Fires and Burning

Haphazard reduction burning

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Many friends of the environment were lost to us over the February fires this year. Many others lost their friends, family members and their homes. It was a shocking time. Besides having to deal with these losses, the environment movement was accused of being responsible. Let's analyse this ...

EPA - Environmental pollution apologists

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

City and country residents have had to cope with choking air during April as DSE lit up over 150,000 hectares of healthy forest in its "management burns". The EPA does not take air quality readings in regional areas - they don't want to know how bad it is. In the city a reading of 150 is considered poor. These smoky fires, which contribute thousands if not millions of tonnes of CO2 to the greenhouse problem, were pushing air quality readings above 237 in Melbourne. Imagine what the rural areas were measuring!

Fire science vs political science

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Science is clearly not a part of the Brumby government's justification to triple burns across the state to almost 400,000 ha, or 1/20th of public land a year. Despite the ENRC inquiry quoting scientific papers, Jenny Barnett from the VNPA, discovered that these papers didn't back up calls for increased burning at all. They in fact cite computer simulations from the US and Tasmania's Button-grass Plains. They also misquote fire scientists to suit their own agenda.

Blindly supporting blind burning

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Here's another example of the government being at odds with itself. Two recent reports contradicted each other. In early December, at the same time the Environment Commissioner, Dr Ian McPhail, released his damning State of the Environment report for Victoria, the Brumby Government supported the other bushfire report and a trebling of burns across our forests.

The flaming obvious - the misuse of fire

Monday, September 8, 2008

Journalist and writer, James Woodford, recently wrote of his concerns about the level of pyromania within our land management agencies and the lack of science behind the hype for more burning.

The annual sensationalist stories predicting a horrendous bushfire season ahead are about to begin. Fearful unprepared farmers and townies alike will blame the DSE for not burning enough bush. The media will use this hype to fill in slow news days.

The fire economy

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quoll - save me from politiciansBy May 2004, the Victorian Government had funded the clearfelling of forests burnt in the 2003 fires to the tune of $6.9 million.

Another $4 million was given to help the woodchip industry continue its access the following year.

Then in 2007 we taxpayers gave at least $868,000 to help the industry clearfell the 2006 fire-damaged forests.

Blazing trails

Saturday, March 1, 2008

After the state government was caught out during and after the '06 fires, thumbing its nose at its own planning regulations let alone Federal laws, these careless cowboys have now changed the laws to allow them to continue!

Torching forests - an Aussie tradition

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"European settlement certainly brought an extraordinary increase in both frequency and intensity of fire in south-eastern Australia. People lit fires everywhere, at any time, to burn off or to clear land. Rural manhood was forged in fighting fires."

Paul Collins, author of BURN

Firebreak offsets

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's not just those on the green side of the fence who are outraged about plans to whack in massive firebreaks through forests across the landscape. Even many fire experts are a little upset by the lack of thought and evidence that they will be effective. In many cases they could just be providing wind tunnels and helping dry out the forest edges (not to mention becoming a barrier for small mammals and possums).