It’s called discernment. There’s no earthly reason to treat them the same. One is believable. The other isn’t.
What are the odds.
Most of the fires are out, burnt areas have received rain. So they should regenerate nicely. I saw some claims the fires were hotter and so would not regenerate yadda yadda yadda…
I think the clue is in the name!
It’s called the bush, because it regularly burns and needs to regenerate, it it didn’t it would be called forest.
110 years of Australian temperatures
New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons also provided information about hazard reduction burns in a January 8, 2020, ABC interview. "It’s a valuable tool, it’s not a panaceia.”
Fitzsimmons also stated: “The single biggest impediment to completing hazard reduction burning is the weather.”
There is some large level of ignorance being displayed by posters here, who should know better.
Two excellent vids on the Aussie bush fires, and a bonus one on claims about a “grand solar minimum”. Demolishes various right wing tropes. There’s very little I disagree with except what is left out – what should we do in response that will cause less harm than the climate change that is in store?
? Come off it!
Interesting to notice the video creator, he doesn’t blink.
from 18:00 significance is discussed.
Watched that before. She says that the solar effect is an offset from the carbon effect but doesn’t quantify either of them. Other than that she has a bunch of unsubstantiated anecdotes – Spring is already coming a month later? … if that was occurring globally you can bet it would be reported / studied. Also people would be scratching their heads as to how it fitted in with the measured increasing temperatures. Personally I see Spring coming earlier … have an unnatural level of birdsong and budding trees all the way back since New Year. The solar minimum is a red herring – the Maunder Minimum didn’t coincide with the Little Ice Age as is often claimed, and there’s simply no known mechanism that would connect a minimum with significant global cooling.
Beware all these fact checks. Hazard reduction burns vary from council to council and also can hit multiple layers of government. Everyone from your neighbors, local councillors, state department of environment, country fire service and more get a say. There is a whole lot more to it than letting green types simply say “we were in favor of burn offs all along”
They had fires in Rockhampton recently…let’s have a look at what the fire chiefs say…
Submission by the Rural Fires Association of Queensland (RFAQ)
Our submission is directed particularly at the Queensland situation.
Reasons for Concern at the Current Management
Major shift from land management of Crown and Private Lands using fire as a tool for fuel
reduction to Policies directed at suppression of wildfires as the answer.
Huge costs of manpower and equipment for the suppression effort.
This policy suits empire builders in the suppression industry i.e. Urban Fire Authorities and
Total removal of rural native Crown Land managers over 25+ years by the following actions:- o Restricted vegetation management laws.
o Conversion of managed State Forests to unmanaged and poorly funded National Parks.
o Infiltration of State and Local Government departments of ecologically trained people
with beliefs that fire of any sort is bad.
o Political directions and polices aimed to win urban seats with unsubstantiated
environmental claims about rural land management.
o Reduction in training centres and elimination of trained fire management staff e.g.
Forestry and Agricultural Colleges, Railways, Main Roads.
o Constant use of media to push the problems of fuel management and management on
Crown Lands and Private alike.
The recent 10 days of fires (Nov/Dec 2018) included hysterical reporting of catastrophic conditions,
huge numbers of life threatening fires, loss of homes and necessary enormous compulsory
The truth is far different.
The worst scenario Premier Palaszczuk could report on 06/12/18 in the Courier Mail was:- 15 homes have been damaged
60 sheds have been damaged
Burnt vehicles and farm machinery.
At no stage was the FFDI ongoing catastrophic and dozens of the fires started on unmanaged Crown
8,000 people were evacuated near Rockhampton and returned the next day with no damage
because the fire was actually moving away from their homes.
Many fires would have been better left to burn and with competent bushfire managers deciding
when action should be taken.
Directions and onsite actions are made by H.Q. using computer modelling and confused
Criticism about vegetation management restrictions by the State Government enjoyed the following
unhelpful and political explanation:- QFES Commissioner (ex Police) said the Vegetation Legislation had not changed the way fire
risk was being managed. (If you do nothing then the management (pre suppression) is the
Fire and Emergency Services Minister (Courier Mail) – landholders can still undertake hazard
reduction burning by obtaining permits. What he did not say was that farmers can’t build
firebreaks because of Vegetation Laws and as such they can’t get Burning Permits.
More on ground and practical comments regarding the fires included Mackay Region Councillor who
claimed that in the Mackay area:- High fuel loads on government lands increased the risk of bushfires.
Inability to reopen overgrown existing firebreaks and tracks on Crown Lands adjoining farm
lands. He confirmed he believed the worst neighbour a farmer can have is government lands.
Other comments included the need for the return of hazard reduction burning by landholders with
regard to Crown Lands.
Recently, (January 2019) after record rainfall in North Queensland, State Minister stated in a press
interview that these natural events were all down to climate change. This is not believable based on
the following details.
You cannot have significant wildfires, regardless of the weather, if there is low managed “fuel loads”
with a sound access system with adequate property separation from any residual hazard.
Unfortunately, any counter claim that climate change is not responsible for the bushfires brands the
claimant as a climate change sceptic.
Recognition that current Qld Government Land Management policies have removed fuel
reduction burning as a practical tool to combat high disaster fires.
Recognise the loss of much of the skills base of fire management and the urgent need for
training rural fire management.
Recognise the rural component of emergency management must be separate and different to
urban emergency management.
Recognise that “Climate Change” is not the primary problem with land management for
Developing a massive suppression capability (equipment) is not the answer in rural areas. A
well-funded Rural Fire Brigade system is essential but massive outlays on water bombers and
computer models are doomed to failure.
Urgent Necessary Actions
Many areas of State Forest are now National Parks. These areas had good access trail
networks and enjoyed a mosaic of fuel reduction burns over many decades. This policy must
be reintroduced and financed including simple approval procedures for fuel reduction actions.
Training of people who live in high risk areas (e.g. Rural Residential) adjoining large areas of
hazardous vegetation. This training needs to include a simple and practical capacity to gain
and use Burning Permits. Remove the restrictions under Conservation Acts (Vegetation
Management Act) for essential fire management i.e. firebreaks etc.
Take the responsibility of suppression procedures and decisions away from urban based
protocols and deliver it to the rural trained people.
Remove the belief that ecological sustainability does not include fuel load management. i.e.
regular burning in open forest in Queensland is normal and essential.
RFAQ would welcome the opportunity to appear before your standing committee with one of our
members happy to travel to Canberra.
L.S. Hawkes B.Sc. (For)
The RFAQ is not the QFES, or even the RFSQ. They are not “the fire chiefs”. But you are representing them as such.
They are not even the RFBAQ.
But you hit the nail on the head here:
Hazard reduction burns vary from council to council and also can hit multiple layers of government. Everyone from your neighbors, local councillors, state department of environment, country fire service and more get a say. There is a whole lot more to it than letting green types simply say “we were in favor of burn offs all along"
Burns in close proximity to people and property is risky. Burns can get out of control, and this has happened in NSW in the current crisis.
So this is complicated, takes time, money, energy and focus. Better to blame the Greens.
Good find, thanks.
Thanks for the info. Excuse an ignorant question, but do those eucalyptus trees and brush not have any commercial value? What I’m getting at is that other countries thin their forests by selective logging, rather than burning. I’m sure it would be expensive, but surely a lot less hazardous. Even haul the stuff to an incinerator and generate some electricity.
I read up on the commercial viability of this some years back, and you’d have to collocate some generators with the woodland itself, otherwise the costs of haulage gets prohibitive. But in this case you are talking about a situation that’s already complicated and expensive to manage, and is failing. Surely there’s a solution that’s both less expensive and less hazardous even if it’s not at commercial break even. Burning biomass for energy could also gain the Aussies some sustainability credentials. I’m sure I’m missing something, perhaps the sheer scale.
Any national parks I’ve been to have signs up forbidding the collection of wood, fallen branches or bark chip, remember these trees lose leaves all year round and some lose their bark completely while redgums in particular drop branches so much that you’d be wise not to set a tent up under one. Redgums also burn so hot in a fire that they can burn blue flames.
It’s illegal to take wood from national parks and reserves, even if the wood is dead or fallen.
If you are caught, you face penalties of up to $1000. You can also have your equipment seized. In the past, rangers have confiscated chainsaws and other gear from people caught illegally taking wood in parks.
The same goes for all public land, including reservoir and forest reserves.
Why are dead trees and fallen wood so important?
Dead trees and fallen branches provide vital habitat for a range of native species, including birds, possums, reptiles, insects and even other plants and fungi.
Tree holes and hollows in particular are extremely important, but they can take many years to form.
Once they do, they provide nesting and sleeping places for brush-tailed possums, goannas, and birds such as yellow-tailed black cockatoos, kookaburras and rosellas.
Some native bird species cannot breed without the right sort of holes or hollows to nest in, so the reduction in the number of old trees in the landscape has had a serious impact on their numbers.
Fallen wood can also provide hiding places and food sources for small animals such as echidnas, bats, dunnarts, pygmy possums, geckoes and other lizards.
That’s just policy for the state of south Australia.