July-December, 2002



Over 85 fires

4,500 firefighters

90 aircraft

Over 1million acres burned

50 houses destroyed

1 death

Power blackouts

Road | rail chaos

Estimated cost over A$100 million

This incident highlights the non-local nature of TWM services and clearly demonstrates its unique fire suppression ability.
During October - November, TWM was actively involved with the America's Cup races in Auckland, NZ. At the same time a watching brief was maintained on the drought | bushfire crisis in Australia, over 2,000 kms away.
By 6 December, the situation had worsened and Sydney was being threatened by massive firestorms. Weather forecasters predicted a "day from hell" was imminent. TWM emailed the NSW Premier, Bob Carr, with an offer to "end the crisis before further destruction and loss of life is incurred".
Between 8 and 10 December, parts of Queensland and NSW received intense, widespread rainfall and the fires were brought under control. Mopping up of the remaining fires continued but the danger to Sydney had been successfully averted.
Compare this with the disastrous Canberra fires a month later, when TWM was unable to respond while NSW Minister Bob Debus procrastinated.

July - Fires begin

Aug 22 - TWM emails NSW Farmers' Assn.

Nov 12 - TWM emails Premier Bob Carr

Nov 29 - PM Carr's reply

Dec 06 - TWM offer to stop fires

Dec 10 - Rain on Sydney fires

Dec 18 - NSW govt reply

Jan 03, 2003 - PM Carr's reply

Jan 06 - TWM response

Sydney's *Ring of Fire*


FIRE REPORTS: Aug-Dec 2002  Click here

  ACT BUSHFIRES, Jan 2003  It could have been different


OUTLOOK for 2003-09  More of the same 


1998 Amazon forest fires  Indigenous WM and fire suppression



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Last modified: February 2009