October 22-23, 2013
A state of emergency was declared in New South Wales (NSW) on 20 October 2013, by the state's Premier because of extremely dry conditions, high fuel loads and the existence of numerous of out-of-control fires. By the 22nd October the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) escalated official extreme-weather warnings, commencing 23 October 2013 as very dry, severe north west winds and high temperatures were about to converge upon existing fires.
So great was the anticipated threat to communities, that State Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons appeared 8-times in live media briefings leading up to midnight 22nd October, preparing NSW for one of the “worst ever” threats, they would have to face.
Details of the unusual “extreme threat scenario" for NSW were relayed around the world by mainstream media including BBC and CNN.
On Tuesday 22 October the we sent a letter to The Hon Robyn Parker MP NSW minister for Environment at the time, via then acting Chief of Staff, John MC Cormack announcing:
“…as of 7PM AEDT, we have commenced an Australian Deployment to reduce the expected forthcoming high velocity winds in NSW, which have been forecast for Wednesday October 23rd, by the Australian Bureau Of Meteorology.
Further to this, we will also seek to apply macro ‘adjustment of NSW regional weather’…”
The purpose of the communication to the Minister, was to both inform and to establish the project’s start-time via a publicly audit-able document.