15 November 2019 - Australian bushfires destroy over 200 homes
Bushfire threatens homes on Sydney's doorstep as four blazes reach emergency level
Peter Hannam (The Sidney morning Herald, 15/11/2019)
A bushfire burning out of control at emergency level on Sydney's outskirts is spreading quickly and threatening homes, already claiming one property.
Four fires in NSW were at emergency level as of 4pm on Friday, the Rural Fire Service said, including the Gospers Mountain fire in the Hawkesbury area to Sydney's north-west.
"The Gospers Mountain fire is burning in the Hawkesbury area and is spreading very quickly," the RFS tweeted. "Spot fires are starting ahead of the main fire. The large air tanker is working in the area to protect properties."
Australia fires will not be contained for 'many weeks'
(Times of Oman, 13/11/2019)
Bushfires in eastern Australia destroyed more than 50 homes and injured 13 firefighters on Wednesday, according to officials.
150 fires were burning across the states of New South Wales and Queensland. Police ordered more mass evacuations, including the population of the popular tourist destination of Noosa, north of Brisbane. Firefighters told people to "leave immediately."
"Conditions are now very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said in a statement. "The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path."
As Australia faces more extreme weather, the nation's politics continue to fail
David Crowe (The Sydney Morning Herald, 15/11/2019)
Australians saw the power of nature to shape a political debate more than a decade ago when the rivers ran dry, the bushfire season came early and the country's politicians argued over climate change. With the 2007 federal election in sight, the nation waited to see whether the immediate threat of drought and fire would bring about a lasting shift in the electorate and a long-term response from governments.
There was a palpable sense voters were changing their minds on climate change. Prime minister John Howard agreed to an emissions trading scheme. His challenger Kevin Rudd pledged to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and meet hard targets on climate action. Observers spoke of Australians changing their attitudes "once and for all" because of the extreme conditions.
Virtual tools, real fires: how holograms and other tech could help outsmart bushfires
David Tuffley (The Conversation, 14/11/2019)
Australia continues to experience unprecedented destruction from bushfires. Now is the time to harness our technological tools, and find innovative ways to help alleviate the problem, and also prevent future disaster.
Predictive mapping has been a vital tool in an ongoing effort to identify at-risk forest areas and proactively manage the risks of fires. It works by analysing images to see what human eyes don’t always see.
Now, progress in technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), drones, and Internet of Things sensors have opened new ways for us to better prevent and effectively respond to bushfires. For this, the key is to have plenty of data relevant to that location.