This is an article that appeared in the Daily Telegraph.https://volunteerfirefighters.org.au/it ... hxZV76LDkY
Adding Fuel to the Fire
No one is denying the gravity of what people and firefighters have been through now, but it is no use gilding the lily here.
You can’t have a fire without fuel.
Two factors above all else come into play here.
In NSW, when Bob Carr was the minister, and later premier, he ratified moves to have fire trails abandoned.
Carr’s moves prevented access to those fire trails by the Rural Fire Service, under the pretext he was keeping four 4WDs and campers out.
The government (and how many problems that we face today are created by government?) put locked gates on these national parks and planted big rocks at the entry to the fire trails.
Understandably, the fire trails are now overgrown with regrowth forest, impenetrable to everybody except native and feral animals.
Yet it was these fire trails that enabled the fire fighters to get to the heart of a fire.
They could then create back burning and land clearing.
Fire fighters could mobilise earth-moving equipment and successfully put the fire out.
In those days, water bombing wasn’t in vogue.
It wasn’t necessary and, anyway, it was too expensive. The fire trails were “fit for purpose”.
Today, the fire fighters know they are hopelessly limited by where they can gain access to the fires. They have to rely on very expensive water bombing strategies.
The greenies, of course, endorse this strategy.
Except that they, disturbingly, prefer the use of freshwater, which we don’t have, over salt water in putting out bushfires.
And that is allegedly to “protect” the environment.
What is all this ‘protect the environment’ hypocrisy? When have we seen any Greens MP, Zali Steggall, Adam Bandt, Sarah Hanson-Young and their leader, Richard Di Natale, line up alongside Tony Abbott to fight the fires?”
Then-senator John Williams said in 2013, “The problem in our national parks is that we have these savage fires with huge amounts of fuel per hectare; we are killing the trees, we’re killing the animals, we’re killing the koalas and anything else that lives in these areas and we call it conservation …”
You and I would call it destruction.
I repeat, you cannot have a fire without fuel.
Re-Learn to Burn
When you think there are seven million hectares of national parks in NSW alone, 200 of them in Sydney, and yet hazard reduction burns have occurred on less than 1 per cent of fire-prone land, then we are staring at a potential inferno.
This has nothing to do with climate change.
Dr Paul Read, co-director of Australia’s National Centre for Research in Bushfire and Arson, puts the number of bushfires in Australia per year at, on average, “62,000 and increasing”.
Of those, 13 per cent are started deliberately and 37 per cent are suspicious. That means 31,000 Australian bushfires are either the product of arson or suspected arson, every year. That means that up to 85 bushfires begin every day because someone leaves their home and decides to start one.
Local governments are being blamed for all of this, but they have no power to even lift a fallen tree or remove a broken branch.
If they want to back-burn or reduce the fuel on the forest floor, they must get permission from state government and jump through endless hoops.
That is, if local government want to reduce the fire hazard.
Indigenous Australians knew how to deal with fire. We have learnt nothing from them. The problem is simple. There is too much fuel on the floor and we cannot get at it.
Arguing that we need more water bombers, and we will have to buy them from overseas, is attacking the symptom, not the disease.