After the Fires

Rusty Panels

Well-Known Member
We went for a bit of a run up into the escarpment near home last weekend. The December 2019 fire ravaged the area and much of the bush will never recover fully. The trees are sprouting but only around the trunk. The branches are dead. There are lots of new trees sprouting up but the chances of them developing properly are slim as well. They will be fighting to compete for sunlight and water in a few years I'd reckon.

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Many of the ridges are like this for as far as the eye can see.


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And then you come across areas like this which were totally blackened but fortunately have bounced back.

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Albynsw

Well-Known Member
I just started on a rebuild in Ksngaroo Valley of a house that was lost in the fires
It is pretty razored around here too

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Bomber2012

Well-Known Member
The Aussie bush is a resilient beast, I’ve seen areas that were fried in bushfires and a few years later you wouldn’t know a fire had been through the area. Fires in our bush are part of the regeneration process .
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
The Aussie bush is a resilient beast, I’ve seen areas that were fried in bushfires and a few years later you wouldn’t know a fire had been through the area. Fires in our bush are part of the regeneration process .
True but the intensity of some of these fires is more than what is healthy for bush regeneration
My young bloke does controlled burning up north on a station and they drop firebombs from a helicopter. When I was up there last month he lit over a thousand fires in a day from a chopper and they do it every three years
The fires burn out themselves in about 12 hours and are low heat so are good for native regeneration but the introduced species don’t cope well with it so it is a good thing
 

smitty_r51

Well-Known Member
True but the intensity of some of these fires is more than what is healthy for bush regeneration
My young bloke does controlled burning up north on a station and they drop firebombs from a helicopter. When I was up there last month he lit over a thousand fires in a day from a chopper and they do it every three years
The fires burn out themselves in about 12 hours and are low heat so are good for native regeneration but the introduced species don’t cope well with it so it is a good thing
yup, these fires burnt out a lot of the ground killing off the seeds, and the distances between the burnt and unburnt means it will take a while to migrate back in.

out of interest, how many of the house rebuilds are you seeing where they are building with bushfires in mind...we spend a fair bit of time down the south coast and most of the rebuilds are the same timber frame, brick skinned builds going back in to replace what they just lost.
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
Timber frame is fine if it is clad with a non combustible material like masonry or FC. The issue is ember attack getting into the roof and wall cavities that causes the issue
Whilst the homes may look like they are standard depending on the fire classification risk they will have a number of subtle differences that make a difference including window and fly screen selection and treatment of air vents, ember seals on garage doors etc, some will have fire shutters on all openings if they are considered to be in a flame zone
Steel frame houses are the worst option as they collapse under the heat
The house I am on is now going to be off form concrete but he is having a big spend on the build
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
The house I am on is now going to be off form concrete but he is having a big spend on the build
This is the issue many have, house burns down then with all the fire regs it costs twice as much to rebuild as it would a normal house. Just the windows alone can throw an extra 50k above normal costs to rebuild.

There is an area near me that was totally decimated in the black Saturday fires, now you would never know , it looks like it has never had a fire, I thought at the time it would never be the same again
 

Rusty Panels

Well-Known Member
Like I said before these ridges have been roasted. The problem was that the terrain is nothing but ridge, gully, ridge, gully etc etc. The fire started by lightning somewhere near the top of a ridge and then sent embers into the next gully which raced up the ridge and then more embers into the following gully and kept going. The massive fuel loads in the gullies and the fact that they are protected from wind by the ridges let them burn so hot that they just toasted everything around them. It was also the driest spell I have ever seen on the South Coast. It was only the changes in wind direction that saved anything. You can see where the fire has suddenly changed direction when the Southerly hit. That was on New Years Eve. It was around 1pm when it hit because it is what saved our area. The fire was on the ridge on the Northern side and coming our way. My wife and son were hosing embers that were dropping into our yard. I was at the Mogo fire at the time.

It was a bit late and hasn't been needed so far but I rigged up a couple of sprinklers to help protect our place if the fire was to return. I have a 240 volt pressure pump that is all set up ready to go and it sends the water all over my place and a reasonable amount of the neighbours on either side. I am having a bore put in as bore water is only about 4 metres deep here. That way if I needed to I can power the sprinklers with bore water and the generator in catastrophic conditions. Mind you I doubt whether I will live to see another fire of the same dimensions around here again.

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I attach the hose to it every now and then to flush out the bugs and spiders. The plan is to remake the whole thing out of galvanised pipe.

I also have another couple that screw to the fencing and are fed with tee pieces. We plugged the downpipes with rubber gloves stuffed with rags and filled all the guttering as well.



Sadly one mans salvation by the Southerly means problems for the people to the North!
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Too close for comfort!
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
This is the issue many have, house burns down then with all the fire regs it costs twice as much to rebuild as it would a normal house. Just the windows alone can throw an extra 50k above normal costs to rebuild.

There is an area near me that was totally decimated in the black Saturday fires, now you would never know , it looks like it has never had a fire, I thought at the time it would never be the same again
I was speaking with a sales rep for a project home mob and they were getting heaps of people coming to them with their insurance payout to rebuild and it isn’t enough to build with the current requirements
A lot of vacant blocks will get sold because they don’t have the funds to rebuild
 

smitty_r51

Well-Known Member
I was speaking with a sales rep for a project home mob and they were getting heaps of people coming to them with their insurance payout to rebuild and it isn’t enough to build with the current requirements
A lot of vacant blocks will get sold because they don’t have the funds to rebuild
we've been looking for a while from before the fires, lot of blocks that are coming up where they have lost the house and the new BAL ratings and APZ means you can't build on the block period, not even if you clear every tree from it. Lot of people with blocks of land that are now unbuildable on under the new regulations.
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
we've been looking for a while from before the fires, lot of blocks that are coming up where they have lost the house and the new BAL ratings and APZ means you can't build on the block period, not even if you clear every tree from it. Lot of people with blocks of land that are now unbuildable on under the new regulations.

There would be a few people hurting as a result but it is understandable that it has become an issue
The other aspect if you were to build would be getting insurance, it would either be very expensive or unobtainable.
A bank would be very shy lending coin if it can’t be insured
 
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