Category: Land Management

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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Hot or Cool Burns (you choose)

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that hot fires must be avoided. We have to return to cool burning and other land management practices (including selected agricultural clearing and grazing) if we are going to sustain our environment and lifestyle into the future.

A FEDERAL Parliamentary inquiry will be held into Queensland’s bushfires as the State Government bluntly rejects calls from farmers, lobby groups and Prime Minister Scott Morrison for a judicial inquiry.

NSW has the same problems.

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Failure – two stories on the failure of wildfire management, one distant and the other closer to home

Media coverage of the California fires in Australia is sure to unnerve many in our community and prompts the question, why are the fire management agencies not explaining the differences in fire behaviour due to the vegetation involved? Or does the media coverage serve to strengthen the “leave early” policy?

There has been much criticism and mocking of US President Donald Trump for his comment about raking forest floors to remove the material which fuels fires, but the principle behind his comment is sound.

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Hero in the sky?

The VFFA says that the real heroes are the men and women on the fireground.

Unfortunately, the NSW Government and the NSW Rural Fire Service is relying upon aviation as our saviour when it comes to wildfire suppression.

The truth is that we cannot afford to continue along this path.

We must improve our land management practices, including cool (cultural or ecological) burning, to reduce the frequency and intensity of fires. This will eventually negate the need for large air tankers.

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What California’s Fire Follies Can Teach Us

As is normal these days, the blame game is already being waged in the wake of the most recent 2018 Californian bushfires. On the one hand are the doomsdayers who claim the fires are a result of climate change. At the other end of the spectrum are those blaming “environmental terrorists” for preventing effective pre-fire management, such as forest thinning and fuel-reduction burning.

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Farmers told its not too late to prepare for fire season

This podcast was published on the 2GB network on the 9th November 2018.
Drought this year is expected to deliver catastrophic bushfire conditions.
Just out from the start of Summer, rural property owners are being reminded it’s not too late to start preparing.
Rural reporter Eddie Summerfield caught up with New South Wales Farmers Conservation Committee member Mitchell Clapham.
WARNING: Fire service bureaucrats are warned that this podcast may contain simple and common sense solutions.

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Yankees Gap Fire – Half a century of regress in land and fire management

By Vic Jurskis (Feature Photo and Video Link: You Tube – Helmreich Joinery)

In autumn 1968, CSIRO and New South Wales Bushfire Council carried out only the second aerial hazard reduction burn in NSW, in Vacant Crown Land that is now National Park and Wilderness. Danny Christopher, the Fire Control Officer reckoned that the burn saved Bega in spring that year. Other parts of the state had a devastating fire season. Fourteen people died, 156 homes and buildings were lost and a million hectares were incinerated. Later on, wildfires in the rough country between Bemboka and Brogo in 1986 and 1988 were contained by backburning from the network of fire trails constructed by the Bush Fire Council.

Another wildfire started in this area on 15thAugust 2018. Just as well it happened when it did. After 30 days of fire control operations using ground crews and water-bombing helicopters, under mostly favourable conditions, crews were evacuated in anticipation of extreme winds on Saturday 15thSeptember. A house, several sheds and possibly some livestock were lost. Conditions eased with a southwesterly change. On Sunday a Rural Fire Service airtanker commenced bombing operations with fire retardant from its base in Sydney.

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Re-engage with the Bush for a Brighter Future

On Thursday 6th September 2018 – VFFA president, Mick Holton spoke to Shoalhaven CBF Radio (Chance, Barry and Frenchy)

We spoke about:

1. Minister Troy Grant and Acting Commissioner Malcolm Connellan  launching the arrival of our first Large Air Tanker (LAT) for the NSW fire season at Richmond RAAF Base.
2. Our failure to recognise the simplicity of a re-engagement to the bush, a reconnect with country that can save us huge amounts of money and more importantly, a return to cultural burning has the potential to restore the environment to a healthy status.
3. The bullying enquiry.

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