No one should be surprised that our bush is ablaze and our cities are smothered in smoke.
For decades now we have been locking up land, banning burn-offs and encouraging eucalypt fire-trees.
On a hot day, the blue haze on distant timbered hills is intensified by highly-flammable eucalypt oil vapour, waiting for a spark.
The Australian landscape of open forests and treeless grasslands was developed and maintained under an aboriginal regime of continual small fires. This was followed by planned cool-season burn-offs by European graziers.
But a few decades ago this safe black and white fire regime was replaced by green-worshippers who continually expanded the area of locked-up protected parks (now over 11% of Australia). Then they peppered private land with protected-vegetation fire hazards, and then hampered undergrowth clean-ups and burn-offs. Continue reading “Creating Bushfires”
This week Clintel attended the Heartland COP 25 conference at the Marriott Hotel in Madrid. The hotel was full of champagne-drinking COP delegates who were clearly enjoying themselves (‘climate business model in action’). To be sure they were not disturbed by demonstrators, Clintel had a recording room somewhere at the back and we heard about its coordinates on the same morning.
On New Year’s Eve, I woke early to the sound of television reports on the building fire risk. My wife, was worried about the worsening fire reports and the location of our residence in Eucalyptus Drive Dalmeny, in the middle of a eucalyptus forest.
At 9 AM our electricity supply failed. By 1 PM we had no Internet or mobile phone service. By 3PM our land line went down. We then turned to local radio for fire reports from the ever-reliable ABC South East. The station was nowhere to be found. A local commercial radio station did it’s best to disseminate useful information, but referred us to information available on an Internet that had failed hours earlier. A neighbour drove to the Dalmeny Fire station, only to learn that our valiant fire fighters were as ill-informed as the Dalmeny public on the status of the local fire front. Continue reading “The NSW Far South Coast Fires in Review”
Greg Mullins’ [former Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner] came out the closet about a year ago and joined Flannery’s Climate Council. Greg Mullins was reported in the papers on all the things his father had told him about 1939 when “the sky seemed to be on fire every night”.
John Mulligan lived through the Black Friday fires that burnt two million hectares of Victoria and killed 71 people. There were hundreds of fires in East Gippsland at that same time, but no major problems because the bush was kept clean by burning and grazing. John’s family weren’t worried, even when his uncle’s car repeatedly stopped because of vapour locks in the fuel lines with the extreme heat. John has formed the East Gippsland Wildfire Taskforce to try and restore sanity. If we get fires under the same weather conditions today, they’ll destroy everything from Bairnsdale to Sydney.Continue reading “Ex-NSW Fire Chief Joins Climate Crazies”
Over four years, from 2013 to 2017, before retiring from teaching university-based journalism, I worked in the field with an ecologist and her Masters of Science students. We were using remote cameras and other data collection techniques, at my rain-forest wildlife refuge in Kangaroo Valley (NSW).
Though I had seen them thirty years ago, we found no apex predator, the native quoll (Eastern Quoll and the Tiger Quoll [extinct]). However – there were foxes, feral cats, European rats, and mice, galore. This was bad, as the apex predator (the native quoll) is crucial to forest management and indicative to ecological health. This data also showed that there were few native herbivores keeping the forest floor trimmed. My wildlife refuge is surrounded on three sides by a huge nature reserve, proclaimed in 1937, so in theory, it should be fairly clean of feral animals. Continue reading “Forests, Fuel, Fires and Fauna – Ignorance Increases Bushfire Risk”
According to an article in The Weekend Australian 11-12.1.2020, page 13, CSIRO bushfire expert David Packman, speaking on Sky News, said that fuel loads for fires are10 times greater than before European settlement and that there is urgent need to reducefuel loads on the bush floor through control burns (also called prescribed burning – or backburning when done in an emergency). Continue reading “Fuel Loads for Fires are 10 Times Greater than before European Settlement”