Government bush arsonists unapologetic

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service setting fire to native habitat while the weather is calm.
What fauna, it’s an ‘Ecological Burn’?
This week’s hazard reduction burn in Barrington Tops NP, north of Dungog
[Source: Photo by Andy Boleyn, ^http://newcastleonhunter.com/2012/08/npws-burning-down-the-tops/]

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It’s that time of year across Australia, when bush arson is deemed acceptable (even noble) , so long as it is ‘prescribed‘ by government, even when it often gets out of control.

Australia’s native habitat is deliberately set fire to by Australian Government agencies every year, just in case it burns, which means that frequently they can’t put it out.

Dropping petrol bombs by immoral helicopter pilots
..”hey man, this is like Nam all over again!”

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None of the arson rationale respects native wildlife, as with illegal bush arsonists.   There is little difference on wildlife impact as to who sets fire to their habitat – illegal or government sanctioned.  In the above burn, Acting NPWS Barrington Tops Area Manager Peter Beard, justifies setting fire to wildlife habitat thus:

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“Hazard reduction burn aims to protect lives and property, whilst maintaining the biodiversity of the World Heritage-listed park.”

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Yet it is carried out without  any thought or knowledge about the ecological impacts upon ground dwelling fauna populations or upon flora species that are fire sensitive nor the complex and fragile co-existences.   Where are the independent scientific wildlife counts before and after each prescribed arson sortie?   Where is the qualified wildlife ecologist’s report that made public that says burning this forest is not harmful?

The fire lighting is not even mosaic. It is blanket, broadscale and indiscriminate.  Aerial incendiaries are dropped along the ridge top by helicopter casuing multiple ignition points so that the fire takes hold.

Aerial ‘habitat reduction’ occurs across National Parks and World Heritage Areas
– no habitat is sacrosanct. 
It is euphemistically branded ‘Biodiversity Burning’ – fire is good for wildlife – watch them run, watch the Echinas and Wombats burn!

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It is one of many hundred being conducted across New South Wales native landscapes by the National Parks and Wildlife Services as well as by the Rural Fires Service and with assistance from regional fire brigades.  Another 25 burns covering 6000ha are planned in the next week, including burns in In Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

Rather through unrelenting government propaganda, all Australian native vegetation is demonised as a ‘threat‘, a ‘hazard‘ and as ‘fuel‘ – just like the Christian church has for centuries demonised non-believers as heathens.

National Parks are deemed by Australian governments as a ‘hazards’!
It is a town park mentality – a bit of greenery for people to enjoy at weekends.

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It doesn’t take much effort by a layperson to access a computer, download Google Earth and zoom into New South Wales, then to realise that the native vegetation that remains is dotted in islands within vast landscapes of denuded cleared farmland, and then to respect that if the native wildlife exist anywhere, they are in these vegetation islands.

This is Destination New South Wales..
about 90% deforested, or burned, or farmed, or mined, or housed or else deserted

‘NSW.. see where it takes you’..enjoy!

[Click image to enlarge, or visit Google Earth’s website]

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“There are some amazing natural attractions in New South Wales. From the coast to the country you’re spoilt for choice. All over this state you can meander at your own pace and discover a whole world of extraordinary natural wonders. With close to 900 ^NSW national parks, forests and reserves, the State features the most diverse nature experiences in Australia ranging from rainforests, marine parks, a city within a national park, outback landscapes, mountains, islands and World-heritage listed areas.”

[Source:  New South Wales Tourism Department, ^http://www.visitnsw.com/things-to-do/nature-and-parks]

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Then for these islands of native vegetation to be deliberately set fire to can only contribue to native wildlife extinctions.  It doesn’t take more than a lay person to realise this by deduction.  Yet wildlife extinction is exactly what these senseless fatalistic government bush arson culls are doing every year.  Setting fire to wildlife habitat is wildlife desecration, just like an invading army razing a village.

Rural fire agencies throughout Australia are no different in mindset to paid professional urban fire brigades – their mandate is to serve only to protect human life and property – but all native vegetation and wildlife is demonised as a liability and dismissed as only a risk to human life and property.  The key distinction between rural fire fighters and their urban counterparts is that the urban fire fighters are paid professionals.  Governments save billions by not paying rural firefighters and by not training them to the skill level of urban firefighters – yet operationally their job is exactly the same.  Volunteers have been conned by governments to being cheap fingers in the dyke, so that taxes can be channelled elsewhere instead of properly into emergency management.

When there is a wildfire under extreme bushfire weather conditions, the ill-equipped, under=prepared and under-resourced bushfire agenecies know full well, that they cannot reliably detect, reach or suppress ignitions most of the time.  They are depressing forced to rely upon the vagrancies of wind changes to dictate the impact of wildfires and the fate to lives and property.

So that is why government is so keen to prescribe preventative fighting fire with fire.  If the bush is burned so that there is litte to burn then when a wildfire erupts in hot, dry and windy conditions the risk is less.

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.. one has to destroy the village to save it!

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Oddly this mindset is not allowed to apply to plantation forests – because they are deemed ‘economic assets’ and so therefor evaluable and therefore worth protecting from fire.

Of course, after every major fire involving loss of human life, such as in Victoria in 2009, all the politicians come out crying “shocking, shocking, shocking”, promising expensive enquiries, promising more resourcing, and that it will never happen again.  All the while, politicians full well know that when the media cameras lose interest, it is cheap volunteer business as usual, because by the time the next wildfire, they will be happily lifestyle pensioned out – polly gold card privileges and all.

The Victorian Bushfires of 2009 that caused the deaths of 173 people were in the main caused initially by either powerline neglect and arson.   The fire brigade was not prepared for a catastrophe despite the bushfire danger index forecast days before to  be well off the scale.  The underprepared, under-resourced Dad’s Army preparedness contributed to the 173 deaths.

Instead, all Australian and State governments have blamed the Australian wildlife habitat for being the fuel like and ‘accessory before the fact’.  It was the victim.

So hazard reduction is now ramped up Australia wide.  In New South Wales hazard reduction this year is the NSW Government’s response strategy, costing $62 million “to boost wildfire preparedness“.    Under the NSW NPWS ‘Enhanced Bushfire Management Programme’, NPWS aims to double the number of hazard reduction hectares each year, for the next five years.   NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker said hazard reduction work is part of an ongoing State-wide operation.

If there is unburnt bush, it will be targeted for burning!   Burn it before it burns, god damn!  If the Rural Fire Starters had access to B52s and Agent Orange, they sure the would deploy both, such is the inculcated bushphobic mindset.

“NPWS crews are already taking advantage of favourable spring weather to carry out 12 burns covering more than 2,500 hectares of national park in the past fortnight.”
The NSW Government is doing everything it can to reduce the risk of fire, including in our national parks – particularly with a drier, hotter summer than we’ve recently experience predicted.”

[Source: ^http://newcastleonhunter.com/2012/08/npws-burning-down-the-tops/]

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Broadscale Hazard Reduction
‘So when summer comes we should be right – there’ll be nothing left to burn!’
‘Job Done!

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It is a wicked species-anhilating strategy that most in the broader community ignorantly accept as justified, because government propaganda threats say so and because few folk have the wisdom or courage to dare question the propaganda.

Woops, the prescribed burn got out of control
That’s ok its only Fraser Island World Heritage – it’ll grow back!

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Last weekend, a 12-year-old boy was charged with lighting a bushfire at Watannobi on the Central Coast around lunch time.  Just like the fire fighters he must be watching and learning from, the bushfire was lit using multiple ignition points so that it took hold.   Sure enough, the blaze quickly escalated.  In the end some eighty hectares of native vegetation and grassland were burnt before the fire was contained in the mid afternoon.

He may be charged now, but no doubt he is recruitment material for the local Rural Fire Starters when he gets older.

But unlike the State-sanctioned arsonists, the boy was publicly apologetic for what he had done, realising that it was wrong.  To his credit he said:

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“I’m sorry for what I have done .. and I won’t do it again.”

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[Source: ‘Boy apologises for lighting F3 Fire’, Seven News (Sydney television), 20120911, ^http://au.news.yahoo.com/video/national/watch/30549030/boy-apologises-for-lighting-f3-fire/]

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Government-sanctioned arsonists know what they are doing is wrong
– but the Firie peer pressure is too great

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Why don’t gardeners of Australian native gardens follow the National Parks biodiversity burning mantra and set fire to their gardens?  Because they respect the unburnt value of Australia’s flora.

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Why do we not see much wildlife anymore in National Parks?

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2 Responses to “Government bush arsonists unapologetic”

  1. Barbara Pelczynska says:

    The question raised in this article about the effects of the so called ecological burns on fauna and fire sensitive flora is very valid indeed, as so far there is very little research done on what constitutes an appropriate fire regime for the diversity of the habitats where the burns are being claimed to be ecological burns, thereby implying that they are of ecological benefit to the conservation of the habitats’ biodiversity. What’s more, the fragmented nature of many of the remnants of Australia’s habitats, means that conducting the necessary research has the high probability of resulting in irreversible loss of species as the isolation prevents species recolonization.

    The problem is even worse with prescribed burns as the effects on fauna and flora are not even considered. The article’s title is therefore very appropriate.

  2. Excellent article. Makes me wonder why these management activities are considered to be OK by so many in the conservation movement.

    Particularly on the NSW south coast where burning is being imposed on declining forests.

    The loss of biodiversity in NPs as opposed to what the RFAs require and the fact that conservation groups don’t talk about it, but provide tacit support for inept and inappropriate management, makes their claims about wanting to stop woodchipping seem pretty vacuous.

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