Friday, 13 February 2009

The fires were fuelled

Recommendation after recommendation was ignored, as Andrew Bolt explains.

Every time we suffer a disastrous bushfire it’s the same. In our agony, we set up an inquiry.

Cold months - even years - later, that inquiry tells us that we must especially do more fuel reduction burns to stop forest litter from mounting so high that it turns a fire into a turbo-fuelled inferno, impossible to fight.


Chris Little said...

I haven't read the Bolt article, but note that fuel reduction is not as simple as sometimes presented (a decade of drought makes things a little dangerous, for example!).

I often see simple solutions presented for complex matters, matters such as water & fire (just build more dams, just let the cattle graze, just burn more fuel, ...). I can't even understand the way my unruly backyard works, let alone how to co-ordinate the many competing factors for land & water use.

(Gee, does this post qualify me for grump of the day status?)

Gordon Cheng said...

Gee, does this post qualify me for grump of the day status?

Not even slightly, Chris, but definitely read the Bolt article. It's not just one journo's opinion, he gives citation after citation from various commissions and inquiries over many decades, including one as recently as 4 weeks before the current fires.

Chris Little said...


Simple! (See earlier post.)

No real attempt to ask 'why?' - the firm assumption is 'it's the greenies'. Maybe, maybe not.

As little as I know, it's true that targets are often missed because of unsuitable weather or danger. And - I'm guessing here - bush near housing would be more difficult than remote bush: there are houses nearby.

Another factor is that too much burning can make things far worse in the longer term - it can select plant species that burn well & grow back well, ramping up the fuel load.

I like the way the article finishes, but before that I think it's guilty of cherry-picking information.

The Pook said...

Pr 18:17 "The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him."

I thought that idea sounded reasonable too until I heard on the radio a spokesman for the other side of the argument who was at least as intelligent and erudite as Mr Bolt. It really ISN'T as simple as Andrew Bolt says.

Come to think of it I don't think I've ever come across anything that really is as simple as Andrew Bolt says...