Wildlife and people who live in and love the Otways need us all to place pressure on the Victorian government to use effective fire-fighting, in the form of aerial water-bombing, instead of allowing these fires to burn themselves out whilst consuming our remaining forests and wildlife. Parks Victoria, CFA and DELWP (said DELWOP) use labour hire and equipment companies, and create an emergency bureaucracy and pay themselves massive bonuses during fires giving them a direct incentive to keep them burning - almost invariably making the future landscape more flammable - deprived of the insects and animals that break down flammable fuels. Like children with matches (an a financial incentive) they cannot help themselves and consider wiping parks, wildlife, homes and businesses and tourism out when people are not killed a success!
Note: This introduction has been edited for a number of small but important inaccuracies. Candobetter.net editor 29/12/2014.] Fuel reduction and ecological burning etc. are based on the assumption that all Aboriginal people undertook fire-stick farming. Joel Wright, traditional owner in southwest Victoria, is an indigenous language, culture and history researcher. He finds no evidence of wide-scale burning in Aboriginal language and culture, but does find other explanations for the history of aboriginal fires observed by Europeans. These were often smoke-signals exchanged between clans, for general communication and warning of approaching Europeans etc. There was also defensive burning to hinder explorers by burning feed their stock might otherwise eat. Other fires were to 'cover their tracks' when they were being pursued, etc.. Many of these fires were mistaken for landscape burning. Joel also found one record of burning small portions of dry grass around marshes to expose an area to attract birds to scratch for food there, making the birds potential meals for the indigenous hunters. Nowhere did he find anything to justify the destructive and dangerous annual incineration of the landscapes of the Gunditjamara by the Victorian Government. He was concerned that burning the bush as we do now kills the birds and animals so important to vegetation stories, removes scar and burial trees and 'burns micro particles from axes and spears that holds the clues as to what they were used for.The video was recorded from Wright's presentation at Australian Wildlife Protection Council Fire and Wildlife Conference, "Pause and Review Victoria's Fire Management." November 2014
Photo by Jill Quirk
In Victoria in 2010
Why is it that bushfires, regeneration burns, ecological burns, asset protection burns etc., are not considered fuel-reducing?
Why is Victoria logging in water supply catchments when we are short of water - especially after they have burned?
On February 12, Sheila Newman wrote a blog about Wildhaven which burnt to the ground in the horrific Black Saturday Victorian bushfires last year (see http://candobetter.org/node/1064 ).