Friday, October 29, 2021



Our megafires are a political, not a climatic crisis: Vic Jurskis

People proliferated across Australia, which was then a part of Sahul, from about 40 000 years ago when megafauna finally disappeared long before the Last Glacial Maximum. Aboriginal burning initially turned much biomass into charcoal, reducing browse, changing vegetation and causing megafaunal extinctions. It created ecosystems whose health and safety depend on constant human input of mild fire.

Major bushfires in Australian history – the 1974 and 1975 Australian bushfires

John O'Donnell. In contrast to the temperate southern regions of Australia, fire events in Central Australia are driven by above average rainfall in the preceding years, rather than below average rainfall or drought in the current year. Widespread fire events in Central Australia were found to be associated with two or more consecutive years of above-average rainfall. Fuel loads in long-unburnt grassland can get to high levels.

Tech trial supports planned burning in the Wimmera

A drone has successfully established an ecological planned burn in the Grampians National Park, saving time and reducing the risk to firefighters, as part of a trial carried out by Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews in the Wimmera.

Pasture assessment project underway on Kangaroo Island

A project is getting underway on Kangaroo Island to provide producers with the tools, skills, and management options to ensure ewe fertility and lamb survival is not compromised because of the bushfires impacting on pasture composition.

Threatened species habitat at risk from a hotter climate: University of Wollongong

New research from the University of Wollongong, a partner at the NSW Bushfire Research Hub, has found climate change will expose larger areas of forest in coastal NSW to higher frequency and more intense fires, amplifying the changes to fire regimes brought about by the 2019/20 fires ... Amongst other findings: Previous timber harvesting did not increase the fire extent or severity of the 2019/20 fires. However, there is potential for cumulative impacts in harvested landscapes that are subject to fire, particularly in the next 5 to 10 years.

Carbon partnership giving opportunities in the Cape

A partnership between the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation and a major bank has helped preserve Cape York country and employ a number of Traditional Owners. As part of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s carbon neutrality, the bank supports traditional Aboriginal fire management generating Australian Carbon Credit Units for the second year running.

Adapting to climate change and managing Victoria’s bushfire risk

An open letter from Chris Hardman, Chief Fire Officer, Forest Fire Management Victoria. As the Chief Fire Officer for Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic), my role is to keep the community and our environment safe from bushfire risk. More than ever, the impacts of climate change and its impact on the work we do is at the forefront of our thinking, planning and actions.

Fire season inquiry Phase Two report delivered

The Victorian Government has tabled the second phase report from the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s (IGEM) independent inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian fire season.

The great koala scam continues: Vic Jurskis

There was nothing new or unexpected about the recently announced NSW Natural Resources Commission research on timber harvesting and koalas ... There’s nothing in the NRC report that actually deserves a tick. It’s a well-established historical and scientific fact that koalas are an irruptive species which responds positively to soft new growth ... Declining trees continuously resprout soft young growth until they eventually run out of resources. Koalas breed up in declining forests.

Review – Walkabout to Wisdom

In many ways this captivating book describes the relationship between the author, Lachlan Hughson, and his much loved Australian Outback. In travels rivalling those of Odysseus in extent, the author takes us across the vast expanse of the ancient Australian continent, mixing geological insights, historical background, and personal experiences with vivid descriptions of nature in all its forms.

Bushfire survivor koala Ember spotted in the wild with joey

Friends of the Koala. A koala so badly injured from the catastrophic Black Summer bushfires, vets didn't think she'd make it, has been spotted in the wild with a joey. Ember was found in November 2019 walking on the burnt ground in Whiporie, New South Wales after devastating fires swept through the area ... Some 18 months later, in the same area where she was released, Ember has been spotted with a joey of her own. She was sighted thriving in the wild with her joey by the person who rescued her – Ros Irwin.

BlazeAid Tumbarumba closes

BlazeAid Tumbarumba camp returned in July this year with a plan to assist fire affected farmers in the southern region of the Snowy Valleys. Despite the rain interruptions and the state-wide lockdown for Covid, the camp remained operating, even when, at one stage, they were down to two volunteers ... The small crew in Tumbarumba put in the equivalent of 287 days helping farmers since July. The work included over 11km of fence removed, averaging 63 m per day. The camp also rebuilt a total of 18kms of new fencing.

Bushfires and logging debate: Tasmanian Government statement

The Tasmanian Government is continually monitoring new scientific research to ensure the way we regulate forestry is contemporary and consistent with best practice. The Government takes bushfire management and mitigation incredibly seriously and is taking a number of important steps to manage future risk and keep our communities safe. The Government’s position, that actively managing our forests can markedly reduce fuel loads, is supported by a significant number of scientific publications.

Grass fires a concern this bush fire season

Grass and crop fires are the greatest concern for the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), with the official bushfire season across NSW underway. After spending two months assisting with wildfires burning in the northern hemisphere, the 737 Large Air Tanker (LAT), ‘Marie Bashir’, has returned to NSW, and will be ready to assist firefighters to save lives and properties here, as part of the RFS aerial fleet.

Deal done to get timber off Kangaroo Island

Up to 60,000 tonnes of softwood logs will start to be shipped off Kangaroo Island to support South Australia’s forestry sector and booming housing construction industry, with applications to the Construction Softwood Transport Assistance Program (CSTAP) now open. The CSTAP is jointly funded by the Morrison Coalition Government and Marshall Liberal Government and provides assistance to freight bushfire-affected softwood logs salvaged from Kangaroo Island to the South Australian mainland and then to sawmills with immediate capacity to process structural timber.

Landfill fire shows the wrong waste can put people at risk

It took three fire trucks, two water trucks, and an excavator to put out a fire at the Lakes Creek Road Waste Management Facility ... “If you ever tossed an old mobile phone or even a battery in your general waste and thought ‘what could be the harm?’, well incidents like this are the answer,” Councillor Latcham said.

Bushfires and logging debate: Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change (Vic)

There is much debate within the scientific community regarding the relationship between bushfire and forestry but what is not debated is the overwhelming impact climate change is having on the frequency and intensity of severe weather events and resulting bushfires. In the past 50-years there has been a 40% increase in very high fire danger days, and this is set to triple in some parts of Victoria by the end of the century according to the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

Waterbombing plane ready to start fighting fires in Queensland

As part of a joint partnership struck with the Victorian Government last month, the Palaszczuk Government locked in the future of the Large Aerial Tanker (LAT) firefighting aircraft for the next four bushfire seasons. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the LAT and its crew had arrived in Bundaberg, completed quarantine and were ready to get to work.

Crews busy with house and bush fires

There have been several house fires in the past two weeks – in Casino, Mallanganee, Deep Creek and Cawongla ... RFS crews from Mallanganee, Mummulgum and Tabulam brigades as well as Fire and Rescue NSW assisted at the Deep Creek farmhouse fire ... On Monday, two bushfires were under control by RFS.

Proposal fires up Grafton community

Emma Pritchard. A proposal by Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to take Grafton Fire Station offline temporarily in the event of staff shortages has fired up the local community, including Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis. As residents angrily expressed their concerns in response to the proposal on the Clarence Valley Independents Facebook page, Mr Gulaptis said he won’t accept any proposal that puts the community at risk.

Major bushfires in Australian history – the 1851 Victorian bushfires

John O'Donnell. The Black Thursday bushfires were a devastating series of fires that swept the state of Victoria, Australia, on 6 February 1851, burning up 5 million hectares. This was 170 years ago.

$15.1 million to address timber shortages with bushfire salvaged softwood

The Australian Government has announced an additional $15.1 million investment to deliver bushfire-affected softwood to underutilised timber mills, and increase supply of structural timber to the housing and construction industry. Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the government had listened to industry’s concerns to keep product moving.

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