RFS forest arson is a net contributor to carbon emissions

May 22nd, 2019

The Rural Fire Starters of New South Wales have set fire to Blue Mountains World Heritage yet again.

They call it Hazard Reduction because they deem native habitat to be a hazardous fuel, nothing more.

So yet again more vast areas of native forest habitat have been incinerated as if it were a wildfire.  The hazard reduction flames reach fully up into the tree canopy in the same way.  Hazard eduction is government condoned bush arson.  It is a prime cause of local wildlife extinction.

The toxic wood smoke blankets communities and the entire Sydney basin as the prevaling westerly wind  drives the choking smoke for a hundred kilometres.

Thick smoke from a prescribed burn by the RFS in precious forext habitat around Faulconbridge and Springwood has blanketed the entire Sydney basin just like what happens regularly in Beijing.

The wood smoke is expected to last for days and health warnings have been issued by the New South Wales government who approved the burning.  NSW Health has warned that people with existing heart and lung conditions should avoid outdoor physical activity.  NSW’s Office of Environment has labelled Sydney’s air quality “poor” and warned people with health issues to stay indoors.

Outside the RFS Bushfire Season (September to March), this is the contra Habitat Reduction Season (April to August). If the Greater Blue Mountans World Heritage Area isn’t subjected to arson wildfire in the on-season, it is targeted by arson habitat  redcution in the off-season.

“These are important controlled burns which will reduce the risk to people and properties from bush fires,” NSW RFS said in a statement.

Up to 30 tonnes of CO2 per forested hectare is emitted by bushfires and hazard redcution alike, according to Philip Gibbons , Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University; more than coal-fired power stations.

In 2009,  bushfires, back-burning and hazard reduction emitted an amount of CO2 equivalent to 2% of Australia’s annual emissions from coal-fired power. 

Bushfires burnt an area of forest greater than Tasmania to generate CO2 emissions equivalent to a year of burning coal for electricity.  Bushfires must burn an area of forest the size of New South Wales to generate CO2 emissions equivalent to a decade of burning coal for electricity.

Wildfires and hazard redcution across Australia released millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and carnbon monoxide into the atmosphere, equivalent to more than a third of the country’s CO2 emissions for a whole year, according to scientists.

The climate costs are dire because of the type of forest that burned, according to Mark Adams of the University of Sydney. “Once you burn millions of hectares of eucalypt forest, then you are putting into the atmosphere very large amounts of carbon.”

Australia’s total emissions per year are around 330m tonnes of CO2. Adams’s previous research has shown that the bush fires in 2003 and 2006-07 had put up to 105m tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because they burned up land carrying 50 to 80 tonnes of carbon per hectare.

This time, however, the forests being destroyed are even more carbon-rich, with more than 100 tonnes of above-ground carbon per hectare. The affected area is more than twice the size of London and takes in more than 20 towns north of Melbourne, so the CO2 emissions from this year’s disaster could be far larger than previous fires.

“The world’s forests are crucial to the long-term future of the planet as they lock away millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide,” said Robin Webster, a climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “More must be done to protect them – deforestation is having a devastating effect and as climate change takes hold, forest fires like those in Australia are likely to become more frequent.”

The carbon dioxide emissions from forest fires are not counted under the agreements made by countries in the Kyoto Protocol, though it is being considered for inclusion in the successor treaty that will be debated later this year in Copenhagen. The usual reasoning behind it was that, with any fires, new growth of vegetation would take up any extra CO2 that had been released. “That is true to a point, but if the long-term fire regime changes – we are now starting to have more fires – we may completely change the carbon balance of the forest,” said Adam.

He added: “All informed scientific opinion suggests that whatever new protocol is signed [at the UN summit] in Copenhagen or elsewhere will include forest carbon, simply because to not do so would be to ignore one of the biggest threats to the global atmospheric pool of carbon dioxide, the release of carbon in fires.”

RFS ‘hazard reduction’ inflicted upon Mount Solitary world heritage of a scale the same as a wildfire – all wildlife incinerated so that the ‘national park’ becomes a sterile park.

 

Rural Fire Service (starters) and National Parks unnecessarily incinerated Mount Solitary, The Jamison Valley and Cedar Valley by indiscriminate aerial incendiary in May 2018.  What carbon emissions?

 

Ironically, today is the government-sanctioned day of the unpaid wildlife arsonist. Give generously.

Volunteer bush fire-fighters no longer fight bushfires with water, but petrol.

It is no wonder why they hide their identity.

 

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