When my grandmother’s older sister (Mrs Coleman) first came to Mallacoota (ahead of the arrival of my grandparents), she said there was a small band of aborigines, who moved about, burning wherever they went. However, they went with drovers taking cattle from the Bega area to Port Albert for shipping to Tasmania. They never returned.
However, fire was a constant in the bush. Everyone learned to live with it. They had to, as there were no bulldozers, water tankers, aircraft, 4WDs with teams of fire fighters, computer modelling, fire planning, CFA etc.
Bush dwellers of the time had a completely different understanding of the necessity of regular fire in the environment and its acceptance, than that of the majority of people today. Smoke was something we learned to live with. In good weather, particularly the autumn, smoke would lag in the valleys and on the lakes and low lying areas, sometimes making it difficult to navigate on the water.
With the government preferring or directing that burning not take place until after the Easter holidays, some of the best autumn burning conditions are missed. The opportunity to fuel reduce even small areas has contributed to the mess we now have.
Hardly anyone is talking about these numbers yet they show just how far beyond our control the pyroconvective firestorms are and why we need to be so much smarter at preventing them. They also show how irrelevant temperatures onsite are, compared to fuel load and wind speed.
Dhungala 2019 brought together more than 400 people from over 30 Indigenous nations to take part in the 12th National Indigenous Fire Workshop. Dhungala 2019 was hosted by the Yorta Yorta Aboriginal Nation Corporation in partnership with the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation.
The VFFA are concerned that the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action are overlooking key elements of land management practice.
Climate change or variability impacts upon many factors relating to wildfire, but we are all at greater risk because we have neglected our bushland for way too long and the problems associated with fuel loads are becoming worse. Climate change is not the culprit, poor land management and bureaucratic fire service mismanagement is more to blame.
This web site has a plethora of stories relating to improved land management practices based upon Indigenous burning and the practices used by Australian bushmen, foresters, farmers and graziers in decades past.
You may have read press releases or the statement from this group of retired Australian Fire Chiefs claiming that the current bushfire problem in Australia is the result of climate change.
The Emergency Leaders for Climate Action group is pressing for action on climate change to prevent bushfires, protect our communities and firefighters.
This campaign is being spearheaded by Mr Greg Mullins, former Fire and Rescue New South Wales Commissioner who is now a Councillor with the Climate Council, an organisation dedicated to the idea that disastrous climate change is already upon us and will get worse unless action is taken. The proposed action is mostly related to reducing or ceasing emissions of carbon dioxide.
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.
Not every Volunteer Firefighter agrees with the decision to extend the fire season in many areas around the state. There are some areas where it is an ideal time to burn heaps and even larger areas of bushland. The soil moisture is up in some areas and all that is needed is a calm day for a good burn.
The hassle associated with getting a permit puts farmers and other land owners off. The RFS will say that it’s not a big deal, just get a permit. But the legislation around burning and the issuing of permits is not that easy.
The system is way too complicated and people have become frightened to use fire in case the local brigade rocks up.
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.
It’s not too late to visit the Two Fires Festival in Braidwood.
You may have missed out on the Friday night and Saturday (30th March) events but there is plenty of time to enjoy todays activities and next weekend (6th and 7th April 2019).