Indigenous fire practitioner Victor Steffensen wants to see a change in the way Australians manage the land.
Brian, you were the first person who told me and then I spoke to Vic Jurskis about it and scientist David Packham. You are the first person who said to me the intensity of these fires burns the humus content in the soil right down to the mineral layer and you then told me that it will rain because we have the flooding rains after the droughts and that topsoil is washed away and floods into the creeks and clogs them up. It’s absolute degradation.
I mean once upon a time, a lot of our areas of our national parks used to be a forested country and the sawmillers had a sustainable industry and they used to manage the bush they used to do a lot of the hazard reduction burning, people tracks open and because they value timber, timber was important. Now, we’ve closed them all the forest industry down virtually.
We’ve locked up the parks we don’t let people into them. We’ve closed all the trails off and our timber just gets burnt and wasted and meanwhile overseas they’re cutting down rainforests to supply Australia with timber. I mean how crazy is that?
The Volunteer Fire Fighters Association (VFFA) is being flooded with offers of support and assistance.
The VFFA has received many inquiries from people who are wanting to:
1. donate money,
2. donate food and water, and
3. provide logistical support and assistance.
The following information is provided for anyone who wishes to support firefighters or the firefighting effort in NSW.
Most firefighters know and except that it is impossible to eliminate exposure to Carbon Monoxide unless you choose to self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
If comfort and reduction of irritation is the primary concern, there is a variety of disposable and reusable air filtering respirators. Each type has advantages and disadvantages in specific applications. By capturing the smoke particles and some of the off gases, irritation from smoke inhalation can be significantly reduced.
The respiratory protection options that are being provided to volunteer firefighters by the NSW Rural Fire Service are very limited and could impact upon firefighter health.
The simple fact that firefighters are raising concerns on social media and other platforms is reason enough to investigate further.
Concentrations of CO and fine particulate matter in fire zones commonly exceed the short-term occupational health standards and can be between 100 and 1000-fold higher than ambient air quality standards. Indeed, CO concentrations exceeding 300 parts per million and fine particulate matter concentrations of 100 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³) are common around bushfires.