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Bushfire Management

Planned Burns Review and Recommendations – admits failure – plans for more effective risk reduction

The Royal Commission recommended burns to over 5% of our natural landscape annually have finally been shown to be a waste of time, money and horrifically damaging to our biodiversity.
The recent review (link is external) of the burn targets used 12 criteria to measure how effective the blunt hectare-based target is compared to the proposed risk-reduction target. The hectare burns scored 13/48 (a serious flunk!) while a risk-based target scored 40/48. This is what EEG and thousands of others have been saying since day one. This excellent and informative summary originally published by Environment East Gippsland (EEG) here: See also AWPC fire and wildlife conference for more background.

In a fire, wildlife matters

Two weeks ago fire 40 km north east of Perth burnt for 10 days and blazed through some 7,000 hectares of land, burning homes - far too many to count, or for that matter, to contemplate. It impacted on countless species and would have burnt millions of individuals, all of whom, like us, are categorised biologically under the heading Kingdom of Animalia. But that's not how the newspapers reported it...

Study finds logging increased intensity of Black Saturday fires

The heat and severity of Kinglake and Marysville fires that killed 159 people on Black Saturday was significantly increased by clear-fell logging of forests, scientists believe.

Are Victorian governments trying to get rid of Victorian wildlife on purpose?

Video inside. This article is about the effects of 390,000 ha of native vegetation targeted to be burned every year in Victoria, Australia's most cleared state. The video inside this article documents how vast numbers of Australian wildlife are burned alive in scientifically dubious prescribed burns, mandated by the Victorian Government. It asks whether the cruel and avoidable fate of many wildlife in prescribed burns is really protecting human lives and assets or merely a way of meeting an arbitrary target. Others would be much harsher and say that this may be a calculated strategy to rid the state of wildlife in addition to an apparently deliberate failure to cooperate with wildlife activists in making easily protected wildlife corridors to connect viable habitat.[1]

Bushfire Commission - playing politics with fire?

Many Victorians who lost friends and family, and know people who lost houses in the 2009 furnace in Victoria are appalled at some of the recommendations issuing from the Royal Commision Final Report. They are trying to find solutions that match the enormity of the increase in bushfire threats of the future. Inform yourself with this analysis of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Report and Recommendations!

Victorian Bushfires - cost effectiveness of aerial fire-fighting [Bushfire CRC Ltd]

In April this year [2009], Australia's leading bushfire research organisation, Bushfire CRC Ltd, published yet another significant report on bushfire fighting: 'THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF AERIAL FIRE-FIGHTING IN AUSTRALIA'
by Gaminda Ganewatta & John Handmer, via the Centre for Risk and Community Safety, RMIT University in Melbourne.

Bushfire CRC's report examines the economic effectiveness of aerial fire suppression and has made pertinent findings about the role of integrated aerial fire-fighting specific to the Australian landscape.

Victorian Bushfires - The future is 'hard and early' airborne/ground crew response. If South Australia's CFS can do it?.....

It took many bushfires over many decades, but in December 2008, South Australia's Premier Mike Rann started seriously committing to Aerial Bushfire Fighting by securing an Erickson Aircrane water bombing aircraft being based in South Australia during the Fire Danger Season: ['Aircrane “Flynn” part of record CFS fleet'] The Erickson Aircrane, nicknamed 'Flynn' is now part of a serious fleet of 15 fire-fighting aircraft with crews dedicated "to improve the capacity and flexibility of the Country Fire Service to respond to potentially threatening bushfires,” Mr Rann said.

CFA - leadership is misguided and out of touch

CFA Chairman Kerry Murphy

No Australian should forget that 173 people died in the Victorian Bushfires last February. That it could happen again should be so anathema to Premier Brumby that he should realise an overwhelming need for a paradigm shift away from the current misguided and out-dated strategies of the Country Fire Authority's Board and Executive.

Victorian Bushfires – media reporting a causal link to bush arsonist arousal

The Australian Press Council has just dismissed a complaint against Sydney Morning Herald columnist Miranda Devine about her opinion article back on 12-Feb-09 ‘Green ideas must take blame for deaths.’ Devine's provocative article dogmatically accused "the power of green ideology" for poor forest management practices and as the key reason for the exacerbated scale and ferocity of the Victorian bushfires in 2009. ['Complaint against Devine dismissed, SMH, 26-Jun-09, p.5] But although provocative, Devine's 'opinion' article pales in comparison to the social implications of headline media reporting of extreme bushfire risk immediately BEFORE the bushfires! See also "Victorian Bush-fires: ABC 7.30 Report ignores facts, creates scapegoats" and "Responding to incorrect fire information by joining the debate" and "Comments on recent fire-management in bush-fire areas" and "Greens, logging, forest fires and malaria" and "Deforestation drys continents - new theory explains how"

National investment overdue into co-ordinated airborne bushfire response

We need to dig deeper if we are serious about the bushfire threat, and this doesn't mean just more charity to prop up the existing but failing system, as the PM seems to perpetuate. This goes beyond the Victorian Bushfires. Under-resourcing is a fundamental problem with Australian bushfire management nationally.

This article was written in response to a comment in the discussion in response to the story "Nearly half of Wilsons Promontory burnt due to CFA neglect".

Fire stick farming

Fire stick farming is of great interest to me, as fire ecology as a tool for ecosystem manipulation appears widespread and old among hunter-gatherers worldwide. I made a study of this among the Kua, and it was actually what my grant was for, but I had to change topics in mid stream as Botswana had been converted to the "Smokey the Bear" philosophy by range ecologists at the world bank - so they had passed draconian ant-burning laws just before I got to the field.

Prescribed Burning

Out of the media frenzy to get ratings out of the Victorian bushfires, a 'so-called' bushfire expert on an ABC 730 Report panel (David Packham) advocated a 6 to 7 fold increase in prescribed burning for Victoria.

See also: "Victorian bushfires by arson" of 26 Mar 09.

Victorian bushfires by arson

The Australian Institute of Criminology reported last month that half of Australian bushfires are deliberately lit. Bushfire research needs to go further to evaluate whether in fact, of the most damaging, most are deliberately lit.

The term 'fire bug' is too docile and to start seriously dealing with it, we must change the perception and the language. Bush arson has become so deadly and catastrophic a crime that it warrants the term 'pyroterrorism'.

Wilsons Promontory – DSE fire management risking local extinctions

Over two weeks since lightning struck the east coast of Wilsons Promontory on the Cathedral Range just north of Sealers Cove, most of the northern half of ‘the Prom’ has been burnt. The Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) website reports 23,000 hectares burnt out. The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) website shows the following map of the burn (shaded area below). The fire has burnt the Cathedral Range, along the east coastline right across and along the Corner Inlet shoreline to Millers Landing.

Poor Wilsons Promontory

Containing the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria, but massively scarred by a 700 hectare fire in 2005 due to a prescribed burn that escaped (again).

Now again, just four years hence, the Prom is suffering a massive blaze out to 11,000 hectares, having burned from coast to coast across the more remote northern section of the Promontory.

No lives, no homes so no priority!

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