Fires and Burning

Fire response inquiry called for - please help

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Single Burning Tree Bonang Rd 16-1-14Incompetence, chaos and lack of direct attack on bushfires in far East Gippsland saw 170,000 ha burnt in January and February this year. Why did this happen when so much more could have been done? Many of the problems experienced were avoidable. The Emergency Services Commissioner and Minister has only offered an internal review. The community is demanding an inquiry to fully explore why it was handled as it was. You can help by signing this petition. Two clicks and it's done.

NO TRUST IN DEPI – mistakes reveal need for inquiry

Monday, May 12, 2014

"Huge bushfires in far East Gippsland went largely unchecked for over 2 months in early 2014. Some locals claim that DEPI staff and contractors lit unnecessary backburns, abandoned dangerous backburns at night, knocked down old growth hollow trees inside the National Park boundary as "revenge" against greenies and did so without fire-control rationale. Victorian Fire Commissioner Craig Lapsley has repeated many times in the media that an inquiry into these practices is not warranted.

A leaked DEPI report reveals its system for allocating millions of dollars of contract work is poor value for money

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The east Gippsland fires have been estimated to have cost the government (tax payer) up to $140 million to manage. We are hearing that so much of this was reckless waste – machines laying idle at $2000 a day or more, bulldozers left to do their own thing just to keep them employed. Strike teams sent from across the state for a day of 'look-see' or waiting around, to drive back the next day.


How forests carry out their own fire suppression management

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How did forests ever cope before the era of government planned small scale bushfires? Forests had many brilliant systems in place that digested leaf litter, kept the understory damp and a layer of nutrient rich humus at ground level, all operating with clever symbiotic relationships between plants, animals and fungi.

Below is just a selection of extracts from research which shows how important these ground layer ecosystems are – and how vulnerable they are to planned government burns.

Coastal incineration plan

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This planned burn is not an isolated case of cowboy vandalism. The DEPI proposal to burn a 6,000ha piece of coastal old growth in the Croajingolong National Park includes the Barga Reference Area. Reference Areas are set aside as untouched landscapes and must not be interfered with. Called the Old Coast B burn, it’s between Sydenham Inlet and Tamboon Inlet.

This is a high risk fire and would be difficult to control as the land is peaty and there are few access tracks within it. It has no history of fires, and no surveys for wildlife, let alone plans for their protection.

2014 Goongerah-Deddick fires

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A strange weather phenomenon over central Australia in January and February influenced SE Australia’s hot dry season. This, coupled with the January lightning storms across Victoria created another serious fire season this summer. The mid January storms saw 770 lightning strikes, slightly up on the 30 year average of around 600. Many of these self-extinguished or only burnt very small areas, others were rounded up and put out and in East Gippsland 10 became problems fires.

Influences of the Victorian fires of February 2009

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Report analyses the driving influences of the February 7 fires and looks at how the fires passed through and affected different areas of land including plantations, regrowth from logging and National Parks. The summary of the implications of the report is below and you can Download the full report here (PDF 6.2MB) This report was commissioned by combined environment groups.