A couple of years ago Australian firefighters were sent over to the US to help deal with raging forest fires. They have also assisted the Kiwis on occasions, and I note that those efforts are being reciprocated. Firemen from all over the country are heading to Victoria, where many interstate crews are already there. From the “Oregon News”: -
In 2000, as Oregon trained Oregon National Guard troops to fight a rash of wildfires, fire officials in the Northwest sent for 20 fire crew bosses from Australia to bolster the thin ranks of professional crew bosses. In 2002, about 50 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand joined Northwest crews fighting the Biscuit fire in southern Oregon.New Zealand is sending 100 firefighters and Singapore has offered a fleet of Super Puma helicopters. Other countries to offer practical help include Turkey, Thailand, France and Indonesia, which has offered assistance with disaster victim identification.
During Australia's 2003 fire season, 36 firefighters from five U.S. agencies and one infrared-equipped aircraft were sent to Victoria to fight fires. Average deployment is about 30 days.
"Australia has greatly helped the U.S. a number of times over the past decade when we had needs for particular firefighting skills, and if we can reciprocate, we will be glad to do so," Frederick said.
Thanks to all of you.
Meanwhile there is a disturbing report in the “Age,” indicating that some Islamist groups have urged the lighting of forest fires in a number of countries including here. While it is known that a number of the fires were deliberate acts of arson, it must be stressed that there is no evidence that this is the case in this instance. We have plenty of our own home grown loonies.
AUSTRALIA has been singled out as a target for "forest jihad" by a group of Islamic extremists urging Muslims to deliberately light bushfires as a weapon of terror.The greenie moonbats are now deservedly copping flack over their responsibility for the laws, which prevent landholders from taking reasonable precautions to prevent fires. Clearing of underbrush, which carries the fires and aids the ignition by embers of fires hundreds of meters from the fire front is a good protective measure. Some states ban fuel reduction burning all together.
US intelligence channels earlier this year identified a website calling on Muslims in Australia, the US, Europe and Russia to "start forest fires", claiming "scholars have justified chopping down and burning the infidels' forests when they do the same to our lands".
The website, posted by a group called the Al-Ikhlas Islamic Network, argues in Arabic that lighting fires is an effective form of terrorism justified in Islamic law under the "eye for an eye" doctrine.
The posting - which instructs jihadis to remember "forest jihad" in summer months - says fires cause economic damage and pollution, tie up security agencies and can take months to extinguish so that "this terror will haunt them for an extended period of time". ……
The left claim that this practice destroys forests, but the facts are that regular cyclic burning of a controlled nature in the cooler months, does not kill the forest. Over the years I have worked in some of the no burn areas, and the sheer volume of dry material on the ground is frightening. One of the serious problems which arose this time were the high winds blowing embers far ahead of the fires, igniting material on the ground and throwing up more embers.
This is the reason why so many survivors are reporting that they thought they were safe, then suddenly the fire was on them.
It is ironic that one story to emerge is that the home of one couple who were fined $100,00 for clearing undergrowth near their home last year without a Council permit was the ONLY home to survive in their village.