Fire and the Story of Burning Country

Fire and the Story of Burning Country

Our ever increasing fuel loads are reaching catastrophic levels and are threatening our people, property and environment.

Regardless of your views on climate change, the fuel load issue is the only part of the equation that we can do something about. We react to fire without fully understanding and embracing its true potential as a tool for cleansing and rejuvenating the land.

This video was created as part of a photographic and book production by Peter McConchie.

Bullying survey results

Bullying survey results

The VFFA has received numerous complaints from volunteers who are bullied, harassed and pushed aside when they dare to speak out against issues that contradict the direction of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS). In more recent times, The NSW RFS has openly targeted RFS Brigades and individuals that have openly supported the VFFA.

The VFFA is dedicated to ensuring that ALL volunteers (not limited to VFFA members) are provided with a voice. The VFFA respects that all persons (RFSA members, all volunteers and staff) deserve an opportunity to provide input into the future direction of the NSW RFS.

The VFFA conducted a survey of volunteers over a period of 9 months (21st May 2016 to 6th March 2017) with the following results:

Click the Read More button to view the results page.

Ecology and Economy (in the US)

Without large-scale implementation of fire hazard reduction treatments, the costs of uncharacteristic crown fires in southwest forests will continue to increase. Federal policy continues to allocate vastly more funds to suppression than to prefire hazard reduction. We examined the economic rationality of continuing this policy of emphasizing fire suppression activities over restoration-based fire hazard reduction treatments. We compared treatment plus fire suppression costs to the cost of fire suppression without treatments over 40 years for southwestern forests. This avoided-cost analysis estimates the amount one could invest in treatments to avoid the future cost of fire suppression. Using conservative economic values, we found that avoided future costs justifies spending $238-601/ac for hazard reduction treatments in the southwest. We conclude that the policy of underfunding hazard reduction treatments does not represent rational economic behaviour, because funding hazard reduction would pay for itself by lowering future fire suppression costs.

Ecological Burning

The Sugar Bag Project

Mike Lewis from Charles Darwin University talks with elder Tommy George about stingless bees and hives. Learn how traditional knowledge and cool burning can positively affect the abundance of flora and the bees.

Please Note: This video contains images and video footage of Awu Laya Elder, Dr Tommy George who passed away July 29, 2016. Dr Tommy George was the last fluent speaker of the Kuku Thaypan language. He was awarded an honorary Ph.D with his brother Dr George Musgrave, for their extensive Indigenous knowledge. He co-founded the Living Knowledge Place, Indigenous Fire Workshop, and Laura Dance Festival. His influence extends throughout Australia and the world.

Responses from the Coonabarabran Community – Just Ask a Local

Responses from the Coonabarabran Community – Just Ask a Local

The Wambelong fire of January 2013, burnt out the Warrumbungle National Park, destroyed scores of surrounding properties and shattered the lives of many people in the Coonabarabran community.
The subsequent Coronial Inquest and Parliamentary Inquiry made 52 recommendations.
It has taken well over three years for the government to respond to the recommendations, this article looks at some of the local responses from the Coonabarabran community.
Feel free to add your comments.

Big Fires are Destroying our Environment

Big Fires are Destroying our Environment

High intensity fires can cause enormous damage to water catchments by destroying ground-cover and changing hydrology, as well as altering the structure, behaviour and erosion of soil. Furthermore, the chemical reactions triggered by fire can release nutrients, metals and other toxicants stored in vegetation and soil. Post-fire rainfall has significant impacts on water quality as it often washes these contaminants into waterways and reservoirs. When this occurs, water may be unsafe for agriculture or human consumption without additional treatment or alternative sources of water. Poor water quality and loss of amenity can therefore have substantial financial implications.

Spend money on mitigation, not mayhem.

Blazing row over bushfires

This newspaper article raises a number of complex issues including:

1. Do we have sufficient number of rangers for day to day operations and proper land management of our national parks?
2. If park rangers deserve an increased rate of pay, should it be built into their base pay rate? They should not have to rely on firefighting operations to supplement their income.
3. Is it appropriate to pay firefighters an excessive rate of pay over and above their normal rate during firefighting operations?
4. Remembering that volunteer firefighters (particularly those who are self employed) can often find themselves fighting fires at personal cost. Is it appropriate to pay other firefighters who are working alongside them an excessive rate of pay?

These issues could be mitigated if proper land management practices and increased burning regimes were adopted.

Spend more money on mitigation and less on mayhem…

Who is to blame?

Is it the power company’s fault?

Is it the land managers fault for not reducing the fuel near the powerlines?

Is it the councils fault for not allowing sufficient fuel reduction?

Is it the Green’s fault for influencing the publics perception of bushfire mitigation?

What about lightening strikes, should we sue God for fires that are started by lightening? or

Is it time that we had a good hard look at ourselves and our environment and we get back to sound land management practices that include fuel reduction (quality burns)?