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Aboriginals didn’t need a water bomber God to save them from Government nurtured firestorms

There is no lake, no dam large enough to put out the firestorms we have created

Like some kind of cargo cult, modern inhabitants pray to the sky for enough water bombers to keep things they love safe. They fret that the season for safe burning is too short, while they leave the litter to burn at the most dangerous time possible. The quest for perfect forests, perfect air, and perfect centralized planning is the perfect recipe for a catastrophe. Utopia burns again.

This is a great article by Viv Forbes describing how radically different fire “management” was in ancient times. Management being almost like non stop arson. The main rule, apparently, was to light often and always, and never extinguish.  — Jo

_______________________________________
Fighting Fires with Fire

by Viv Forbes

Joseph Lycett, Firestick farming.

Firestick farming Joseph Lycett. Circa 1817.  Australian National Library.

The Power of the Torch
“There can be few if any races who for so long were able to practice the delights of incendiarism.”
                Geoffrey Blainey “Triumph of the Nomads – A History of Ancient Australia.” Macmillan 1975.

The Fire-lighter was the most powerful tool that early humans brought to Australia.

Fires lit by aborigi

nal men and women created the landscape of Australia. They used fire to create and fertilise fresh new grass for the grazing animals that they hunted, to trap and roast grass dwelling reptiles and rodents, to fight enemies, to send smoke signals, to fell dead trees for camp fires, to ward off frosts and biting insects, and for religious and cultural ceremonies. Their fires created and maintained grasslands and open forests and extinguished all flora and fauna unable to cope with frequent burn-offs.

Early white explorers and settlers recorded the smoke and the blackened tree trunks. They admired the extensive grasslands, either treeless or with well-spaced trees, and no tangled undergrowth of dead grass, brambles, branches and weeds.

Making fire without tinder boxes or matches is laborious. So, most aboriginals tried to keep their fires alive at all times. When on the move (a common situation), selected members of the tribe were charged with carrying a fire stick and keeping it alight. In really cold weather several members may have each carried a fire stick for warmth. When the stick was in danger of going out, the carrier would usually light a tussock of dry grass or leaves and use that flame to rejuvenate the fire stick (or light a new one). As they moved on, they left a line of small fires spreading behind them. They have been observed trying to control the movement of fires but never tried to extinguish them.

Early explorers who ventured inland were amazed to find extensive grasslands and open woodland. Their reports attracted settlers to these grassy open forests and treeless plains with mobs of cattle and sheep.

Despite modern folk-lore tales about aboriginal fire management skills, anyone reading diaries from early explorers such as Abel Tasman (1642) and Captain Cook (1770) soon learned that aboriginals lit fires at any time, for many reasons, and NEVER tried to put them out. If threatened by fires lit by enemies, the most frequent response was to light their own protective fires (now called back-burning). Fire lighting was deliberate, and sometimes governed by rules, but there was no central plan. There were no fire-fighters, no 4WD tankers, no water bombers, no dozers, and no attempt to put fires out. But aboriginal fire “management” worked brilliantly. Because of the high frequency of small fires, fire intensity was low and fires could be lit safely even in hot dry summers. Any fire lit would soon run into country burnt one or two years earlier and then would run out of fuel and self-extinguish.

Water Bomber

The futility of water bombing a million hectares

The early squatters quickly learned about the dangers and benefits of fires, and like the aboriginals, they learned to manage fire to protect their assets, grasslands and grazing animals. The settlers had more to lose than the nomads. Graziers need to protect their herds and flocks, homesteads, hay stacks, yards, fences and neighbours, as well as maintaining their grasslands by killing woody weeds and encouraging new grass. So their fire management was more refined. They soon learned to pick the right season, day, time of day, place, wind and weather before lighting a fire. And if threatened by a neighbour’s escaping fire or a lightning-strike fire, back-burning from roads and tracks was the preferred way to protect themselves.

Today we have replaced decentralised fire management by aboriginals and settlers with government-nurtured fire-storms.

First governments created fire hazards called National Parks, where fire sticks, matches,  graziers and foresters were locked out and access roads were abandoned or padlocked. And Green-loving urbanites built houses right beside them, and planted trees in their yards. The open forests and grasslands were invaded by eucalypt regrowth, woody weeds, tangled undergrowth, dry grass, logs, dead leaves, twigs, bark and litter – all perfect fuel for a wild-fire holocaust.

These tinder-boxes of forest fuel became magnets for arsonists, and occasionally even disgruntled neighbours, or were lit by wind-blown embers or dry lightning. With high winds, high temperatures and heavy fuel loads some fires will race through the tree tops of oil-rich eucalypt forests.

To download this article with all images click: https://saltbushclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/fighting-fires.pdf

Photo by Filippos Sdralias on Unsplash

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (83 votes cast)
Aboriginals didn't need a water bomber God to save them from Government nurtured firestorms , 9.5 out of 10 based on 83 ratings

171 comments to Aboriginals didn’t need a water bomber God to save them from Government nurtured firestorms

  • #
    Dennis

    A recent radio interview well worth listening to, a scientist who studies bushfires;

    https://omny.fm/shows/nights/scientist-david-packham-on-whats-really-causing-th

    51

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Hi Jo
      I have just heard a new way of describing “the 97% consensus ”

      It is a result of “Intellectual Phase Locking ”

      How wonderful a phrase !
      I’m just waiting for an opportunity to blast some Greenist idiot with it when the Consensus” is raised.

      101

      • #
        RichardX

        That’s a great description. I’ve always thought that it was total crap and scientific fraud that should end the careers of some self-described academics. But that’s just my opinion.

        00

      • #
        Tom Hinton

        An interesting phrase, I first came across this in the attached video when Sheldrake visited the office dealing “metrics” when discussing how they managed to settle the speed of light. Apparently it varied over a number of years. But the video will explain it.
        https://youtu.be/JKHUaNAxsTg

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    • #
      RichardX

      Great interview. The “scientist” is a scientist and not an activist. The interviewer lets him speak without interrupting every 3 to 5 seconds with “but surely” and “97% of scientists say that you’re wrong”. Good stuff.

      10

  • #
    Dennis

    Before UN Agenda 30 (21) we had managed State Forests bringing in revenue from sustainable logging that enabled Forestry Rangers to maintain fire trails and minimise the rush of bushfires.

    Dam catchment areas were managed by Water Boards and revenue for management of the land came from ratepayers, and the authorities had a responsibility for water quality.

    Most were signed over as National Parks with little more than park fees and government funding for management purposes, and with a culture of greenism prevailing that ignorantly states the purpose to be preservation for future generations. Instead the fuel load builds up and destruction takes place.

    This madness must end.

    331

    • #
      Dennis

      RISK! not rush.

      10

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Good summary.

      40

    • #
      PeterS

      It can only end when enough people wake up and stop voting for the two major parties who are following the UN Agenda.

      60

    • #
      soldier

      The only way this excess fuel load madness will end is for the Federal Government to sieze control of the situation, remove all authority for such things from councils and national parks management.
      The Federal Government could easily legislate for all back burning and fuel load reduction to be managed solely by the RFS in each area.
      This would ensure that these activities would be conducted in a thorough and timely manner to limit the extent and severity of future fires.

      30

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Jo, Thanks for reposting Viv’s article here.
    We are in the middle of this fire storm Summer
    We must make sure that all Australians
    Learn ( or relearn ) the lessons
    Of how to live safely in the land.

    100

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      I was stunned last year when the village of Uarbry was apparently abandoned to the “Sir Ivan” fire. The fire was predicted. There was a full moon. Surely it would have been possible to get some bobcats in there overnight and clear back from the houses. But the authorities just threw up their hands and declared the conditions worse than Victoria’s, which is hardly likely.

      Again in recent weeks, right up to yesterday, we are seeing towns burnt out. This has got to stop. It is not as though there was nothing that can be done. If a quarter of the money spent on water bombing was spent on bulldozers, we’d have no need for the water bombers.

      170

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Just to play Devils advocate I’ll give a link to “It’s time to stop lighting fires” From Environment East Gippsland inc., yes they are CAGW believing Greenies but the content is well worded and resourced.

    Any ideas on this will be interesting….

    I’m always sceptical about what is passed for *borigianl history in recent decades as they didn’t have a written language and what was known has been contaminated with Marxist ideology, I feel its a great insult to the pre-European *boriginals to not recognise the great hunter gatherer skills acquired in a very harsh environment to create ridiculous claims of farming, building, astronomy etc..

    201

    • #
      PeterW

      Before I read that article, I challenge anyone to imagine what it would be like to live in an Australian landscape covered in continuous dry fuel. Unbroken fuel for hundreds of miles, which means that fires can travel further in a day than the fittest man can run, let alone less agile members of the community.

      Try to tell us how else they would have managed the risk.

      170

      • #
        glen Michel

        I concur, due to so much terrain being inaccessible and prone to long periods of fuel build up. Given the combination of contributing factors, fire control would be futile.

        70

      • #
        Dennis

        In the land that climate change made drier and became the land of droughts, heatwaves, bushfires and flooding rains.

        34

        • #
          Dennis

          Climate change beginning 130,000 years ago for the red thumbs.

          60

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            A good Good point.

            The three major glaciations of the last half a million years just have to be taken into account.

            Unlike the northern hemisphere Australia was not covered in ice, but the drying effect must have been there.

            Poor conditions for plants to survive and flourish.
            Sixty thousand years of ice age, times three.

            Compared with that, it’s likely that native “maintenance” of the landscape was just a minor factor.

            KK

            30

      • #
        George4

        The @borigines didn’t have to worry about putting out the fires or expensive houses being destroyed or killing people outside their tribe.
        Cool burns only remove some of the lower fuel and I bet they had their share of crown firestorms after drought and heatwave.
        To control burn all our forests would be a huge cost and require a lot more government control because most land is not government owned and they are not presently responsible.
        I just wonder whether it would be more cost effective to concentrate resources on the interface zone between houses and forest and only building non flammable material houses there in the future.

        84

        • #
          PeterW

          The tribesmen may not have been very worried about their bark shelters and wurlies, but they WERE legitimately concerned for their own health.

          I’ll ask again, how would you regard living in a fire-prone environment with no better means of escape than your own flat feet?

          70

          • #
            WXcycles

            They did tend to live in rock overhangs under cliffs or near cave entrances, where they could, even just to shelter from weather. They’d certainly have known about such shelter options in the area. And a good place to be even if there were no fires, and it’s 45 C outside. Probably 35 C in a cave. Most of Australia does not get fires as dangerous as the places currently burning in VIC and NSW. Those areas have a geography and periodic weather systems that are ideal for dangerous large fires. But those dangerous fire-prone terrain regions are also the areas with the most caves and rock shelter options. I’d say they’d have known to stay close to a shelter when smoke was about and the country was not burned yet. But they could have also pre-burned an area months in advance as a refuge to reduce the risk in Summer.

            70

        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          And the biggest fires, the “unstoppable” ones are all in National Parks, Nature Reserves or lands under the control of Green Councils. The latter include privately owned land on which councils refuse to allow clearing. I suggest that’s at least 97% of the major burns this time.
          Cheers
          Dave B

          211

      • #
        hatband

        Not sure that Eucalypts were the dominant species when the present Indigenous first arrived.

        Perhaps they lit fires from Day one, and the Eucalypt were the only trees to survive continuous burning?

        Anyway, now hardwood logging is banned n Australia, these forests have no commercial potential, they’re always a

        potential disaster waiting to happen, once you’ve seen one Gum Tree, you’ve seen them all, and we can’t afford it.

        90

        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          Fire increased around 30 million years ago, and allowed acacias to flourish. It was not the aboriginal influence, although they learnt to profit from fire events.

          33

          • #
            hatband

            If Acacias were flourishing 30 million years ago, or even 30 thousand years ago, the fossil record

            would show that, and we would have heard about it, non stop.

            My thesis, fwiw, is that fire was used as a weapon to drive out the previous inhabitants, that took

            perhaps a few hundred years, and Acacias were what survived of the original forest.

            00

            • #
              Richard

              Try: Martin, H.A. (2014). A review of the Cenozoic palynostratigraphy of the River Valleys in Central and Western New South Wales. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 136, 131-155.

              The full paper is available to anyone via the Linnean Society of NSW website.

              “The palynofloras indicate a substantial change in the vegetation and climate over this time: from rainforest and a wet climate in the mid Miocene to eucalypt sclerophyll forest and a drier, more seasonal climate in the late Miocene-Pliocene to woodlands/grasslands and a much drier climate in the Pleistocene. Deposition of the basal quartz rich alluvial unit occurred under a high rainfall, high energy regime whereas the upper unit was deposited under a drier climate and low energy regime.”

              50

          • #
            Bill Johnston

            Happy New Year Peter, good to be here.

            I don’t remember fire increasing 30 million years ago. However I did read a paper somewhere, probably from the Climate Council that Acacias self-immolated when temperatures exceeded 43.75 degC. Scary stuff, I’m sure they had pictures; although maybe it was 47.39 DegC (they only pretend to do research you know).

            I understand that the wax in the sap-nodules combines with nitrogen compounds excreted as bi-products by symbiotic root bacteria to form a compound not dissimilar to nitroglycerine, which as you know become unstable when wind speed exceeds 34.3 M/second. And poof! – no tree!

            Or maybe it was something on the ABC spoked long, long ago by Tim Flammable when he was floating down the Murray projecting that wombats believed the world was about to chuck it-in. Probably after few tinnies or perhaps before …. You can probably find a podcast to use when you have absolutely nothing else more interesting to do.

            Cheer-up. From now on to the end-of-days things can only look up.

            Be awoke

            Dr Bill

            10

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          Lightning didn’t arrive with Homo Sapiens.

          52

          • #
            hatband

            ”Lightning didn’t arrive with Homo Sapiens”

            It’s not unique to Australia either, yet Australia is the only country to have the Eucalypt evolve.

            30

          • #
            RichardX

            Well, no. It’s obvious. It arrived with Teslas.

            10

        • #
          Hasbeen

          I moved from the Whitsunday area to Hervey bay area. Over the next few years many friends from the great barrier reef tourist industry came down to visit, & most went for a look at Fraser Island.

          Most were of similar opinion. After a couple of hours being driven along sandy tracks, lined gum trees, the thought that the rest of the day would be more of the same became rather horrific.

          10

      • #
        gee aye

        I challenge anyone to imagine what it would be like to live in an Australian landscape covered in continuous dry fuel. Unbroken fuel for hundreds of miles, which means that fires can travel further in a day than the fittest man can run, let alone less agile members of the community.

        or I challenge anyone to imagine what it would be like to live in an Australian landscape covered in continuous landscape never cleared for a very large proportion for agriculture or cities, with soil moisure loss through evaporation and albedo increase causing related drops in rainfall further exacerbated by mining and arterial extraction changing the whole landscape so that any comparison with indiginous practices bein irrelevant

        oops.. wrong blog

        27

        • #
          Graeme Bird

          I just cannot quite follow what you are saying here gee aye? I wish I could. Are you saying out landscape is different from before European settlement ….. So we don’t need to worry about fuel buildup?

          40

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Good point because it brings up the issue of how much land is occupied by mines.

          I would imagine: a very small amount of the continent.

          Just take a look at the bare area in Australia’s centre, it’s huge.

          The one thing I would like to see done with mining is greater attention given to restoration of used areas.

          KK

          50

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          In any case what are you worrying about the albedoes for, they all died out about 22,000 years ago at last glacial peak.
          Species loss is always disappointing but in the cycle of nature; inevitable.

          Much better to focus on the positive, like saving existing species from certain death if low intensity burns are not carried out.

          Every continent has its burdens to carry. Canada, besides Trudeau, has a dangerously cold climate. Australia suffers from excess bush and our burden is to put up with a little smoke for few days once a year.

          The current “political fires” have given us appalling smoke for several months, a Polly made disaster.

          KK

          90

        • #
          hatband

          Yeah, sounds good.

          In my opinion, agriculture just destroys potential good grazing land, substituting high value animals like

          Cattle and Sheep, for low value, resource depleting crops like wheat, sugar cane, and cotton doesn’t make

          economic or political sense.

          Coal deposits ought to be reserved for local use only, but apart from Uranium, we need to be producing minerals.

          52

        • #
          Peter Fitzroy

          I concur, but will add, are we going back to the same population numbers, removal of all infrastructure,houses, utilities, shops, etc.

          10

          • #
            hatband

            Water resources can’t support the 25 million we have now, so there’ll have to be a reckoning some day.

            However, Cattle and Sheep grazing are labour intensive industries through all stages of production, build

            up the soil, and are the most healthy food source.

            What’s not to like?

            21

            • #
              Graeme M

              On that subject it is worth contemplating the effect of land use changes. Much of the grazing of semi-arid lands in Australia is likely to have seriously degraded the landscape. Read Call of the Reed Warbler by Charles Massy and The Wooleen Way by David Pollock. Consider that warming of the atmosphere depends on the warmed earth and then think about how changed ground cover from agriculture across millions of hectares increases outgoing longwave radiation. Is it possible that in drought times our landscape loses its ground cover sooner and heats the air more? A sign could be more frequent excursions to hot days in coastal regions as winds blow the warmed air from the interior.

              01

              • #
                hatband

                … think about how changed ground cover from agriculture across millions of hectares

                Pastoralism is not Agriculture and doesn’t deplete the soil or decrease ground cover.

                Whether Agriculture causes the issues you claim, i don’t know, but if it’s possible,

                then why take the risk?

                00

              • #

                hatband I think it’s questionable to claim that pastoralism hasn’t depleted soils or ground cover. Both Massy and Pollock claim that IS the case, seriously so. Other farmers I have spoken to agree that we have substantially damaged the natural landscape from two centuries of inappropriate methods. What I am suggesting is that before pastoralism in semi-arid regions such as the Murchison, natural cover was mostly grasses and woody scrub, both of which were well adapted to drought. Now however we have serious grazing pressure from cattle, sheep, feral goats, kangaroos and so on, far in excess of the past situation, and the native perrenials have been significantly reduced. During droughts, we can imagine that these artificial landscapes lose condition more quickly and become seriously impacted by extreme grazing pressures. If that means more bare eath/stubble sooner, that surface could warm more than it otherwise would. And that surface would then heat the air which in turn transfers to coastal areas with resulting extremes in temps. Maybe not necessarily higher extremes, but more frequent. Add in the fact that these depleted soils hold less moisture and we have a tendency for less rainfall in droughts. This could also be exacerbated by something similar with grain crops. Consiser that we also have, in similar regions, up to 20 million hectares of such crops, typically harvested in spring/summer which means more bare earth/stubble to heat up during the hottest periods. Simply, it might very well be the case that land use changes from grazing/cropping activities in the past two centuries are contributing to a negative feedback cycle of drier, hotter droughts and more frequent hot extremes. Though I think Jo shared some info that suggests hot days haven’t increased, but I am not sure if that was generally or specific to locations.

                00

    • #
      Dennis

      I point to two events since white settlement at Sydney Town, Port Jackson, in 1788.

      1) Over time cattle disappeared from the settlement and Aborigines were blamed for the losses. But when white explorers reached what is now the Camden District south west of Sydney they discovered a herd of cattle feeding on natural grassland near permanent water supply.

      2) Early settlers in Gippsland Victoria discovered natural grasslands in the Snowy Mountains high country and took advantage of the grasses to feed cattle in warmer months every year, the Cattlemen’s Association has many members today who are the sons and grandsons of the first cattle grazing families.

      I have friends there who are members of the Cattlemen’s Association, RFS volunteers and regularly ride Horses into the high country. They have explained to me that since grazing of cattle was banned the undergrowth taking over the grasslands is thickening including blackberry bushes. They also explained that their ancestors adopted the seasonal burning practised by the Aborigines, and burnt patches as they left each season.

      If there was no Aborigine tradition of seasonal burning how did the pristine grasslands survive before white settlement?

      Of course the climate became drier starting about 130,000 years ago and well before now ingigenous migrants arrived here. And of course natural lightning strike bushfires occurred regularly, the rainforests were retreating (now only 3 per cent today) but the vegetation that replaced rainforests was tolerance of dry conditions including droughts, and was tolerant of fire which was needed for regeneration.

      I believe that the Aborigines observed and learnt over time that fire could make their lives safer and easier for walking around and hunting. I understand that the seasonal burning tradition started maybe 5-7,000 years ago.

      Diaries written by white settlers after 1788 described the bushland as open with spaced trees and natural grass below, not all but definitely low lands and other suitable areas like the Snowy Mountains high country.

      And today using modern equipment rangers in the WA Kimberly Region and NT Kakadu Region have been following Aboriginal burning techniques and seasonal timing.

      40

    • #

      I’ve been traveling the Victorian High Country for over 40 years and the last decade and a bit has been the worst I’ve ever seen when it comes to fuel loads. On top of that, Parks Victoria has been on a mission to close as many tracks as possible to prevent 4WD access and simply closing many off regardless. And despite several Bushfire Royal Commissions, virtually no attention has been paid to the recommendations.

      Plenty of fuel, no forest management, no access to the bush and hot dry weather and you reap what you sow.

      330

      • #

        I can relate first hand as to how significant the fuel loading can get. We’ve now lived in South Gippsland for eight years and we have approx 30 Messmate gums in our yard and there are more around us in adjoining properties.

        We have to clear leaves, branches and bark almost weekly to ensure that things don’t get out of hand and this is all year round. All I have to do is extrapolate the situation in our yard to the High Country, that had no clearing whatsoever in over 10 years, and you can easily see the problem.

        The last major fires were in 2009 and now again in 2019. Ten years of mounting fuel loads are the cause of these fires, not climate change.

        281

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Agree completely
          I have 7-8 mature Eucalypt trees across the road from me
          They constantly drop leaves and bark strip
          Which are blown on the wind across to my place
          Where they build up to a fire hazard
          On a weekly basis.
          It’s a weekly job every week
          To clean up some one else’s crap
          ( The local Council’s )
          And keep my home fire safe !

          180

        • #
          PG12

          I have heard various experts state that leaf litter will only build up to a certain level. Beyond this it will naturally compost. The article above (stop lighting fires) alludes to a similar mind set. This may be true in some situations, such as tropical forests. But I can vouch from personal experience that years of build up is barely composting in the ground layer. So when a fire does com through it burns much hotter and in my case I have seen trees killed as a result.
          However I do agree that this is a complex issue over a large land mass with numerous solutions needed.

          10

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The mob who are heart of this
      Jill Redwood & company
      Live North of Orbost
      In Goongerah,
      In Rain Forest country
      Rare & beautiful !
      They have NO understanding
      That most of the Australian flora
      Is adapted genetically to fire
      And no understanding that
      As time passes the fuel load builds up
      until it becomes catastrophic fire hazard.
      But I suspect that now all this mob
      Will be having a rethink
      As that entire area has been
      In the midst of an active fire ground
      For over a month

      100

    • #
      PeterW

      Funny how they want to make the claim that FRB is an “American” model…. yet what they are advocating is exactly the “Smoky Bear” fire exclusion model – complete with huge-budget fire service responses – that has failed so dismally.

      There comes a time to admit that more of what isn’t working, is not likely to work and better.

      80

    • #
      beowulf

      From Yonnie’s link. As usual they get everything arse-backwards.

      No one is advocating the use of napalm to start hazard reduction burns. That’s idiotic.

      The standard of the discussion can be gleaned from the following quotes:

      It’s time to stop lighting fires and to use fixed rotating thermal imaging cameras to detect them and the world’s best and biggest firefighting aircraft, when needed, to rapidly extinguish them . . .

      The reintroduction of dead leaf and timber eating insects, the restoration of populations of Lyrebirds, leaf eating Koalas that even have an oecophorid that eats their droppings, where they have been lost should be key to future bushfire management.

      Current fuel reduction burning becomes a ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ even when it leads to more fires as appears to have happened, especially in Western Australia.

      Except that Joanne has shown us the graph that demonstrates the exact opposite. More hazard reduction = less wild fires.

      So koalas and insects are our new fire-fighting strategy. I hope these loonies don’t breed, although I imagine they have a direct line to the premier’s office.

      60

    • #
      Graeme Bird

      Yonniestone he says its time to start lighting fires, but he doesn’t say why. Instead he takes a potshot at a fellow call Gammage. Classic dumb-left reasoning.

      22

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Not so, I simply provided a link to an alternative viewpoint to lighting fires, I’ll take your lack of comprehension a result of early celebratory beverages.

        30

      • #
        Graeme Bird

        I’m not criticising you. But its no lack of comprehension on my part. I understand only too well that this fellow was being an idiot. Typical leftist muddled thinking.

        21

      • #
        Graeme Bird

        Thank you for the provocation. Devils advocate posts should always be welcomed. I should have been more careful to make sure it didn’t sound like I was taking a shot at the Devils advocate.

        20

    • #
      Graeme Bird

      I meant STOP lighting fires of course.

      20

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Yonnnie I have only read half way yet, but that is a good article.

      I read Viv’s story somewhere else. It, too, is good.

      But I haven’t yet seen mention of the rabbits.

      I have read a local history dated 1942 which lamented the advance of “woody weeds” on previously productive grassland, and blamed the cessation of aboriginal fire management for this change in the landscape.
      The rabbits arrived in this area about 1900, and it is much more likely that the rabbits were the cause of this change in the vegetative cover. As the rabbits dug up the roots and ate the shoots only vegetation which rabbits did not eat could survive.
      Rabbits were also responsible for the massive soil erosion dating from that period, including the erosion seen in and after the 1919/1920 drought. Rabbits came in under the livestock and took out the roots of the grass, leaving the topsoil loose to blow and wash away with the wind and the rain.

      40

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Yes I was surprised on the content also, I was interested in the comment on original forests having closed canopies naturally reducing the fuel load beneath, perhaps some of the grassland areas under trees the first Europeans write of was what was left through natural chance or purpose burning?

        Rabbits are a good point, over years of traversing the bush in Victoria I’ve been shocked where you can find diggings of Rabbits, even in the most remote places from mountains to deserts those things get in everywhere, foxes are a personal dislike too.

        10

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          My father was born in 1914. When he was a child the Goulburn River National Park between Merriwa and Wollar was open timber with grass underneath. In 1926 there was a fire, and after that it became scrub. By this time the rabbits would have been well established.
          When I was a kid it was dense scrub. You couldn’t see ten yards off the road. Then in 1952 there was a bad fire. After which I was astonished to see scattered big tree trunks and very bare sand. It was a hot fire. The dense scrub regenerated.

          In 1965 we had a drought. The scrub began to perish at an increasing rate as the weather warmed up in the spring. In the basalt open grazing country adjoining white box trees died in the open, the only time I have seen that happen.

          In October we had three inches of rain, and the scrub stopped dying. In December we had five inches, and no more died. But as the dead scrub defoliated, you could see in places up to a quarter of mile off the road, and grass started growing there again.

          In 1994 we had a similor drought, but it didn’t break till November. However the scrub having thinned out in 1965 survived.

          It seemed to me that had we had the 1994 drought in 1965 when the scrub was thick, we would have returned to the open timber that my father remembered as a boy.

          10

  • #
    robert rosicka

    I’ll repost this from the last thread about greenie protesters getting in the way of controlled burns at Nowa Nowa which I believe has been impacted .

    https://www.trfm.com.au/articles/planned-burns-halted/

    100

    • #
      Dennis

      Mad, extreme Greens.

      90

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The area at Nowa Nowa
      Was burned out by the fires yesterday by the fires near Lakes Entrance.
      I suspect that the Mossiface area may also have been burned out
      By yesterday’s bushfire near Bruthen In East Gippsland.
      With any luck the greenie idiots have survived the biggest fright of their lives
      And wlll leave the for the permanent big smoke of Melbourne

      70

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        The extent of the fires in East Gippsland
        (And they are vast !)
        Can I think best be gauged
        By the report from ABC Gippsland :
        https://www.facebook.com/ABCGippsland/posts/10157268371334825?__tn__=K-R
        Greenie stupidity
        Coupled with utterly dopy government policies
        Have created this catastrophe.

        70

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Total fire affected area in Victoriastan as at an hour ago is half a million hectares .

          50

        • #

          I wrote about this in March this year and what to expect because of abysmal state government policy. This isn’t an accident or act of God, but deliberate arson condoned by the state.

          131

      • #
        hatband

        They’ll be going straight back to their burnt out properties, the insurance will take care of everything, the

        State Government will chip in with Grants and Interest Free Loans, The Rev. Scotty will get atrocious Media until

        the Feds kick in some dosh and everything will be hunky dory in preparation for the next bushfires.

        110

      • #
        Annie

        No such luck if the area around Marysville is anything to go by. The greenies were very quiet for a couple of years after the 2009 firestorm but then reared their idiotic heads again.

        20

  • #
    el gordo

    The story is getting a run at the Oz, congrats Viv.

    130

  • #
    Another Ian

    Goal posts move again! Yet another “last chance”

    “The Independent: “2020 is our Last Chance to Tackle Climate Change” ”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/12/30/the-independent-2020-is-our-last-chance-to-tackle-climate-change/

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    • #
      • #
        Another Ian

        More Coyote

        “Of course being wrong then does not mean the same folks are wrong now, though it is amazing that being wrong over and over does not seem to dent these folks’ credibility one bit in the media. You would think there might be one journalist who would ask, “you keep predicting climate disaster, and it always remains 10 years away. What’s up with that?”

        As always, my advice to you on climate is to be a good consumer of information. Specifically, when the media claims a trend, look for the trend data. And if they claim a long-term trend, check to see if the trend data is long-term. You will be amazed how often the media will claim a trend from a single data point. I will soon do an update on four of the most hyped climate “trends” — hurricanes, droughts, crop failures, and sea level rise — and show that the first three have no trend (or an improving trend) and the fourth, sea level rise, has a trend but that trend has been existent since before 1850, long before most manmade Co2 was put in the air.”

        160

  • #
    el gordo

    We have to reduce the size of some fire prone national parks and consider our future.

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    • #
      Dennis

      Revert to State Forests and management using revenue from sustainable logging again, and re-creating businesses in the timber industry and jobs.

      Hand dam catchment areas to water boards or similar organisations and maintain the land from water rates revenue.

      Dump UN agendas that impact adversely on economic growth.

      252

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Too much commonsense here Dennis I don’t think it will gain support especially in Victoriastan.
        I love the fact that they rely on forest harvesting machines to help with the fires and recovery .

        91

      • #
        Dave

        Absolutely Dennis!

        Especially in National & State Forests!

        Logging contractors do FOUR things
        1. They create fire breaks
        2. They manage undergrowth
        3. They are responsible for fighting fires
        4. They also back burn

        The GREENIES got rid of all this through Federal, State & Local legislation!

        130

  • #

    The bush as it is now would be impassable for both indigenous and European people, even with the maximum canopy which no longer exists in most places. No-burn would have rendered the bush unusable till a hot burn made it accessible. But hot burns would have destroyed timber and firewood as well as game.

    Bob Carr liked jumping out of helicopters wearing his latest Paddy Pallin clobber and looking concerned for what he called “wilderness”. He should have called it feralness. Because that’s what we’ve created: not wilderness but feralness.

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  • #
    • #
      Graeme Bird

      What this shows is that grazing can only ever be a temporary fix because it makes the land more productive. Whereas burning makes the land less productive so is a better fix if fire is your only concerned. But its a bit perverse. Don’t we want more production? More revenues and cheap food? So you know. I say we need both and other measures to boot. But its true that controlled grazing improves the land.

      20

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    In the western parts of the USA, Smokey Bear and friends have created the Era of Megafires (EOM):

    https://www.north40productions.com/eom-home

    The bottom line is that after over 100 years of fire suppression (aka fuel loading) there will be some fires so large that all that can be done is to get out of the way.
    In other situations there are some coping strategies — FireWise and Fire Adapted Communities.

    The fire problem will not end soon.

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    OriginalSteve

    I’d like all the greenie/UN Agenda 21 infested councils to grow enough backbone to admit they messed up by making hazard reduction burning next to impossible.

    The south coast is on fire…a contact says places like Batemans Bay has lost a bucket load of houses…people were evacuating onto the beaches.

    People are now dying in these fires.

    The greenies have blood on thier hands…..

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    • #
      Dennis

      But they know no shame and maintain a fanatical denial, it’s a climate change emergency they repeat and repeat.

      And many are mature age people who should know better, but who obviously lived their lives in a bubble of ignorance.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Its a spiritual sickness…..they cant all be sociopaths…

        71

        • #
          hatband

          Why can’t they all be Sociopaths?

          I don’t think we’re talking about a mass of people here, it’s just that they control the Megaphone.

          50

  • #
    George4

    (sorry posted in wrong place above)
    The @borigines didn’t have to worry about putting out the fires or expensive houses being destroyed or killing people outside their tribe.
    Cool burns only remove some of the lower fuel and I bet they had their share of crown firestorms after drought and heatwave.
    To control burn all our forests would be a huge cost and require a lot more government control because most land is not government owned and they are not presently responsible.
    I just wonder whether it would be more cost effective to concentrate resources on the interface zone between houses and forest and only building non flammable material houses there in the future.

    28

    • #
      PeterW

      Without high levels of ground fuels, the canopy does not get hot enough to sustain crown fires.

      They are not two different things.

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    • #
      PeterW

      The idea that we can ignore fires deep in the bush and fight them when they come out is what is killing people.

      Fires usually come out on a bad day, when the fire is huge and intense. That is exactly the strategy that killed four people and destroyed 400 homes in Canberra in 2003. Two small fires were permitted to burn uncontrolled for a week until a blow-up day arrived. It then travelled many kilometres and arrived at uncontrollable (by any method) intensity on a front kilometres wide.

      That IS what happens when you let a fire grow.

      150

      • #
        George4

        Bushfire hazard reduction: the sword or the shield?

        There are two methods, which we can think of as the “sword” and the “shield”. The “sword” is offensive: prescribed burning throughout the landscape. The “shield” is targeted, defensive hazard reduction close to properties and infrastructure.

        So which is better?

        Historical and computer simulation analyses show that the sword approach is moderately cost-effective.

        To halve the risk to people and property using prescribed fire would mean treating about 10% of the landscape each year. This is an order of magnitude above current levels of prescribed burning, and a similar increase in funding would be required.

        Based on analysis of current costs, such an increase is unlikely, either in the Greater Sydney region, or over the broader area of fire-prone NSW.

        Hazard reduction around property

        The alternative is focusing efforts around property and infrastructure – the “shield” of hazard reduction. A range of research shows that it is the fuel conditions in forests close to property, the distance of property from forest edges, and the nature of gardens that have a very strong influence on risk or loss during fires.

        The extent of forest within a kilometre of property, as well as the distance to the edge of the forest are critical for survival. Houses close to (e.g. < 50 m) uncleared expanses of forest are highly vulnerable to fire in severe weather. The nature of garden vegetation is also critical up to 40 m around houses.

        A range of hazard reduction methods – prescribed burning, thinning, clearing, and garden design and maintenance – targeted in this critical zone near developments can therefore have a powerful effect on reducing bushfire risk.

        This can be more cost effective than prescribed burning throughout a landscape. Post-fire analyses and modelling show that, for example, using prescribed fire next to properties may be up to five times more effective than treatments more distant in the landscape.

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        • #

          Getting things safer closer to humans is a priority, for sure.

          I’m thinking it might be best to keep things decentralised. The same people or types of people obstructing burn-offs now will probably be a disaster supporting them. Rather than inspections and programs and percentages, why not just make sure brigades and helpers are supported in their support for those interested in more fuel reduction?

          Once bureaucracy and quotas come into the picture you’ll have Smoky Bear officials burning at the wrong times in the wrong wind conditions because they’re on some “program”. God save us from programs. What about we leave things as local and flexible as possible? I know that a case of beer and some willing neighbours and brigade members on a dry July night can do great things with little risk. If conditions feel wrong…drink the beer and come back another night!

          So before we worry about prescription and regulation it would be a good idea to just get out of the way of communities and individuals who want to make their properties safer. Even if some remain unsafe, there will be a lot less to do in emergencies.

          And of course we have to keep kicking the GeeUppers and climate botherers to the kerb. I’m always up for some of that.

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    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      Which is standard practice- read news and rfs manage plans

      01

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    Dennis at #1 gives this link to David Packham_
    https://omny.fm/shows/nights/scientist-david-packham-on-whats-really-causing-th
    It is worth listening to, but it is not free from error.
    David mentions several times the property named fire intensity and gives examples in megawatts per metre. This is a strange unit.
    For a start, fires are in the kilowatt range, three orders of magnitude lower.
    Second, one might expect the dimension to be square meters, but in the art of fires studies it is common to use a linear measure, being the length of the fire front, which is assumed to be linear with area and thus total energy.
    Geoff S

    30

    • #
      PeterW

      Geoff…

      Energy release per square metre does not take into account rate of travel. Rate of release is far more relevant than overall energy release.

      50

      • #
        Graeme Bird

        No energy release per square metre in practice would ALSO control the rate of travel given the same wind speed and humidity. The rate of travel will be less than the hot dry wind, thanks to the upward trajectory of super-heated air. But if the energy release is higher, then the fires success in travelling will be greater. Hence the energy release will be that which allows for successful fire-front travel. We don’t want any excuses here. We need the fuel reduced and the land hydrated.

        00

      • #
        Graeme Bird

        Oh sorry about that. I can see that your attitude is completely different than I had assumed.

        00

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    In the years 1986-1992 or so I was either VP or President of the NT Chamber of Mines and Energy, while resident in Sydney then Melbourne and hence a frequent flier for the monthly meetings. The main agenda item over these years was aboriginal affairs. The reason was the alienation of land from mineral exploration and mining that commonly followed its classification as traditional aboriginal land, combined with vicious Federal legislation that took away customary mineral rights and their associated Royalties back to the people.
    I had started to interact with aborigines in the NT in 1959. From 1971 onwards I had to do a lot more interaction as we had discovered the Ranger Uranium deposits and every man and his dog was after us and recruiting aboriginal sympathies to oppose us. Which they did, eventually, when socialism overtook capitalism.
    But, there was a window of innocence from 1971 to about 1978 before the influence of southern academics became large enough to make a difference in their quest to re-write history to conform with their favourite theories. In that window, people were people, we all got on fine in the bush and we had quite educational episodes of discussion of traditions, what was passed down from one generation to another, what rock paintings meant, and the like. I hired professional anthropologists because of my lack of formal training; and I learned.

    Cut to the chase, nowhere did I find any evidence, any examples, of what has been called “traditional aboriginal fire management practices”. I found that the locals lit small fires, almost exclusively for hunting management, but sometimes a small fire got out of hand and became a large one. Remember that they did not wear shoes and that even a small piece of burning charcoal hurts very tough feet. Ground burned by large fires could not be accessed until too much time had passed and live game had departed. Some game was intended to be burned, like slow-moving tortoises, but there was a lot of action at the fringes to spear or club goanna and small wallabies. A fire that got too big to reach its fringes in a few minutes on foot was rather useless.
    Overall, the fire regime in this Arnhem Land region has been fully described by experts with whom I agree until they get into the soft business of tradition and planning. A paper I re-read a few minutes ago is -
    https://firecentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Yibarbuk-et-al-Fire-ecology.pdf
    It notes the different characters and values and consequences of small and large fires. It stresses fuel load. It is concordant with what Viv Forbes wrote here and with what Jo has been writing.
    You should not place much weight on what I have written here because it covers a particular, remote area of the Top End, over a restricted time frame and discussions with only a dozen or so of the top locals. But, you can use a good deal of sceptism when you read of angelic aboriginal properties like carrying down traditions of fire management plans for thousands of years as if there was a Holy Writ. These people were simply doing what was common sense to make hunting and therefore Life, easier. As most people do. Geoff S

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  • #
    Graeme Bird

    “Cool burns only remove some of the lower fuel and I bet they had their share of crown firestorms after drought and heatwave.”

    You have this hot dry wind coming from the North West. Supposing its at 40 miles per hour. Its going to actually accelerate as it gets close to the fire front. Then the superheated air will rise up. The front won’t be moving as fast as the incoming wind because of this. But it will still move pretty fast. But if you get this upward movement of this really hot air thats where you get these strange things happening. Like the crown of trees exploding into fire. So yes fuel reduction is the thing. But we could probably do better than burning if we really put our minds to it.

    31

    • #
      robert rosicka

      What could be better than pre burning Graeme ? No fuel on ground means no massive destruction from a mega fire .
      Yes you may still get a fire but it’s not likely to be a devasting fire or fires like we are having and don’t forget conditions are perfect at the moment for fires with high fuel loads on the ground coupled with drought .
      Nothing we can do about drought but fuel loads yes .

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    • #
      Graeme Bird

      You have to do the burning if thats the only method you have in place. But you can reduce fuel all year with goats and mobile electric fences. The loose wood could be collected and given many uses, as opposed to going up in smoke. You could have a comprehensive plan to hydrate the countryside using swales, as the first step to more comprehensive water retention landscapes. You could log all the wood in a strip ahead of putting in a swale. Its unusual to suggest that you have only one methodology when you could be using half a dozen.

      44

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Goats do not eat
        Eucalypt gum leaves
        Nor strips of gum tree bark.
        Only a cool burn gets rid of these items
        Unless you spend time collecting them
        And binning them
        for the Council’s Green Waste bin
        PS I do too much of that already )

        80

        • #
          Graeme Bird

          Right so you need more than one measure. The measure we have in place now, is the one we have to accelerate. Since the measure in place now is the most readily expanded. But we don’t want to fall for some sort of “one true measure” fallacy.

          31

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Some sensible suggestions Graeme and I have seen the effects goats have on the landscape but given the sheer size of the areas needing attention there is still a need for fuel reduction from burning .
        The indigenous peoples worked this out 50,000 plus years ago and we’re masters at it , we keep forgetting history to our detriment .

        31

      • #
        Graeme Bird

        Actually I quite like what Dennis has to say about sustainable logging. Its just that I’d like them to do it in strips rather than in acreage. Even if it meant some sacrifice in economy. I’m a biodiversity fetishist after all.

        42

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Graeme talk to a tree doctor that’s studied how the bush actually regrows after an event such as fire or logging .
          A study in Tasmania confirmed (much to the horror of some greenies) that clear felling a large coup area then burning the refuse gave the best results and part of the reason they came up with this was by aging the trees in an x times x area and found they were all pretty much the same age .
          Strip grazing was detrimental .
          I know this from talking to a retired tree doc from tassie near Alice Springs one evening .

          30

          • #
            Graeme Bird

            I wouldn’t want to strip-graze so much as strip-log. Not fond of the idea of knocking everything down in sight. “Gave the best results.” Just clarify this matter. I’m not quite getting it. Certainly if you have fire in mind only, you’d knock everything down turn the soil over, and put salt on the ground. I’m sure I will understand exactly what you are saying if you clarify a little bit.

            31

      • #
        beowulf

        You haven’t dealt with a lot of goats or electric fences in your time, have you Graeme?

        41

        • #
          Graeme Bird

          Actually we had a stint of farming goats when I was a child. So I get what you are saying. Some farmers have a motto towards goats …. “Just say no.” In other words just say no to goats. There’s always a few tricky buggers that teach the others how to get up to mischief. Not unlike the Python skit where this intelligent goat is convincing the others that they can fly. But every new program should only be expanded very slowly to keep costs low. In this case its a skills thing. You need the people to slowly build up their herds and their experience handling goats.

          41

      • #
        Graeme Bird

        Oh yeah no disagreement there. The first step is expand the burning. You don’t throw away any tools. Its only as you slowly expand other measures that you phase down the original tool. Any attempt to too quickly bring in other measures means cost explosions. So yes absolutely I want to make it clear that expanded burning has to be the near term management move. Expanding what we have in place is not only the best near-term thing to do its the most economic. Expanding an existing program 2 per cent every quarter is much easier than quickly putting other programs in place.

        I personally am available for herding goats at minimum wage right now. And I’m fine with staying with them overnight a lot of the time. There is a lot of people out there that are available. Either full time or 5 days a fortnight. You build these teams very slowly to keep costs down. Our country is not blessed with over-employment. And we suffer under too much overhead in the public service and financial sectors.

        30

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Goats do an amazing job on properties with blackberry and similar infestations no argument but out in the bush they get stuck into things like grass trees and rare orchids .
          Plus the disease factor and the breeding explosion within a short time they don’t deserve to be in the bush .
          I’ve been part of a team getting rid of them in national parks etc and I’ve seen the damage they do but never seen them chew a dead log on the ground .

          60

          • #
            Graeme Bird

            You could bring in supplementary pigs. Leave them in the same area they wind up uprooting a lot of stuff. “Plus the disease factor and the breeding explosion …..” Goats are good to eat. A breeding explosion is a bonus.

            33

          • #
            Graeme Bird

            Oh I see what you are saying. Another reason to keep teams growing only slowly to bring up the skills level ahead of the size of the program. But that wood. We can surely use that wood productively. There is one program I think needs to be catalytic although in general these things should be down to the individual. The best heating technology for the ground floor is rocket mass heaters. No question thats the cheapest heating system. But its not getting off the ground without a little bit of a push. Having all these hippies show up on your ground floor with a lot of mud and straw. No landlord would put up with it and in fact few householders will until they’ve seen a friend with one. But putting aside rocket mass heaters we can surely find uses for wood? Surely. Hugelkultur? Throwing it in with the coal perhaps? People are pointing out that currently councils are actively stopping people harvesting fallen wood. Well thats got to be reversed I think.

            11

            • #
              robert rosicka

              Ok now I get it ! WX Cycles all over again , you had me for second I thought you knew what you were talking about but alas just another misguided troll trying to blog clog .
              I live in the sticks and use wood heating but it’s getting harder to get in the forests where it’s permitted .
              Once upon a time it was permitted in the now National park in the hills above us but not anymore .
              I live in a mudbrick house and have solar panels but none of what I do is determined by alternative lifestyle and carbon footprint.
              As for “teams Growing” I have no idea what you’re on about or on and don’t care I’ll give you the response you deserve to all future ramblings from you by not responding to your childish comments .

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              • #
                Graeme Bird

                I agree with you. You should be able to use all the wood you want. Thats a big problem if you cannot use that wood. I don’t quite know where the disagreement has come. Someone else mentioned that people were getting in the way of wood use. Well thats no good right? So councils are blocking wood gathering. Councils are blocking back-burning. There is no plan for grazing on public lands. Its all about bad policy right?

                10

              • #
                Graeme Bird

                “Teams Growing” Teams of goat herders. You grow them slowly. So your people get the experience. So the goats don’t get out and ruin everything as you described.

                22

              • #
                robert rosicka

                National parks are no longer in council control once declared .
                I’ll say again goats are great for private property especially small acreage if fencing is adequate but they have no place in the bush .

                50

              • #
                Graeme Bird

                There seems to be a lot of these projects around in other countries. Although it might be that the goats are being used on private rather than public lands I’m not sure. But surely we cannot give up on some sort of grazing problem on public lands? That would be a waste of resources if ever there was one.

                I quite like the phrase “More forests less trees” Which is shorthand and it may be that people who use this motto could still want more trees in total. But you can have a forest without all this growth so tightly packed. When I moved out to the country not long ago, I had this kind of fantasy. In this daydream I would sneak onto publicly owned land and plant a lot of ginseng and then come back and harvest it. But the publicly owned land near to my place is so thick I’d need two sets of overalls, a bicycle helmut and a machete just to be able to move around.

                Maybe the idea goats is just a niche fuel reduction idea and always will be one. But to fail to gather wood, and have some sort of planned grazing on public land is to waste resources. “National parks are no longer in council control once declared.” Thats the most obvious thing that has to change. We cannot solve any problems at all if our sovereignty is in the hands of foreigners. Thats not something that can be taken for granted. Thats a first order of business kind of thing.

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              • #
                Kalm Keith

                Yep.

                10

  • #
    pat

    American Thinker has picked it up:

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/12/fighting_fires_with_fire.html

    an American non-thinker:

    30 Dec: Townhall: Biden Obliviously Tells Press that Fossil Fuel Execs Should Be Jailed
    by Cortney O’Brien
    Former vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden told a crowd in Peterborough, New Hampshire over the weekend that if fossil fuel executives don’t take accountability for helping to doom the environment, we should throw them in jail…

    Some spectators noted his obliviousness. Surely he didn’t forget that his son Hunter was on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company that was being investigated for corruption? I mean, it has been in the news lately…

    Biden also borrowed a line from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to declare that if we don’t stop using fossil fuels for energy, “we’re all dead.”
    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2019/12/30/biden-obliviously-tells-press-that-fossil-fuel-execs-should-be-jailed-n2558679

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  • #
    OriginalSteve

    This is a real emergency ( I suggest giving the XR clowns to the RFS, and let them actually do something useful….. )

    For anyone in these areas some fire monitoring resources.

    ****Please note that social media reports on fires etc may not be accurate.****

    NSW
    ===
    https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fires-near-me#

    Glorious Soviet Republic of Victoriastan
    ========================================
    http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/?=&bbox=145.17059326171875%2C-36.995972054503%2C149.29046630859375%2C-35.0120020431607&tm=1577757611032#

    The Great and Glorious Renewables Kingdom of SA
    ===============================================

    https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/warnings_and_incidents.jsp

    WA
    ==

    https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au/

    Australia wide fire hotspots
    ============================

    https://hotspots.dea.ga.gov.au/

    50

  • #
    David Maddison

    Ever since Aboriginal settlement, the landscape of Australia was extensively altered from its “natural” state. There is probably no part of Australia that is truly natural as it was prior to human settlement. Any changes made by European sellers are likely minor in comparison to those made by Aboriginals in which the continual burning altered the species mix and extincted many.

    30

  • #
    David Maddison

    Apart from “green” policies limiting or prohibiting fuel reduction burns, it is also prohibited in many areas to collect firewood, further allowing fuel to build up (when it could be removed for free).

    I blame the Greens and all those that subscribe to their anti-science policies for the bushfire devastation.

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  • #
    Murray Shaw

    Seems the reticence re “cool burning’In the off-season is the question of liability. That is, who is responsible when the “burn” gets away and does damage, ie, third party impacts.
    In the age of damage claims and no-win, no pay, legal assistance, all responsible parties, RFS, National Parks, Local Government, all steer well clear of burn-offs, so this is our future, get used to it!

    101

    • #
      Graeme Bird

      This is where you need the State Government fully behind everyone.

      52

    • #
      william x

      Murray, I have been involved in 84 prescribed burns during my service.

      Not one of the burns I was involved in “gets away and does damage”. Every burn is controlled. Every burn is kept at low intensity. Flame height is kept below waist height so as to limit risk of destruction of flora and fauna. The object of a prescribed burn is to reduce ground level fuel loads. Less fuel equals less intensity. A fire occurring in a pre prescribed burn area can then be controlled if it occurs.

      We never leave a prescribed burn until it has been blacked out.

      Hazard reduction has been hamstrung by local council and state govt policies.

      To give you an idea, I attended 83 prescribed burns before 2003, since then to today only 1.

      go figure

      170

      • #
        David Maddison

        What event occurred in 2003 when the burns stopped?

        70

        • #
          william x

          DM, I don’t know why they stopped tasking us doing prescribed burns.

          I do know that a new Commissioner was appointed in 2003. He was a member of the NxW Government’s Climate Change Council from 2007-16. This retired commissioner is associated with and contributes to Tim Flxxxxxxys climate council.

          I cannot directly answer your question. So your guess is as good as mine.

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          Matthew Bruha

          Only thing I can think of in 2003 was the ACT fires. It did make the govt think about Pine Plantations near residential areas…

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    mark jones

    A most disturbing read. In fact, it gives insight into the obsession to evacuate rather than allow individuals to remain and protect their homes. What MUST be remembered about Black Saturday, once that fire got going in those conditions NOTHING was going to stop it.

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      OriginalSteve

      From the article:

      “By the time Russell Rees and Bruce Esplin had completed their initial evidence to the commission,

      it had become clear that on 7 February both a cumbersome bureaucratic structure and a peculiar ideological mindset had worked in combination to prevent the fire and emergency chiefs at the IECC from issuing warnings to citizens living to the north of Melbourne.

      If any warnings were going to be given, they could only have come from CFA staff at the local incident control centres (the ICCs), from where the fires were actually being fought. Because the commission understood this, it turned its attention from the centre to the periphery. An extraordinary story now emerged.”

      Pure speculation of course, but there is an apparent whiff of Agenda 21 & rewilding floating around?

      One wonders….

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        Dennis

        Much of the responsibility for implementing Agenda 21 now Agenda 30 is with local government in each state and the councils attend regular conferences to coordinate activities.

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        truth

        Original Steve….

        Trust Liberal-hating old Manne to insert the terrible political threat of ‘neo-Liberalism’[ vis-a-vis the amazingly competent Left Wing Labor-lite Liberal group he himself had supported] into his culpability probe re the stay-go policy.

        As I remember it ..in NSW that policy was most championed by a fire Commissioner who later became a notoriously disastrous Minister ….not in a Liberal government but in the NSW LABOR INC Labor government.

        The policy in NSW had seen a family in the outer North of Sydney..who had believed in it explicitly….choosing to stay…and dying.

        Wasn’t the decision-making during those Victorian fires corrupted and contaminated by the toxic political dispute over the vicious unions’ campaign to take over and virtually destroy the volunteer service…and the party political nature of the Police Force headed by the Labor hard case Christine Nixon …who reportedly dined through the long evening with her phone switched off as decision-making was dodged and deflected and those people died?

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    Simon

    Firestick farming hasn’t been practiced for over 150 years. The question is, why is this year so bad? Why are we seeing fire behaviour that has never observed before?

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      Graeme Bird

      Probably wet followed by dry. Wet winter followed by dry spring and summer. High CO2 levels, and sorry to make a minor point in favour of the enemy, means faster fuel buildup. But what this means is we have to be even more vigilante about our fuel. And I say we need a plan for land hydration via swales.

      If we follow the same policies as now, any we season, with the possible exception of autumn, followed by a very dry season, is likely to spell trouble. Wet followed by dry. Thats no good under current policy.

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      hatband

      Why are we seeing fire behaviour that has never observed before?

      It’s more Climate Change hype, like Super Storms, 1 in 100 year storms, and all the rest?

      A fire is a fire, the more fuel you chuck on, the higher the flames go.

      Governments have been facilitating the disaster for 00 years, and those Governments have all had names like

      Labor, Liberal, LNP, and Coalition.

      There were bushfires at Kenmore in 1968, 20 people died.

      So, it’s not a new thing.

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      william x

      Simon,

      You quote:

      “Why are we seeing fire behaviour that has never observed before?”

      I will reply to your quote.

      By using the word “we” you include me as inclusive in the words you post.

      I am not a “we”

      I am a firefighter.

      I have saved hundreds of lives, saved hundreds of properties. I have been hospitalised due to my service.
      I have served 27 years plus.

      Simon, What you state is not true.
      This fire behaviour has been observed before. These bushfires in 2019 are not the worst on record.

      Do some research. Maybe look back at what has occurred in the past.

      Learn something by it.

      If you become informed, then maybe you can help me to save lives and property in the future, without posting ill informed, alarmist comments.

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      Kalm Keith

      These fires are bad.

      They are bad because the political class has decreed that fire and bush management must cease.

      Undergrowth and infill have been collecting for forty years now and we have seen the results of that neglect over the last ten years.

      Politicians must be held accountable along with deadwood FireChiefs.

      KK

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        OriginalSteve

        However, a power much much greater than the apparent Agenda 21 apologists running the show, have used thier own weapon against them.

        The bush should be all good now for another 20 years….

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          beowulf

          I don’t know about 20 years. I’d give it maybe 10 in the annihilated areas, particularly in coastal areas with sandy soils that naturally grow a lot of bracken and rubbish.

          This is a perfect opportunity to reinstate a rational fire regime into the burnt areas (and more widely), but I’ll bet it is wasted.

          Gotta feel for the poor folks on the NSW south coast and Gippsland/Mallacoota, and all the incinerated furry little creatures. This is not the way to hazard-reduce.

          Depending upon how completely it has burnt, it could take decades to recover significantly. The wattles and banksias and pioneers will spring up to cover the bare earth, but the climax vegetation will take a couple of hundred years to return to full glory, and it takes 100 years for the average gum to develop the tree hollows needed by birds and possums and micro-bats etc. You could do what the mines do and erect nest boxes in younger trees if you had 10,000 volunteers. At the Hunter coal mine I did work for, the environmental officer was known as Bat Man because of the bat boxes he used to install all over the place.

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      1851 set the standard for Victoria, 1967 set the standard for Tassie. Why did we “see fire behaviour” in 1851 and 1967 not observed before or since? Why should we not see as bad or worse now under the regime of Big Green? (No, not the Greens, the BIG Green which has infiltrated all parties and authorities.)

      The greater the neglect, the greater the consequences. It was inevitable that NSW would combust with present maintenance policies. It may well be that this has been the worst fire season for NSW. Whether the present fires have “behaved” in a new fashion depends on how much present day reportage exceeds reportage of those spring/summer fires in 1895, 1951, 1968-9, 1980 etc. Reportage on weather and climate disasters used to be about, well…weather and climate disasters. Now they get the full GeeUp treatment, don’t they?

      The other thing to consider is the effect of cold water on our climate. Low minima, high maxima, drought and fire have come together at a time when water in critical places has been unseasonably cold. Could there be a connection? Hell, even the BoM knows about the IOD. And I know about the cold water off the midcoast because I live here (and currently have visiting family complaining about having to swim in the icy stuff!)

      GeeUppers are not interested in conservation, climate or fire policies. They are so caught up in their Sorosian politics that they have become incapable of thought and bored by fact.

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      Peter Fitzroy

      AGW is the reason

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        What did I just say? GeeUppers are not interested in conservation, climate or fire policies. They are so caught up in their Sorosian politics that they have become incapable of thought and bored by fact.

        Can’t say much more about that lot.

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        beowulf

        Gross, criminal negligence is the reason, done at the behest of the Green cancer that has spread throughout governments and key government departments.

        Remember that legal duty to deal with risk that you were lecturing us about a couple of weeks ago? This is it. These are the consequences of a failure to act upon that duty of care by the authorities.

        A totally foreseeable risk with totally foreseeable consequences and a total failure to act to avert it. Criminal negligence.

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        Serp

        I’m amazed that your uttering the word “reason” doesn’t cause the deity to open the and skies strike you dead for your insufferable effrontery Peter Fitzroy; it’s probably too much to expect you’ll make a New Year’s Resolution to restrict yourself to veridical statements from now on but here’s hoping.

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    Graeme Bird

    My town in my area is the only one that hasn’t yet caught fire. Its surrounded by hills. The fire goes up the hills quickly but down the hills only slowly. So we’ve been pretty right. But you still feel the trauma. around you. Our town has become a sanctuary town. Tonight I went out and the smoke is thicker than ever. A few days before Christmas I went for a walk downtown and saw 9 firetrucks. Five of them lined up at the petrol station for blessed hydrocarbons. Horses in the back of trailers. Maybe about 40 dogs in cages. I only had to stay home two days to worry about the house but you still feel it. Fire refugees everywhere living out of cars. Fire refugees downstairs who had to stay here for almost a week. How much is this to do with ceding sovereignty elsewhere? Or is it just organic leftist stupidity for the most part?

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    • #
      hatband

      Apart from a little while during the Gillard Gummint, The Greens have never held office anywhere.

      The duopoly always holds 95% of the Seats, so they ought to be accepting at least 95% of the blame.

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        beowulf

        The Greens have never been in government, but they have been in power for 30 years. They have had both major parties by the goolies to make them bend to the Green agenda very successfully. Labor is delusional enough to go along with the scam and the Libs are too weak-kneed to oppose the Green power.

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          Serp

          It’s municipal councils that have succumbed to the Green Menace and adopted UN sustainability diktats.

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          • #
            hatband

            Sure, but they’ve all adopted the same policy, no exceptions.

            Since Local Governments have no Armed Forces, therefore no power, that indicates to me that the Feds must

            be on board too.

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    Graeme Bird

    Praise the lord I can happily report that a few drops of rain have started falling. Even the rock band across the road has acknowledged this sweet news.

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    OriginalSteve

    The establishment getting a tad cranky things arent moving fast enough… even rolling out “watch out for falling seals” Sir Davo Rabbitburrow….its a polite foot stamping….at least you know where they appear to stand…

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/earth-at-a-tipping-point-royal-family-launches-climate-crusade-20191231-p53nzh.html

    “London: The British royal family has made a dramatic intervention over the impact of climate change, warning Earth is at a “tipping point” and urging the world to lift its game over the next decade.

    “Launching “the most prestigious environmental prize in history”, Prince William on Tuesday said humans faced a “stark choice”.
    ………
    “The Duke of Cambridge enlisted renowned environmentalist Sir David Attenborough to help launch the campaign just as the world rang in a new year.”

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      Serp

      I’d estimate the average IQ of the royal family to be somewhere in the low eighties, not a group of people to take all that seriously on matters of global importance.

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      truth

      All those wondrous achievements Prince William cites …the ‘awe-inspiring civilizations’…’lifesaving technologies’…’man on the moon’….to jolt recalcitrants into action…. were underpinned…socially and technologically …by totally reliable synchronous coal-fired electricity and fossil fuels in general.

      It’s hard to see his and Attenborough’s prescription of a dog’s breakfast of weather-dependent intermittents and dodgy biomass-burning..propped up by drought-challenged hydro and …for the UK…imports that may or may not be available in a crunch…reliably supporting modernity and the internet that absolutely everything now depends on.

      It will be interesting to see who gets the first of these prizes.

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    thingadonta

    A bit of trivia. Today 31/12/2019 Mallacoota weather station at BOM reads 49.0 degrees C at 8:00am. About 10 minutes earlier in the 20s, likely due to passing fires. Also weather gauge reads 48mm but there is ‘no rain recorded’ elsewhere, possibly 48mm of ash?. I wonder how long it will take to correct?

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    Rick

    Fires all over the world are being blamed on Climate change. This means the real causes are ignored and no sensible remedial action will be taken. Canada is trying to extinguish fires and warm weather with a carbon tax. It won’t work for fires and we can sincerely hope it doesn’t cool our weather any more.

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    hatband

    Extreme cold?

    The temp got down to 4.5C, and the victims were infants and the elderly in a poverty stricken, malnourished

    population.Tragic, but hardly a surprise.

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    Pete

    Pardon a piece of pedantry…

    If I’m not mistaken (always on the cards), the word “aboriginal” is an ADJECTIVE. As in “An aboriginal man.” The corresponding NOUN is “Aborigine.” As in “He is an Aborigine.”

    So your headline should have read, “Aborigines didn’t need a water bomber God to save them from Government nurtured firestorms.”

    Happy New Year.

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    Zane

    Too hot, too cold, it’s all climate change, and it’s all caused by CO2, say the green nutters.

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    Chris

    Whilst I always enjoy Viv’s articles, I feel he has romanticized the behaviour of early settlers. Graziers in particular would wait for 100F days preferably with a wind to burn their properties. This would result in a “clean burn” which means there was nothing left. On one recorded occasion a town 50 miles away was destroyed by the fire a grazier lit. Bush fires were considered a part of life and loss was never attributed to the fire starter. Logging camps would tunnel out a refuge and cover it with a heavy timber door. Women and children would hide in there when the fires came. Sometimes they survived.

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    Furiously curious

    I made sure I watched the Attenbourgh doco ‘Climate change – the facts’, a month or so ago. The whole show was a vision of devastation and disaster, and I only noticed one fact — Cairns reached an unprecedented, never before seen 42 degrees, and bats were dropping out of the trees, stone dead. I thought there is something that should be easy to check? Cairns hottest temp. It turns out to have been 43.1 in 1921 or 3(?). I wouldn’t be surprised if 42 hasn’t been recorded fairly often??
    And I think I read that most of Australia, during the last glaciation, was basically very dry, cold, windswept, grasslands, apart from sheltered valleys.

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    Furiously curious

    One thing I have never seen mentioned is that Aboriginals were quite security conscious, when they were on walkabout. The women and children moving inside a screen of warriors. And cooking fires once finished with, were kept at an absolute minimum, so smoke wasn’t able to be detected at a distance. Which suggests there wasn’t a lot of fire around? Ion Idriess wrote about his experiences on Cape York, pre WW1, going on walkabout with local tribes.
    Wife stealing was one of the main games in town, as the old men had a lock on the young girls, so any young buck wanting a wife, pretty much had to steal her. So a band would have to be very sure of their security, to go around telegraphing their location, with pillars of smoke.?

    If I can put in a plug for Ion Idriess, when he is writing about his own experiences, around the frontiers 1900- 1935. Australia was another planet . The best Australian writing — “Over the Range” “In Crocodile Land” “Drums of Mer”. You’ve pretty much got to get them from overseas. He was hated by the literati, but Australia’s biggest selling author for 30 years. Totally gone now, disappeared.

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    Rob

    How many bushfires are being lit by maniacal arsonists?
    How many more are being started by those whose motives are to drive the climate change debate to new levels of fear and terror?
    How about we start paying hefty rewards to those who provide evidence that leads to the successful conviction of those who deliberately or carelessly start bushfires?

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Would you call a smoker a maniacal arsonist?

      Did you ever in the days before every car had an air conditioner follow a smoker at night as he/she ashed cigarettes out the window? And flicked the still burning butt?

      Even in the cool of night many of those ashes glow for long enough to reach the ground, while the butts continue burning for some time. How much more so in the heat of day?

      If a fire starts by a road, it was most likely started by a discarded cigarette butt or even just an ash.

      00