At the heart of the book are memoirs collected from people who were there at the time: the firefighters, farmers, foresters, ambos, nurses, school bus drivers, policemen, timber workers, orchardists, fishermen, wives and children. The stories are dramatic and exciting, often heart-breaking and poignant, even in one or two instances humorous. They speak of the courage, resilience, toughness and selflessness of rural West Australians. You will feel proud to read these stories and you will recognise many of the people who wrote them.
Arnhem Land – Aboriginal fire ecologist, Dean Yibarbuk, explains how traditional fire management practices have kept the country healthy for thousands of years. Recently, his mob have been working with local scientists to adapt the regime of traditional fire management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Vegetation Management Officer Phil Hawkey describes himself as “on a journey” as he increases his knowledge of Aboriginal traditional burning.
It began three years ago when Phil attended a traditional burning workshop in Orange, New South Wales.
“That was the lightbulb moment,” says Phil, “I tell people I’ve found something new that’s 30,000 years old. It’s done with method, with science, with great care,”
His knowledge took a giant step forward when he attended a traditional burning workshop in Cape York with Group Officer Len Timmins. Then in its ninth year, each workshop moves location. It means that, for his return to Cape York this month, there will be new lessons to learn amid different topography and vegetation.
Our ever increasing fuel loads are reaching catastrophic levels and are threatening our people, property and environment.
Regardless of your views on climate change, the fuel load issue is the only part of the equation that we can do something about. We react to fire without fully understanding and embracing its true potential as a tool for cleansing and rejuvenating the land.
This video was created as part of a photographic and book production by Peter McConchie.
Barry Aitchison was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the general division as recognition for his service to the community of the Monaro.
Barry is well known and a highly respected former Fire Control Officer, Operations Officer and Firefighter who represented the Snowy River, Bombala and Cooma Monaro Fire Districts for well over 30 years.
Those who know Barry will be very pleased that this OAM has been awarded to most deserving bushman with a passion for the locals, the bush and its’ future.
In Western Australia in the early 1960s, a revolutionary technology was developed: lighting fuel reduction burns using aircraft. Its adoption by forest managers ensured there was an entire generation of Western Australians protected from the ravages of severe wildfires.
In this book, Roger explains (in simple terms) the rationale for prescribed burning, and the history of its adoption in Western Australia.