Friday, January 18, 2013

siding spring obs fires: the PM visits

a brief update on the status of siding spring observatory after the bushfire swept through last sunday.

51 houses have been destroyed the by fires so far.   there is an impressive fire prevention story hidden in here, though.   

remember this photo?   mark burrow snapped it right before he turned his car around and drove away. 

Credit: Mark Barrow
it turns out that that house survived the fire thanks to a water drop made by the NSW rural fire service.  a staff member from the AAO was with the owner when she saw her property post-fire.   having assumed that the fire would have completely destroyed it after seeing this photo, she did a very excited impromptu dance when she saw that her house was saved.  amazing.

australian prime minister, julia gillard, visited siding spring yesterday to see the damages and share her concern.   here she is with AAO staff members, kristin fiegert, who have been voluntarily fighting off fires in the area since they began.

it looks like electrical power might be restored to siding spring as early as tomorrow, thanks to amazing effort of workers replacing nearly 20 km of power lines in only a few days!  the formal safety inspection will still not take place until monday.  they need to check for building integrity, asbestos, restore water lines, make sure no trees will fall, etc.  until then, we sit and wait, and hope the currently changing wind direction and record high temperatures dont cause too much more damage (sydney's temperature reached 46 C (115 F) today, beating the previous recorded record in 1939).

here are some photos from AAO telescope guru (whisperer?), steve lee, of his property as the fires threatened:

UPDATE (18:15): here is a short video of julia gillard's visit to SSO and several AAO and siding spring staff.  neville keeps the mood as light as possible ;)


Sakib said...

I find it saddening that some sort of tragedy befalls Australia nearly every year. I really admire the integrity and tenacity of the people there, I hope everything is back to normal as soon as possible.

heroineworshipper said...

Need to fall in love with a fireheroine.

Sunshine Coast Bookkeeping Services said...

Firefighters are the most important on-call during emergencies. I salute them on how they risk their lives, rescue people and make strategic decisions.