Category: Bushfire Risk Management

Risk Management – Bushfire Context

Risk management strategies are widely used by all people in the modern world and the hierarchy of controls has become standard practice.

As fires are becoming larger, the risks associated with firefighting operations are also increasing. Aviation is being used at huge cost (financially) and the recent accident involving an Aircrane firefighting helicopter is a reminder of the risks for both aviation and ground crews.

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured during this aviation incident.

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Sorry Mr Mullins – what about FUEL?

It was disappointing to read the article by Greg Mullins that was published in the Sunday Telegraph on Sunday 20th Jan 2019.

Mr Mullins is a well respected and long serving Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW. That respect was attacked by many readers as they posted comments on social media after reading the article.

From a VFFA perspective, it was disappointing that Mr Mullins failed to address the issue of FUEL loads as he blamed climate change for the wildfire problems we are facing.

The VFFA has always stated that “regardless of where any individual sits in the climate change debate, there can be no doubt that large fuel loads result in larger fires”.

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Ex-FRNSW Fire Chief Joins Climate Crazies

Greg Mullins’ dad told him about 1939 when “the sky seemed to be on fire every night”. John Mulligan lived through the Black Friday fires that burnt two million hectares of Victoria and killed 71 people. There were hundreds of fires in East Gippsland at that same time, but no major problems because the bush was kept clean by burning and grazing. John’s family weren’t worried, even when his uncle’s car repeatedly stopped because of vapour locks in the fuel lines with the extreme heat. John has formed the East Gippsland Wildfire Taskforce to try and restore sanity. If we get fires under the same weather conditions today, they’ll destroy everything from Bairnsdale to Sydney.

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Land Management and Cool Burning

In this video, the VFFA President and Shooters Fishers and Farmers candidate for Monaro, Mick Holton talks to Barry Aitchison about land management.

Mick says that the NSW Government has failed to provide appropriate land management. The costs of this failure are hard to calculate, they include huge expenditure on firefighting, increased insurance premiums and reactive rather than proactive expenditure to correct land management disasters such as weeds, feral animals, water yield problems.

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Politics and Firefighting

I started as a mechanic, then turned to a firefighting career with NSW Fire Brigades (now Fire + Rescue NSW), switched to a full-time position with the Rural Fire Service and I now operate my own successful business.

This video focuses upon my interest in improving our land management.

The major parties don’t have a great track record in this area.

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What will it take?

State governments and fire authorities are failing to act upon reports, royal commissions, inquiries, local knowledge and in particular, the knowledge of Indigenous Australians.

It is interesting that climate change is used as a diversionary tactic but the fact remains: more fuel equals hotter fires and these hot fires are destroying our environment, our homes, our way of life and placing the lives of people at risk.

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