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Intro by Mick Holton followed by an article that appeared in…

the-guardian

Introduction

I have often asked myself “what would nature do if we weren’t here”?

In many bushfire prone areas, the following would occur:

  1. Lightening
  2. Fires
  3. Reduced fuel
  4. Repeat…

The problem is the lack of fire. We often extinguish naturally occurring fires therefore we are interfering with the natural cycle.

We need to return later to reintroduce fire in a way that best replicates the initial intent of the natural burn.

The problem of increased fuel loads is compounding overtime as we put naturally occurring fires out.

There is no wonder why we are seeing bigger fires.

Bigger fuel loads results in bigger fires.

The public are being told that there are many other factors that are leading to these big fires. If your replicate those conditions with less fuel the results are fires with less intensity.

In the article (below), Mr David Bowman from the University of Tasmania said. “If there was something simple that could be done, it would be done.”

Indigenous Australians managed the land without bulldozers, large aircraft and huge budgets.

I applaud and greatly respect the land management work that indigenous Australians did before we arrived.

In terms of bush firefighting, a wise man once said “The only fires that humans can put out are the ones doing some good”.

Call for urgent inquiry into world heritage forest fires in Tasmania

By Michael Slezak – 4th Feb 2016

Experts say fires like those that continue to ravage Tasmanian forests, and look set to burn for days or weeks to come, could be the ‘new normal’

inquiry-world-heritage-Tasmania

The Australian Conservation Foundation says an inquiry is needed to look into the policies that should exist around fighting fires in remote areas. Photograph: Warren Frey/AFP/Getty Images

A national inquiry into the fires devastating world heritage forests in Tasmania is urgently needed, say conservationists and academics. The call comes as experts say fires like those could be the new normal.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has called for the public inquiry as dozens of fires continue to ravage the world heritage forests and look set to burn for days or weeks to come.

“We need to ask whether or not Parks and Wildlife have adequate resources to implement a policy of actively fighting … remote area fires, especially in sensitive alpine areas,” said Jess Abrahams, an ACF campaigner.

He said fire services did an exceptional job but an inquiry was needed to look into the policies that should exist around fighting fires in remote areas and the resources that would be needed to implement them.

David Bowman from the University of Tasmania agreed an inquiry was required.

“It’s critical,” he told Guardian Australia. He said it was important that it not seek to lay blame on anyone because the current situation was “unprecedented” and could not have been predicted.

When asked whether there would be an inquiry the Tasmanian premier, Will Hodgman, told reporters yesterday there would be “an assessment” with peer reviews done by experts from interstate.

Dozens of fires were still burning inside the world heritage forests in Tasmania, according to the Tasmanian Fire Service.

Bowman said they could continue to burn for 10 or 20 more days and were likely to be made worse by dry and warm conditions that are forecast as a high-pressure system moves through Tasmania.

Bowman said without investing in research, it was impossible to know what might have been done to avoid the devastation occurring now.

“These fires are really interesting,” he said. “They’re basically unfought and free-flowing over a landscape. Trying to reconstruct them would … reveal clues about what sort of management would work.”

Bowman said an inquiry should examine whether controlled burning, fire breaks or roading might help. “And getting the expert firefighters to reflect on whether they could do more if they had a bigger budget.”

But right now there was almost nothing that firefighters could do, Bowman said. Many of the fires were burning in peat, which happens underground, making backburning impossible.

“You’d have to bulldoze strips in the soil but it’s a world heritage area,” Bowman said. “If there was something simple that could be done, it would be done.”

The Australian Conservation Foundation said the inquiry should look not just into fire-fighting strategies, but also into the role of climate change in the fires, which experts say was likely to be a cause.

These fires were started by an unusual number of lightning strikes, something that could increase as a result of climate change.

And the dry conditions that led to the fires were also expected to be made more likely as a result of climate change, said Michael Grose from the CSIRO, who conducted a major study into the future climate of Tasmania. “Hotter temperatures, reduced rainfall in key seasons [and] worse fire weather, are all consistent with what is projected with climate change, particularly under a high-emission scenario,” he told Guardian Australia.

“I’m almost certain this is the new normal,” Bowman said.

Click HERE or on the logo (above) to read the original article on the guardian website.

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One thought on “What would nature do if we weren’t here?

  • February 12, 2016 at 12:27 pm
    Permalink

    We’ve been through all this too many times.
    The report of the Nairn inquiry should have been the final word and action should have followed.
    You might remember that NSW, Vic and ACT ‘took the fifth’ and then used the COAG inquiry as whitewash.
    That’s why we’re writing evacuation plans and hiring waterbombers instead of burning the bush and attacking fires.
    Regards,
    Vic

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