Bushfires: Ashes to Ashes All Over Again

Bushfires: Ashes to Ashes All Over Again, by Vic Jurskis.

On September 4, the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements published draft propositions … and called for public comment. …

The emphasis wasn’t on bushfire mitigation or fuel reduction. Despite the summer’s conflagrations which prompted the commission’s establishment, it basically stated that Australia’s three levels of government in Australia should worry about …yes, you guessed it … climate change! …

The Commission has … ignored the problem that it is illegal to conduct enough frequent and mild burns to restore and maintain healthy, safe landscapes.


Aboriginal people across Australia used frequent mild burning for ecological maintenance over 40,000 years. When Europeans disrupted those efforts the country suffered eucalypt decline, pestilence, and scrub invasion, creating continuous fuels that choke out biodiversity and explode into firestorms when there are ignitions in extreme weather. During the Settlement Drought (1790-1793), when Aborigines had fires burning 24/365 in what is now wilderness around Sydney, three consecutive days of extreme weather conditions with searing northwesterlies caused immense numbers of flying foxes and lorikeets to drop dead at Parramatta, but the European settlements weren’t affected by the fires.

Our first megafire occurred around 1820, before white settlers occupied Victoria, after management by the Yowenjerre people in what are now the Strzelecki Ranges was disrupted by the smallpox epidemic of 1789. The second megafire incinerated five million hectares in 1851, less than two decades after Aboriginal management was disrupted across southeastern Australia, and long before anyone had heard of so-called anthropogenic global warming. Ember storms from this megafire singed the rigging of ships in the Tasman Sea heading for New Zealand. …

What a well-laid fireplace!

But the Australian swamp only listens to the Greens:

A dissenting report by a city-based Green member relied heavily on a submission from Professor Robert Whelan, who asserted that “broad scale hazard reduction is threatening biodiversity conservation and must therefore be avoided by land managers and resisted at a political level”….

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) … employed Whelan to conduct the inquiry, together with Professor of Forestry Peter Kanowski and former Special Forces Officer Stuart Ellis, none of whom seemed to have experience in forest management and prescribed burning.

These men decided that education — “learning to live with bushfire”, as their report put it — was more important than reducing hazards; they claimed that we don’t really know how prescribed burning affects biodiversity across the landscape; and they added insult to injury by questioning the efficacy of hazard reduction burning. This is nonsense, dangerous nonsense.

The West is currently led by a class of donkeys. Politically correct fantasies reign over reality in their minds, and the rest of us are poorer and unhappier as a result.