that/if the 1982 fire was an errant burn-off to future plans. Concerning, no easy or restful answers.
"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Grindelwalddave » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 6:47 am

Rainfall since 9 am yesterday: Salvation Creek 7.4 mm, Tim Shea 5.6 mm, Strathgordon 6.8 mm - handy falls but maybe not enough
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby potato » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 7:31 am

Rabid K9 wrote: Basically, all is not lost.


Not lost but with increasing fire occurrence and intensity due to climate change, will we see changes to the vegetative/habitat structure. For instance, more fires will increase the potential for the erosion of the buttongrass moorland soils which will change the groundwater dynamics of those systems. Imagine the areas like the Sodden Loddens with a great gully down the centre of it draining the once sodden plains.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 8:11 am

devoswitch wrote:By looking at the fire map now am I correct in assuming that Lake Rhona has been completely burnt?


I would say no - Rhona to the west of the lake still appears unburnt in the latest satellite imagery. There may have been some burning creeping around near Reeds Peak. Over the next few days you may see the edge of the fire boundary get more and more detailed as crews walk the edges (with gps) mopping up.

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby north-north-west » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 9:01 am

Nuts wrote:SDI, that was the acronym I was thinking of. We didn't 'seem' to have a long lead up of dry hot days?

No, but we have had a succession of years with below average useful rainfall. The ground in the SW is much drier than usual, creeks and other water sources are low.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Overlandman » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 12:11 pm

ABC update

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-10/ ... r/10704964

Wouldn’t want to be the pilot of the unidentifiable helicopter
CASA won’t be impressed.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Nuts » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 12:54 pm

north-north-west wrote:
Nuts wrote:SDI, that was the acronym I was thinking of. We didn't 'seem' to have a long lead up of dry hot days?

No, but we have had a succession of years with below average useful rainfall. The ground in the SW is much drier than usual, creeks and other water sources are low.


There hasn't been a lot of sustained winter or spring rain. hmm.. Last summer appeared fairly mild. I wonder though where the SDi is at and what is informing decisions. Are they based on science or science purely hampered by funding/politics. Or do fire managers themselves think this is acceptable loss..

No use frigging around with rake hoes and beater sticks, a dedicated satellite and rapid response mega tanker... i'm sure those beating the '90 mile' fire front know exactly on what scale control would ideally take. I hear the heli-tanker loads barely hit the ground over any substantial flame front?
"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Warin » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 1:19 pm

Nuts wrote:No use frigging around with rake hoes and beater sticks, a dedicated satellite and rapid response mega tanker...


Trade offs ...
How much damage will a mega tankers drop of water/fire retardant do
compare to
damage done by the fire?

I think the fire wins on the damage front. There is a local near me 'went to see them fight the fire' .. and got his arm broke by the fall of water from a chopper... dumb *&%$#!. So the drop of water is fairly damaging.
I assume the fire retardant does not do much harm ... think water would be better myself.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 1:24 pm

sorry just realised it was posted earlier

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-10/ ... r/10704964
That looks like a pad.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby stepbystep » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 1:39 pm

From Nick McKim's office today...read the UFU's attached letter to the minister!

Media Release: State Government rejected trial for rapid response team for wilderness fires
January 10, 2019
The Tasmanian Government needs to explain why it rejected a proposed trial for a rapid response team for wilderness fires, Greens Senator for Tasmania Nick McKim says.
“Minister Ferguson had ample opportunity to implement the United Firefighters’ Union’s (UFU) proposal for a trial this summer of rapid response teams for remote area fires,” Senator McKim said.
“The UFU proposed a cost-neutral trial to hit remote area fires hard and early, which is the best way to extinguish them or minimise damage.”
“This may have created greater capacity for a stronger initial response to the Lake Gell fire.”
“The proposal was comprehensive, and cost-neutral, and it beggars belief that it was not accepted at least for a trial.”
“Minister Ferguson has some serious explaining to do.”
Letter from the UFU to Minister Ferguson attached below.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 2:27 pm

Updated boundaries around Lake Rhona today.

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 2:32 pm

stepbystep wrote:From Nick McKim's office today...read the UFU's attached letter to the minister!


Both TFS and PWS have staff capable of quick activation, indeed on many occasions they sit at the airport waiting to go or get pre-deployed to known hot spots or areas where its considered they may be required.

Does anyone know where we can get the documents they mention in the letter? Wild Fires Response Capability?
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 4:34 pm

bushwalker zane wrote: It feels strange to be a remote bystander to this destruction of a place we all hold so dear, and not being able do do much in the way of help.


Join your local brigade - they are always looking for fresh recruits. Never know, you might even get to go to some of these remote fires.

For interest - here are the lightning strikes in the last 24 hours in NSW - Imagine trying to triage that lot and assigning priorities.

All the information I am passing here is publicly available if you know where to look.

NSWLightning.PNG
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby bushwalker zane » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 4:44 pm

tastrax wrote:
Join your local brigade - they are always looking for fresh recruits. Never know, you might even get to go to some of these remote fires.


This, along with joining the SES, is on top of my list for when I finally have a settled home as opposed to being on the move often.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 5:47 pm

Well done Zane - I just wish more folks would give back to their communities in some way. It will be a great experience.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Nuts » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 6:10 pm

Nov 3rd, dodging bullets. 'Fast and hard' sounds like a great movie title :(

Screen Shot 2019-01-10 at 7.01.23 pm.png
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby Overlandman » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 9:36 pm

That’s a lot of hits Nuts
Surprised that there were not more fires.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 10:11 pm

Depends if its dry lightning. Many Tasmanian thunderstorms precede a cold front so many hits get rained on however this is changing. Its a matter of interpreting both the weather and the hit maps.

You can get guest access to lightning strikes here - http://firewatch-pro.landgate.wa.gov.au/home.php

Some Tasmanian agencies have increased access which gives them more capabilities.
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 7:00 am

Looks like some of Gordonvale was missed by the fire

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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby monte » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 10:29 am

So the sentinel site is not showing any hotspots now... not sure what that means
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Re: Gell River Fire - Lake Rhona Region

Postby tastrax » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 11:56 am

monte wrote:So the sentinel site is not showing any hotspots now... not sure what that means


Lets hope it stays that way...sentinel wont always show small fires.

Check out this document for a bit more about the accuracy and limitations (Page 7) - https://files.sentinel.ga.gov.au/docume ... onv1_4.pdf

There is often a 'hotspot' at Bell Bay, Georgetown, the Comalco smelter. I also treat any mass plot in a regular grid pattern as slightly spurious. This can often happen on cloudy days (like yesterday, if you were watching).
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