Australian bushfires help

Andrea82

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I doubt I'd be able to even carry that weight in kit. It just astounds me how firefighters have to work and they are true heroes to me. Wearing and carrying PPE that will exhaust you and make you sweat bucket loads, then going into extreme heat, while trying to stay alive and save others. And all the other things they do, pulling people out of collapsed buildings, car accidents, the list goes on. I don't know how they do it. I can't thank you and your colleagues all over the world, enough. Truly amazing and heroic every single one of you.
And in Australia they don't even have the chance to cool off immediately coming out of a fire because it's 40C summer temperatures :eek:
 

The Snark

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how firefighters have to work
It's ... fun! ? Lots of people have tried to describe what you are feeling but without the adrenaline high pumping it's all words that make little sense. One guy I heard came close, grinning: "It's sort of like combat without the bullets." Team effort. Coming face to face with yourself. Putting all that body building and getting in shape to ultimate practical use. Pushing your limits and finding reserves you didn't know you have - not once but over and over. Really learning to pace yourself.
Back person on a hose, some huge burly guy on the nozzle. Hose is pushing against you at 100-150 PSI. It weighs ~200 lbs every fifty feet and without you it can't be moved and the front person can't control it. So you just hang on and tandem. And this goes on and on without let up. Hands and arms were cramping then you can't feel them or the pain, and you just keep pushing, keep going. Time stands still. maybe a few minutes, maybe an hour - 2 hours, you can't tell. You can't relax, can't take a break, it's all up to the nozzle. When you do get a break you discover your arms have turned into rubber. Can barely get the water bottle to your mouth. And all you can think of is wanting to get back on that hose again. Or thinking of getting back to swinging a brush axe and getting your arms working again.
As for being in shape: reporting for duty and someone remarked, "Let's put the old man on a truck." I was 27 in prime condition. 5 days on the Red Box fire delivering meals and supplies. That was fun and interesting in a way. I had all the radios and for the first time I was able to take in the larger picture of what was going on. Fascinating. Like finding yourself as a piece in the middle of a 3D chess game.

And in Australia they don't even have the chance to cool off immediately coming out of a fire because it's 40C summer temperatures
Snerk. Decisions decisions. You got one bottle of water left. Drink it or pour it down your neck? Down wind of a fire, let's talk gusts of 60C or more.
 
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Andrea82

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It's ... fun! ? Lots of people have tried to describe what you are feeling but without the adrenaline high pumping it's all words that make little sense. One guy I heard came close, grinning: "It's sort of like combat without the bullets." Team effort. Coming face to face with yourself. Putting all that body building and getting in shape to ultimate practical use. Pushing your limits and finding reserves you didn't know you have - not once but over and over. Really learning to pace yourself.
Back person on a hose, some huge burly guy on the nozzle. Hose is pushing against you at 100-150 PSI. It weighs ~200 lbs every fifty feet and without you it can't be moved and the front person can't control it. So you just hang on and tandem. And this goes on and on without let up. Hands and arms were cramping then you can't feel them or the pain, and you just keep pushing, keep going. Time stands still. maybe a few minutes, maybe an hour - 2 hours, you can't tell. You can't relax, can't take a break, it's all up to the nozzle. When you do get a break you discover your arms have turned into rubber. Can barely get the water bottle to your mouth. And all you can think of is wanting to get back on that hose again. Or thinking of getting back to swinging a brush axe and getting your arms working again.
As for being in shape: reporting for duty and someone remarked, "Let's put the old man on a truck." I was 27 in prime condition. 5 days on the Red Box fire delivering meals and supplies. That was fun and interesting in a way. I had all the radios and for the first time I was able to take in the larger picture of what was going on. Fascinating. Like finding yourself as a piece in the middle of a 3D chess game.


Snerk. Decisions decisions. You got one bottle of water left. Drink it or pour it down your neck?
I'd drink half and pour half. ;)
 

The Snark

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I'd drink half and pour half.
One silly competition we had at base camp. You got a charged 2 1/2 line, maybe 175 psi. The idea is to crack the nozzle open just enough and fill a water bottle. The hose was tied to the bumper of a truck so when it got away it didn't kill a half dozen people. (It takes a team of 3-4 to wrangle a 2 1/2.)

Something that bears mentioning. It was during my stint in emergency services that misogyny got shot in the arse and I was and still am ecstatic to have seen it's demise. I think the general IQ of US FFs went up 20 points.

Taking a break. Pulling my gloves off. Gal next to me points out I was bleeding. Thumbnail half ripped off. No idea when that happened or how. Sitting there looking stupidly at my hand as she razzed me. "Idiot! Macho man! Big dumb male." I told her "Hey nursey, fix my boo boo." She grabbed her brush axe. "No problem!" Had to put up with her giggling through the rest of that fire.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/12/world/aboriginal-australia-fire-trnd/index.html

Come to think of it, the natives of southern Calif used to burn the area. The LA basin in the native language was called 'The Valley of Smoke(s)' due to their burning and a natural inversion layer that sits over the area nearly year round.
 
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Arthroverts

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Yeah, people complain about the LA Basin always being smoggy due to pollution but even the Native Americans called it a smoky area, so it's always been that way it seems.

Anyway, back to Australia.
What I am hearing is that habitat restoration is the most important thing that will help after these fires. Maybe, about 3-6 months after the fires have been put/burned out (let it be soon), we can all come back together and contribute $10/equal equivalent (doesn't have to be that amount) to habitat restoration efforts or maybe even enthusiasts working to repopulate areas ravaged by the fires. We could call it the Australian Habitat Restoration Project or something, and maybe even reignite the awareness of this issue. I don't know if it would work or help much, but maybe? A drop in the bucket for sure if its just us Arachnoboards people, but if even one little microhabitat could be restored...

@Andrea82, sorry for derailing the thread if you didn't want stuff like this posted here. Just trying to brainstorm.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

Andrea82

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Yeah, people complain about the LA Basin always being smoggy due to pollution but even the Native Americans called it a smoky area, so it's always been that way it seems.

Anyway, back to Australia.
What I am hearing is that habitat restoration is the most important thing that will help after these fires. Maybe, about 3-6 months after the fires have been put/burned out (let it be soon), we can all come back together and contribute $10/equal equivalent (doesn't have to be that amount) to habitat restoration efforts or maybe even enthusiasts working to repopulate areas ravaged by the fires. We could call it the Australian Habitat Restoration Project or something, and maybe even reignite the awareness of this issue. I don't know if it would work or help much, but maybe? A drop in the bucket for sure if its just us Arachnoboards people, but if even one little microhabitat could be restored...

@Andrea82, sorry for derailing the thread if you didn't want stuff like this posted here. Just trying to brainstorm.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
You're not derailing the thread at all, I think it is a wonderful idea :)
Only I have no idea how to start this up. A crowdfunding page? Or just a post asking to donate for Australia?
@Ungoliant, is this even allowed in Arachnoboards?
 

The Snark

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Apologies for wet blanket here. A something to keep in mind. The materials used -should- be able to survive a trip through an autoclave. That is, like a 5 minute stint in a pressure cooker. Burns don't kill anywhere near as often as opportunity infections that inevitably follow with devascularized tissues. No doubt many vets or trained medical care providers will be demanding the blankies or nests be sterilized, or just tossing them in the bin. Cotton is best. Some synthetics turn into goo.

Home brew sterilizing
Take the goodies and boil them for 20 minutes then with sterilized tongs drop them into a sterilized (boiled) pillow case or similar and allow to air dry. Then with the tongs, carefully drop them into NEW zip-lock bags, seal and write STERILIZED on the bags. Not perfect, but pretty darned close.
 
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Andrea82

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Apologies for wet blanket here. A something to keep in mind. The materials used -should- be able to survive a trip through an autoclave. That is, like a 5 minute stint in a pressure cooker. Burns don't kill anywhere near as often as opportunity infections that inevitably follow with devascularized tissues. No doubt many vets or trained medical care providers will be demanding the blankies or nests be sterilized, or just tossing them in the bin. Cotton is best. Some synthetics turn into goo.

Home brew sterilizing
Take the goodies and boil them for 20 minutes then with sterilized tongs drop them into a sterilized (boiled) pillow case or similar and allow to air dry. Then with the tongs, carefully drop them into NEW zip-lock bags, seal and write STERILIZED on the bags. Not perfect, but pretty darned close.
Customs departmenthas given out notice about what is needed to import all the donations. Sterilization isn't necessary, but all materials need to be clean (washed and after that rinsed with vinegar and water) and packaged into zip lock bags.
 

The Snark

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https://www.change.org/p/u-s-government-sign-to-provide-support-to-australia-s-volunteer-firefighters-petition?signed=true

This is ridiculous. Woke up a few minutes ago with those word yelling at me. There's an awful lot of people who desperately want to do something to contribute to the fire relief efforts. Always has been. Be it in the Aus bush or over in that state or almost in their back yard. Contribute something. ANYTHING.
Meanwhile the mega governments bicker and jockey for special interest groups and worry about their re-elections while real and tangible relief efforts are reduced to making rescue blankets.

Of course Average Person doesn't have the wherewithal to send over a Quick Attack or finance the trip for a volunteer FF. Their governments do but there is no available, real, functional channel of communications. At least nothing that would be heard over the screaming and yelling of special interest group lobbyists. Reduced to sending in petitions where just maybe, probably after the fact, a perfumed prince or princess may drop the nail file, blink and take notice.

A billionaire announced he was donating a couple hundred thousand $$$ to the fire fighting efforts. 2 days later same person announced he was dropping one billion $$$ into a start up business in another country.

You got a medium sized army of volunteer FFs in the US and no doubt many more in other countries who are itching to get out on those fire lines. But no wherewithal to do it. Meanwhile in Wash DC, it's all about sniveling and bitching and clawing at each other about politically correct issues that won't harm their chances of getting elected while the good Samaritans stand by, helpless and ignored.
 
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Brachyfan

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This is ridiculous. Woke up a few minutes ago with those word yelling at me. There's an awful lot of people who desperately want to do something to contribute to the fire relief efforts. Always has been. Be it in the Aus bush or over in that state or almost in their back yard. Contribute something. ANYTHING.
Meanwhile the mega governments bicker and jockey for special interest groups and worry about their re-elections while real and tangible relief efforts are reduced to making rescue blankets.

Of course Average Person doesn't have the wherewithal to send over a Quick Attack or finance the trip for a volunteer FF. Their governments do but there is no available, real, functional channel of communications. At least nothing that would be heard over the screaming and yelling of special interest group lobbyists. Reduced to sending in petitions where just maybe, probably after the fact, a perfumed prince or princess may drop the nail file, blink and take notice.

A billionaire announced he was donating a couple hundred thousand $$$ to the fire fighting efforts. 2 days later same person announced he was dropping one billion $$$ into a start up business in another country.

You got a medium sized army of volunteer FFs in the US and no doubt many more in other countries who are itching to get out on those fire lines. But no wherewithal to do it. Meanwhile in Wash DC, it's all about sniveling and bitching and clawing at each other about politically correct issues that won't harm their chances of getting elected while the good Samaritans stand by, helpless and ignored.
And that is why I believe politicians should have a one term limit and no pay.
 

The Snark

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And that is why I believe politicians should have a one term limit and no pay.
Naw. Dig deeper. Application for political office (in the US) must include proof that they have walked the length of the Pacific Crest, Great Divide and Appalachia trails alone. They have spent at least 6 months homeless and without money, planted 10,000 trees and have done 100,000 hours of community service unpaid and unrecognized. Religious affiliations must be limited to pagan rituals. For a start. Term limitations should include on the wrong end of a noose and buried alive under a hog pen.
 
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Brachyfan

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Naw. Dig deeper. Application for political office (in the US) must include proof that they have walked the length of the Pacific Crest, Great Divide and Appalachia trails alone. They have spent at least 6 months homeless and without money, planted 10,000 trees and have done 100,000 hours of community service unpaid and unrecognized. Religious affiliations must be limited to pagan rituals. For a start. Term limitations should include on the wrong end of a noose and buried alive under a hog pen.
Or bring back ostracization as the greek founders of democracy had in place. Stripped citizenship and exile.
 

Ungoliant

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Only I have no idea how to start this up. A crowdfunding page? Or just a post asking to donate for Australia?
@Ungoliant, is this even allowed in Arachnoboards?
I checked with the administrators, and they say this is not allowed on Arachnoboards.
 

Andrea82

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I checked with the administrators, and they say this is not allowed on Arachnoboards.
Yes, I had a feeling this was the case.

Alright, for anyone interested in helping Australian wildlife (and perhaps firefighters, @The Snark?) you're welcome to pm me. ;)

For wildlife, you can contact the Australian Animal Rescue organization via
http://www.australiananimalrescue.org.au/
Any donations made are distributed more or less even between local organisations.
I'm still trying to get to local reptile rescue centers, but it is chaos with millions of people wanting to help.

Want to help the Fire Brigades?
Go here:
https://www.minderoo.com.au/fire-fund/?utm_campaign=USA&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy_z1272I5wIViOF3Ch1e4AM4EAAYASAAEgLpI_D_BwE
 

RezonantVoid

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Some pictures of burnt out areas near me and scorched Arbanitis sp. burrows. Not a very pleasant sight. The white outline on the ground is a tree that burnt completely down to nothing but white ash. One Arbanitis burrow was sealed but still i only found charred exoskeletons inside 20200113_130321.jpg 20200113_112755.jpg 20200113_112731.jpg 20200113_112713.jpg 20200113_111202.jpg
 

The Snark

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The white outline on the ground is a tree that burnt completely down to nothing but white ash.
Bottom to top. Worst of the worst. It's a chance for you to do surveys of recoveries. Since the former ecosystem is essentially destroyed, it's a starting over scenario. Opportunity life will come in, established, get displaced and so on. An entirely new circle of life. Also, see what if anything can make use of the charcoal and see what life develops on the new detritus. Especially note what fungi had surviving spores.
 

Crone Returns

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Some pictures of burnt out areas near me and scorched Arbanitis sp. burrows. Not a very pleasant sight. The white outline on the ground is a tree that burnt completely down to nothing but white ash. One Arbanitis burrow was sealed but still i only found charred exoskeletons inside View attachment 332619 View attachment 332620 View attachment 332621 View attachment 332622 View attachment 332623
I don't know you did that. The carnage woil
Some pictures of burnt out areas near me and scorched Arbanitis sp. burrows. Not a very pleasant sight. The white outline on the ground is a tree that burnt completely down to nothing but white ash. One Arbanitis burrow was sealed but still i only found charred exoskeletons inside View attachment 332619 View attachment 332620 View attachment 332621 View attachment 332622 View attachment 332623
I couldn't have done that. The carnage would have sent me over.
 
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