Post 1(16th of January): This is the first time I have come to Canberra; it’s very humid and windy perfect for swimming. There are fires along the border of Canberra I have been told to stay away by the emergency services.

Post2 (17th of January): The fires are getting closer into the centre of Canberra they are going through the Namadgi national park. I have been speaking to the people who live nearby and burnt leaves have been appearing on their lawns. People are starting to pack things away and leave their homes for a safer place. It is expected to reach 37 degrees today.

Post3 (18th of January): Today was a horrible, terrifying day. The fires escalated. It started early this morning when I woke up to a hot, extremely windy and dry day the air temperature was reaching 40 °C. The winds are up to 60km per hour. At 9 am the winds were increasing and the humidity was almost unbearable. There are 2 main fires burning out of control one in the namadamgi national park and the other in Tidbinbilla nature reserve. By 10am there was tens of news helicopters around reporting live over the country. At 2:45 we were declared a state of emergency. I am starting to wish I choose a different time to visit. The Canberra hospital emergency department has treated 139 patients so far today due to the fire with 4 deaths. The air is orange with ash blowing through.  At 3pm most of the houses were okay. By 5pm the houses in suburbs like Duffy and Chapman were destroyed.  By 8pm a windshift to the east south east had occured and by 9pm the temperature was 23 degrees, the wind was south easterly at 24km/h and the barometric pressure was 1015 and risinf.  By 10pm the 4 emergency centres of Canberra were full luckily I got a place inside one, it is extremely crowded. The winds continued from the east and south east through the night and the fire kept going.  I hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

2003 Canberra bushfires

Post4 (19th of January): I woke up to the noise of screaming kids and anxious mothers. The emergency department told us that the fires have settled down but are still going we are allowed out but have to travel in caution. I am flying home at 10:45, I will come back in 2 months to see the recovery of the town. The amount of wreckage is expected to 500miliion to completely recover. It is going to be hard to overcome.

Below is a chart of how the fire gradually grew …

Post5 (19th of march): I now know how the fires started, on the 8th of January a thunderstorm passed the national parks of Canberra and at the time there was the worst droughts of Australia going on , when lightning struck in Canberra the fires started straight away. The impacts of the fires on the 18th of January……

It destroyed houses 530 houses  in 19 suburbs and 10500 hectares of the pine plantations where destroyed and without the actions of the emergency services the death toll and destruction of property would have been greater. The table below shows the damage and destruction caused to selected Canberra suburbs by the fire.

The infrastructure damaged or destroyed included 500 power poles, 35 electricity substations, The chhapman water reservoir.

Building damage to  Canberra suburbs caused by January 2003 fires…………….

Condition Chapman Duffy Giralang Holder Kambah Rivett Torrens
Destroyed 77 221 1 35 28 13 2
Damaged 19 11 1 1 8 0 0

It will cost 2 billion dollars to repair the damage and a lot of hard work it is estimated to take 7 years to get back to the way it was before the fires and the lives lost will never be forgotten. Many families left there homes quickly when the fires started and when they returned to there homes they where scenes of complete destruction it was the loss of all there sentimental items not just there homes.

These fires were responsible for destroying large areas of thr alpine National park in victoria.

People have done so much work in the construction of rebuilding the town it looks so much better than the day I left but so much worse than the day I first came.

Pictures ……………

                

Post 6 (bibliography) –

http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/120252/report_bushfiredoc_v2_25march2003.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Canberra_bushfires

http://www.extremeweatherheroes.org/science-of-extreme-weather/case-studies/canberra-bushfires.aspx

https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2004/181/1/emergency-response-canberra-bushfires

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