澳大利亚大火为什么就是灭不掉? Why can't the Australian fire go out? | Earth Knowledge Board

Original title: Why the Australian fire cannot be extinguished? | Earth Knowledge Board


Global Humanities and Geography

NO.1327-Australian fire

Author: yogurt foam not

Cartography: Sun Lu / Proofreader: Cat Stu / Editor: Yakult

The forest fire that has been burning in Australia for four months continues, and more than 1,400 kilometers of coastline are burning (equivalent to the northeast all the way to Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai). The area of wildfires has exceeded 72,000 square kilometers. 25 people have died and millions of hectares of forest have been destroyed. The destructive power is several times greater than that of the Amazon fire and the California fire.

Burned 91 New York City, really amazing ▼

At the height of the forest fire, Australian Prime Minister Morrison went to Hawaii for a vacation in the United States. So even after he repeatedly promised that he would try his best to help the firefighters fight the fire to make up for it, the people still did not forgive him.

But the Prime Minister is not pitiful. Poor people are the victims, the destroyed animals and plants, and the scorched earth in Australia.

Having said that, why is this mountain fire inexhaustible like a hundred episodes of serials?

Be on the water

(Photo: Jason Benz Bennee / ▼

"Blaze Weather Zone"

In the article in early December, we have explained that the fire was born in the hot and dry summer of Australia, and the environment of flammable eucalyptus trees, and it was developed in a wretched environment under the global warming environment.

The eucalyptus is gone, so is the koala

(Picture from: wikipedia @ Arnaud Gaillard) ▼

By mid-December, the forecast of the Australian weather forecast had become a reality. Most parts of the country were hit by a strong heat wave. Many places hit the hottest day on record. The average national maximum temperature was 41.9 degrees Celsius, and some areas even approached 50 degrees .

2019 is the hottest year ever in Australia

(Picture from: Australian Bureau of Meteorology) ▼

It's just hot, this spring (the spring of the southern hemisphere) is still extremely dry.

Spring 2019 is the driest season in the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's 120-year rainfall record: the average rainfall in November was about 100 milliliters in the past, but only 18 milliliters this year. This has not only affected the country's important agricultural production areas, but also contributed to the ravages of wildfires.

Recent rainfall seems to be expected to exceed the average

(Only looking forward, and the amount is far from enough)

(Picture from: Australian Bureau of Meteorology) ▼

Under the strong winds in the northwest, the fire has been burning to this day, hitting Australia's land. Although it rained on Monday to lower the fire on Australia's east coast, this is nothing but a drop in the bucket; and there are predictions that the dryness of the weather may continue to increase, and the temperature will rise again this weekend to 130 across the country. Multiple fires helped fuel.

The multi-month fire was mainly in southeastern Australia

Australia's population and forests are also concentrated in this area

(Picture from: shutter @ Anton Shahrai) ▼

Weather and climatic conditions are the basic conditions for the formation of a fire, and the interaction between fire and nature has helped to intensify the fire.

In New South Wales alone, there are still more than 60 unresolved fires. The flame height in some places can reach 70 meters and the temperature can reach 1000 degrees Celsius; the smoke and heat generated by these intense and turbulent fires can interact with the atmosphere and absorb the moisture in them to form huge rain clouds (also called "fire clouds") , Triggering weather phenomena such as thunderstorms and lightning, forming their own "small weather area".

Gale with fire

Raging in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales (near Sydney)

(Picture from shutterstock @ Jason Benz Bennee) ▼

In the movement of strong winds, these dangerous "small weather zones" can continue to spread fire through Mars, forming new ignition points, a phenomenon also known as "ember attack".

One by one, but endless

(Picture from: shutter @ elRoce) ▼

This phenomenon often causes fires to spread like epidemics, leaving guns in nearby areas. For example, on January 1st, firefighters in New South Wales encountered a fierce "ember attack" when they drove to the rescue site. A large number of sparks were scattered on the firetruck, and rescuers were quickly surrounded by flames and trapped in it.

Many firefighters have been sacrificed, this year's fire is too fierce

(Picture from: shutter @ 1234rf) ▼

At the same time, the "Fire Cloud" also collects smoke and tiny particles (aerosols) into the low-level stratosphere (similar to the phenomenon that occurs during volcanic eruptions), which seriously affects air quality.

Fire Cloud Evil God ...

(Picture from shutterstock @ PhotosWarren) ▼

Wearing a mask is really uncomfortable ...

(Picture from: shutter @ StarTiffy) ▼

Therefore, as the fire spread, Australia's air quality was affected by the wildfires and polluted other countries.

Last weekend, wildfire smoke and dust flew over the Tasman Sea and floated on the North Island of New Zealand, making the sky here orange; today (January 7), an earth satellite in the United States found that the fire smoke of Australia began to permeate South America.

Crossing the sea to New Zealand is understandable, going to South America is a bit better

(Picture from: shutter @ elRoce) ▼

Volunteers are not enough

After the fire started, the main force in fighting the fire was not the government, but tens of thousands of firefighters-but most of them were volunteers.

These volunteer firefighters have been working for several months. Some people even work 12 hours a day. The burns are countless. The pressure on them can not help but question whether this country is too dependent on volunteers.

Without volunteers, this fire can't be saved everywhere

(Picture from: Wikipedia @ Helitak430) ▼

Relying on volunteers is actually the norm. Australia is a sparsely populated country with a limited number of full-time firefighters. In the event of a large-scale fire, even the full deployment is inadequate.

In comparison, NSW has the world's largest voluntary fire service (NSW Rural Fire Service, RFS), and its power is clearly much greater.

As the world's largest voluntary fire service agency

Responsible for fire protection in 95% of New South Wales' land and Jervis Bay areas

(Picture from: wikipedia @ Bidgee) ▼

The predecessor of the institution was born in the background of frequent wildfires in NSW at the end of the 19th century. After a century of change, RFS was formed in 1997. Today it employs just under 1,000 paid employees for senior operational and administrative positions, with the main force being more than 74,000 volunteer firefighters. The total number of people in NSW is only 7.4 million. Excluding the disabled, this means that there are less than 100 people who have a fire fighting hero.

Ten steps to becoming a fire volunteer

(Picture from: NSW Rural Fire Service) ▼

As of June 30, 2018, the voluntary fire service responded to approximately 27,000 fire incidents each year and has become the main force of fire rescue.

Australia is clearly aware of the importance of this large group, and the federal government announced last week that fire rescue volunteers in New South Wales will receive thousands of dollars in compensation.

After long-term exercise, they are quite combative

(Picture from: shutter @ Saxon Vinkovic) ▼

However, considering the damage caused by the current fire to Australia and the fact that the fire season will take two months to pass, no matter how powerful the volunteers are, it is also difficult to cope with the destroyed homes. So on January 4, the Australian government finally announced the deployment Military resources help fire rescue.

Volunteers have been killed in this fire

(Picture from: twitter @ NSWRFS) ▼

Australia sent 3,000 Army reserve personnel, warships and aircraft including the country's largest HMAS Adelaide to assist with evacuation and fire fighting, and leased four additional water bombers. The most since World War II.

(Picture from: twitter @ Australian_Navy) ▼

With the help of army personnel, more than 6,000 residents and vacationers stranded in the coastal town of Mallacoota for four days due to the fire arrived in Hastings near Melbourne on Saturday after sailing for 20 hours. .

Before you leave, take another look at your home

(Malakota picture from: shutter @ Ted Perton) ▼

Executives said that this is likely to be the largest peacetime maritime rescue operation in Australian history and also a symbol of the huge challenges Australia faces in disaster control and post-disaster relief.

At this time, many domestic netizens' doubts about "why Australia did not send troops earlier" should also be answered. After all, in China, the PLA generally rushes to the front line.

On the one hand, the Australian government does have a sluggish response, slow action and insufficient attention to the disaster.

For example, the Prime Minister had a mood to take a holiday when the fire was strong, and shortened the day to return to China after the death of two volunteer firefighters and the strong public opposition. Willing to shake hands with him.

A tweet for the Prime Minister's trip to Hawaii

(Picture from: twitter @ HawaiiScoMo) ▼

On the other hand, Australia's (Federal) Work Safety Safety Act 2011 (Commonwealth) has placed restrictions on the participation of Defence Force personnel in hill fire rescue. At the time of the disaster, states and territories had primary responsibility for protecting the disaster-stricken area and relief operations, and they received limited support from the National Defense Forces when they were unable to respond.

However, the Australian Defence Force has not received professional fire training and no fire fighting equipment, so it is not appropriate to participate in direct fire fighting operations outside the army. At the same time, Australian defence experts also said that because the army has other tasks in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, it may not have the ability to respond to the domestic natural crisis in an instant.

Wehrmacht fire fighting capabilities may not be as good as volunteers

Although volunteers, but also very professional training

(Picture from: shutter @ ARM Photo Video) ▼

However, if a catastrophic fire in Australia becomes the "new normal" thereafter, the old model of military resource allocation should obviously be broken.

Fire fighting methods are actually limited

A BBC report shows that approximately 3,000 (volunteer) firefighters are fighting blazing fire every day; in the past month, the United States, Canada and other countries have also sent personnel to assist.

(Picture from: twitter @ USAembassyinOZ) ▼

In situations where staffing issues have caused ineffective fire suppression, fire suppression methods are obviously crucial.

In response to small-scale ignition points, traditional fire fighting methods such as fire trucks and fire-fighting are the main forces, but because many single fires have a frontline burning length of more than 60 kilometers, the existence of ordinary fire trucks is reduced, so aircraft fire fighting plays a pivotal role .

Belly filled with water

(Photo from: shutter @ Ryan Fletcher) ▼

The reconnaissance plane allows the fire department to directly detect whether there is a fire in a sparsely populated area. Helicopters can help people trapped in a certain point of fire to withdraw directly. Water-fighting aircraft can directly affect the fire.

Fire on land hinders action,

You can also drop firefighters to a rescue location by helicopter

(Picture from: shutter @ ARM Photo Video) ▼

The Australian National Air Fire Centre (NAFC) fleet owns most of the helicopters, and many of the rest are purchased from other fire fleets around the world. During the fire season, the NAFC fleet purchased 500 new aircraft, including a large DC-10 aerial tanker, and six "fire fighters" that can draw water from rivers and lakes.

However, due to prolonged drought, the water in the river is not enough.

(Photo from: shutter @ Ryan Fletcher) ▼

However, in the actual application process, the Australian National Air Fire Centre (NAFC) fleet still feels inadequate response and believes that it is necessary to expand the purchase budget to deal with this year's hellish fire. However, the Australian government believed that these fleets should be financed by the states themselves, and refused to spend any budget on aircraft purchases.

This one after another is very expensive

(Although Australia's per capita GDP is 6.5 times that of China)

(Photo from: shutter @ Bumble Dee) ▼

The plane is not enough. What about the rest of the fire fighting methods?

Artificial rainfall is a popular method, but it is not suitable for use in Australia.

For artificial rainfall, water and clouds are needed first, both of which are scarce to dry Australia; and even if Australia has clouds, it is not the type suitable for raining: only when the clouds contain extremely cold (- 5-10 ° C), but cannot be converted into water droplets of ice, but at the same time they are too small to be effective when their own precipitation falls, but Australia lacks such conditions.

Where natural conditions permit

And then pour chemicals over the clouds to make rain.

(Picture from: Wikipedia) ▼

Artificial rain is not enough, and the call for fire lanes is also high: create a long and wide area that is not grassy to stop or slow the spread of wildfires.

One method is to cut down trees or burn some trees to form a separation zone, but the problem is that the characteristics of topography, population density and other characteristics of each fire area are different. It ’s too late for temporary construction. The Australian government obviously lacks this awareness if it is planned in advance. It is not realistic to build a small-scale isolation zone. After all, it is difficult for the people to measure the combustion boundary by themselves.

You also need to train on a regular basis.

(Photo from: shutter @ JM Smith) ▼

Another method is to establish non-combustible borders by spreading chemical flame retardants and the like. However, behind the raging mountain fire is the unstable wind direction and weather conditions, and the flame retardant may decompose into a combustion accelerator at high temperatures, which is worth the loss.

In fact, animals can help.

For example, in the California fire last year, the Reagan Presidential Library caught in the fire was eating 13 acres (5 hectares) of flammable bushes by 500 hungry goats, and a fire barrier was built around the library. Be preserved.

Grazing goats is a common method of removing highly flammable bushes, etc.

But it is a precautionary act before the fire

(Picture from: Zhao Gang143 / Picture Worm Creative) ▼

However, the Australian fire has killed 500 million animals. If the animals can sense each other's life and death, I don't know if there will be sheep willing to come to help.

Look at the camels in South Australia

I won't be able to see it later

(Picture from: Wikipedia @ Jjron) ▼


* The content of this article is provided by the author and does not represent the position of the Bureau of Earth Knowledge

Cover image via: shutterstock @ 1234rf /

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