FW: Fires update

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: FW: Fires update
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 17:21:58 +1100
Thanks Russell and all,
As far as I know, so far, there have been 419 houses lost in Canberra. That was the count this morning. It appears that 6 of these belong to COG members (but is a preliminary count). At the moment, the north western suburbs are under alert, although the threat appears to be not as big now as predicted likely by this time, as at this morning. The community spirit in Canberra and surrounding rural areas is the best anywhere, and we all know impacted people.
As for Laurie's question: "I'm not sure whether the intensity is due to:
1. the pine plantations
2. the drought
3. the weather conditions at the time of the fire"

The answer is yes to all. The issue is that Duffy, the suburb worst affected, is immediately adjacent (directly over the road) from a huge pine forest that extends a long way to the west. There were cyclonic winds that blew the fires into the suburbs. The wind blew over many trees and blew in house windows apparently well ahead of the arrival of the fire. By contrast, Kambah and now the areas of concern in the north west of the city are mostly adjacent to drought-affected open native woodland and grassland. The problem is far from over at this stage. The ACT Chief Minister is now on the radio and talked about the city being under seige - but most are coping OK.
-----Original Message-----
From: Russell Woodford <>
To: <>
Date: Tuesday, 21 January 2003 16:18
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] FW: Fires

Some people have been asking about Philip Veerman who lives in Canberra.   I received this message from him a few minutes ago (I haven't been online for a couple of days).



--- Original Message ---
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Sent: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 10:55:14 +1100
To: <>
Subject: Fires

Saturday afternoon was scarey out this way. There are  many COG (Canberra Ornithologists Group) members and friends in the worst fire affected areas. Hopefully they escaped the worst.

So far I am fine. I have a lot of friends in the worst fire affected areas, suburbs of Duffy, Weston, etc. are about 8 km away. I don't know specifically of who was and wasn't directly impacted (well we all are, some just indirectly) but the chance that I don't have friends who have lost property is pretty remote. We had several hundred houses burned down in bushfires in Canberra. The nearest about 1 km from my place. From where I was at home, I wouldn't have know whether fires were 100 m away or 10 km away but it was hot, dark (almost like night time) at 4.00 pm with a great noise from the fires. During the day, I couldn't see Mt Taylor and Urambi Hills, which are the reserve areas on the north east south west boundaries of Kambah (my suburb). At night, they were clearly burning throughout the whole length of these reserves. Yesterday I had helicopters constantly flying over (and I can hear at least one now), presumably taking water from Tuggeranong Lake. I was raking my law
n for a escape route, clearing the roof, clearing the roof of the carport, making a start on one neighbour's property's roof, etc.

Power was off here for 27 hours.

At 1 am Sunday morning there were Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos calling and flying around my place. They or others of their kind were still here throughout the morning. It was really noticeable that there were lots of birds around here today. Nothing I haven't had before but in numbers and presence quite abnormal for mid summer or that haven't been here for weeks. Including Gang-gang Cockatoo, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos, 1 Satin Bowerbird, about 6 King-Parrots, 2 Brown Thornbills, White-naped Honeyeater, 1 Golden (& pair of Rufous) Whistlers, 1 Dollarbird, 1 Brown Falcon, far bigger flocks of Galahs & S-c Cockatoos than usual.

I sure hope that today & tomorrow is better than Saturday.



Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • FW: Fires update, Philip A. Veerman <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU