By John Mikkelsen, Noosa
The Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington blames “climate change” for the spate of fire emergencies recently facing our area and other parts of Queensland and New South Wales. (Courier Mail, November 18).
Cr Wellington makes no mention of the fact a number of the fires have been deliberately lit, or that climate change did not provide fire bugs with matches or cigarette lighters.
He says his council “works closely with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service on a comprehensive preparatory burning regime during the cooler months”.
“That work is useful during ‘normal’ fire conditions. But no amount of hazard-reduction burning can prevent fires in unprecedented extreme fire conditions.
“What’s more, hotter, longer fire seasons driven by climate change have dramatically shortened the window we have to reduce fuel loads with planned burns….”
I don’t accept this “shortened window to do back burns” claim. From our home, we can see the surrounding national park bordering our suburb, and any fires from back-burns in winter are visible over a big area of bushland. I could count these on one hand.
We regularly walk along the fire trails with the national park on one side and houses on the other. These trails are less than 10m wide in places and on the park side there is long grass, bracken ferns and overhanging eucalypts, banksia and melaleucas.
We’ve been here more than six years and I’ve never seen a back-burn along this section bordering our suburb. It’s a fire hazard just waiting to happen.
Note: The Noosa National Park is huge – 40 sq km and includes the area around us and Peregian and Peregian Springs.