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Yarloop Bush Fire - Heritage Railways - The Prototype. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2016 04:44 am
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Chiefnerd
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Bad news.

Unconfirmed reports state that the Yarloop Museum has been destroyed.

http://www.yarloopworkshops.com.au/

The heritage-listed Workshops had been the most intact example of a historical railway workshop in Australia.

"... 95 homes destroyed. As well as the homes, the hotel, the 110-year-old Yarloop Workshops and Steam Museum, the heritage doctor's residence and most of the school were all destroyed by the out-of-control blaze which has burnt out more than 58,000 hectares since being sparked by lightning on Wednesday... "

Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/01/07/02/03/emergency-bushfire-warning-issued-for-township-of-waroona-in-wa#kfVQVWjZju61yVbP.99

Andrew

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 Posted: Sat Jan 9th, 2016 07:43 am
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Marty
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Yup.... It's gone from all accounts that I've read/heard. Still waiting for the official word but it's not good.

Last time I was there my friends and I talked about how the 100 year old timber buildings were tinder dry and that a fire in them would be devastating.

The timber mills in the surrounding hills that the railway workshops served were almost all destroyed by bushfires, sometimes several times over, in the previous century. The workshops surviving due to their location on the coastal plain surrounded by farmland.


While I still have my fingers crossed, I doubt that anything other than a direct hit from a water bomber just as the firestorm passed through the town could have saved it this time. Certainly the station and the hotel are gone and the workshops were just the other side of the tracks from the station.


They say it took 7 mins for the fire to sweep though, destroying over 100 timber homes and businesses as it went.


The pattern makers shed was a thing of beauty. Beautifully cut and carved wooden patterns for wheels and cogs and pins and spikes piled up on shelves ready for instant use should someone wish to cast a replacement part by pouring molten metal in a wet sand mould.

Now just fuel for the fire. So sad.

Marty



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 Posted: Sun Jan 10th, 2016 03:43 pm
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Petermac
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One wonders what's going on today ......:roll:

Is it a lack of care or comprehension of risk because "Elf and Softy" now tell us where the risks are so we don't need to think for ourselves, a lack of proper forward funding or simply a big change in nature ?

During the 100 year history of Yarloop, there must have been many bush fires, long dry periods leaving timber buildings vulnerable and other potentially "dangerous" situations, to say nothing of the fire risk from the steam locomotives themselves, and yet it survived. 

On this occasion, nature won - as she always does - or maybe mankind lost.  In UK, the recent floods carried away a 250 year old road bridge I knew very well, in spite of it having survived almost annual flooding for as long as I can remember.

Are we doing something wrong today or is mother nature really turning nasty.................?   I may be slightly cynical, but I suspect a lack of financial investment isn't too far away from these catastrophies :hmm



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 Posted: Sun Jan 10th, 2016 05:26 pm
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Gwiwer
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Friends live just down the road and have watched the fire in case they need to get out. Some very significant losses in WA and comparable perhaps with the Victorian fires of 2009 which all but erased the townships of Kinglake and Marysville from the map. Though by good fortune there has not been the loss of life this time which occurred in Victoria.

These bushfires are in the natural order of events; this one was started by lightning. Some are deliberately lit or accidentally started by human action such as carelessly discarding a cigarette butt.

I know Marty has more training in this subject than I do. I view these things from the standpoint of an outsider with only 16 years residency in Australia. What I see is human interference in the past 250 or so years with nature's long-established pattern of fire-borne regeneration of the bush. Man has moved in and has taken a liking to country life; we have built (often timber or timber-framed) homes in fire-prone bush lands before reaching an understanding of fire behaviour.

That is not to say that those who have lost everything have themselves to blame - far from it. Probably everyone living in a bush house or country town these days is aware of the risks and should have a fire plan. Firefighters will concentrate on asset protection when homes are threatened but are unable to save everything.

Indigenous elders and experienced land managers that I know will tell you a fire cannot be put out until it is ready. It will burn and expand until it has had enough. Fire is part of nature and is considered to be a living being.

Fires may be becoming more catastrophic but there are insufficient records to establish whether this is a new phenomenon or part of a cyclic pattern. It is possible that farming introduced by the white settlers has modified the vegetation to such an extent that when fires arise they are more severe than might otherwise be the case.

My thoughts are with anyone directly affected by this fire. And of course we are barely into the highest danger period. It's hot and most of the continent is dry. There may yet be catastrophic fires almost anywhere in the southern part of the country. Already one has decimated two small towns along the Great Ocean Road and caused Christmas Day evacuations at Wye River and Separation Creek. Well over 100 homes have been lost; the road itself has been very quickly re-opened as it's the main holiday period and there has bee pressure from the local communities to get it opened; currently there are police-enforced no-stopping zones through the burnt out areas.



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 Posted: Sun Jan 10th, 2016 06:05 pm
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Spurno
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Petermac wrote:
Are we doing something wrong today or is mother nature really turning nasty.................?   I may be slightly cynical, but I suspect a lack of financial investment isn't too far away from these catastrophies :hmm


Not cynical Peter and you are correct i think.A recent news article about the Somerset levels stated that flood water was running off high ground as it should due to the rivers being dredged after last years floods.Previously the rivers had not been dredged for years possibly due to the councils losing funding from the Government so they had to make savings somewhere.Ultimately a problem caused by the Government which could have been avoided.It's about time this Government spent some money on it's own country instead of propping up everyone elses.



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 Posted: Sun Jan 10th, 2016 11:41 pm
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Silver Fox
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as an ex-merchant seaman I always seen dredgers working in the rivers then the ships stopped and so did the dredgers,it doesn`t take long for a river to silt up and become half as deep as it was,I have always said dig down not build up,but now it is not P C to,  it might disdurb the little creatures, well they have been destroyed with sewage etc now,
:thumbs;-):cool:
Owen



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 Posted: Tue Jan 12th, 2016 05:51 pm
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jakesdad13
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I was watching a program about the change in the worlds weather the other night and it seems that things are changing and not for the better, as the polar ice cap melts there is less snow and ice to reflect the suns rays so the ground warms and there is even less ice and so it go,s, the jet stream has altered the way it circulates around the globe which causes weather patterns to change, where weather was changeable as here in the UK it now stays put, so when we get wet weather it remains for a long time, the same with extreme-for us- cold, that stays for several weeks, this must have knock on effects for the entire planet, look at Indonesia and the number of deaths caused by flooding there! as the presenter of the program said, its starting to look like it is going to be the norm for the future, and it scares the crap out of me for my lad and his family to come.


Pete. 



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it was already on fire when I got here, honest!
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 Posted: Wed Jan 13th, 2016 05:29 am
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Gwiwer
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What makes "fire weather" and what makes parts of Australia so hot?

The interior is a vast desert virtually uninhabitable by Man and formed of sand, rock and a little scrub. It acts as a heat-sink. Temperatures in remote areas can be above 50C.

Winds blow from this desert to areas of lower atmospheric pressure which, typically is towards the southern coastline which is cooled by the influence of the vast Southern Ocean. The only land beyond Australia is Antarctica.

Native eucalypts require fire as part of their reproductive cycle. Native and imported grasses dry out and burn readily.

The strength of the north wind is often concentrated ahead of a cold front sweeping in from the ocean meaning the hottest days can also be bringers of a northerly gale. That rips the moisture from your skin if you're outside.

Check out this screenshot taken moments ago for Melbourne. Note how suddenly the temperature rises as the sun get going. Compare that against the drop in relative humidity - which actually isn't bad for a north wind currently and I've seen it as low as 3% - and the direction of the wind as it picks up from calm.

You can come back and see the effect of the "cool change" later as well as that's expected in around 9 hours time.



http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDV60901/IDV60901.95936.shtml



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