The 2018 National Indigenous Fire Workshop was held at Bundanon property in Yuin Country on the New South Wales south coast.
Participants came from as far north as Napranum, Cape York in northern Queensland to Truwana in Tasmania, and from as far west as the APY Lands in Central Australia. The last day of the workshop was a Cultural Fire Day that was open to the public.
The VFFA congratulates both the RFSA and the RFS for sponsoring this event in 2018. We hope that these programs are supported into the future.
Burning the bush to prevent catastrophic fires is something that rural fire services all over the country have been doing for decades. But Aboriginal Australians have been doing it for tens of thousands of years—and their “cool burns” are making a welcome comeback.
A recent article in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph paints a despondent picture: horrible bushfires are “the new normal” because of climate change.
The fire season, we learn, now extends to nearly 10 months of the year, and bushfires have become so intense that they cannot be stopped before immense damage is done.
According to recently retired NSW fire commissioner Greg Mullins (now a member of the Climate Council): “The price of inaction [on climate change] will increasingly be paid in lives lost and communities shattered”.
Melissa Price, the new federal Environment Minister, has done untold political damage to a government already divided over climate action by spouting idiotic green propaganda about Victoria’s bushfires.
On Tuesday, she linked the fires to climate change, claiming there is “no doubt” of its impact on Australia.
“There’s no doubt that there’s many people who have suffered over this summer. We talk about the Victorian bushfires … There’s no doubt that climate change is having an impact on us. There’s no denying that.”
Sorry, minister, it wasn’t climate change that caused the latest bushfires which have so far destroyed nine homes in Victoria, and it wasn’t climate change that killed almost 200 people in the Black Saturday fires ten years ago.
The real culprit is green ideology which opposes the necessary hazard reduction of fuel loads in national parks and which prevents landholders from clearing vegetation around their homes.
The recent fires in Victoria were driven by big fuel loads, not by the weather.
The fire danger index was a surprising low 16-20, but the high fuel loads resulted in predicted rates of spread of 0.5 kph and flame heights up to 10m.
In comparison, the fire danger index on Black Saturday 2009 reached around 130 -180. The FFDI is a measure of the speed, flame height and spotting distance.
Point 1. They ripped the guts out of our National Parks in a restructure. Towns like Bombala lost jobs as a result and we all lost good people who helped manage our National Parks.
Point 2. If we continue to buy up land for National Parks, we need to ensure that we have the resources to manage such land. Recurring budget is required.
Point 3. The firefighter in me suggests that they will allow the fuel to build without appropriate fuel management. If or when fire impacts upon that area, the koalas will be injured or killed in the process.
A typical example is what happened at Tathra.
Point 4. We are under resourced and we don’t manage our Parks very well. We don’t seem to understand the concept of COOL burning and Indigenous land management. We often acknowledge Indigenous culture at meetings and events, but words are cheap…
Perhaps we should consider handing some of our National Parks back to Indigenous control.