I suggest concreting over the bush

If you don’t, and there are bushfires this bushfire season, it’s all your own fault.

It’s obvious.

A brutal question: which parts of our forests are at least risk of burning this season? Answer: the bits burned out last summer.

The only way to stop nature burning the state down is to do it ourselves first. And then cover the embers over with concrete in case something flammable grows back.

Who’s with me?

ELSEWHERE: Some actual analysis of the report, and what needs to be done, as opposed to Bolt’s lame “whatever the greenies don’t want must be the answer” polemic.

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26 responses to “I suggest concreting over the bush

  1. The Magical Liopleurodon

    I wholeheartedly agree. No Bush, No Bushfires. It’s as simple as that right?

  2. Is that hyperbole really necessary? Burning undergrowth is not the same as wholesale destruction of the bush.

  3. I agree, Bush was a terrible President, he should be smothered in concrete as punishment for his ineptitude.

  4. The logic is just as stupid – obviously things that we’ve burned can’t burn; that doesn’t mean there’s no reason NOT to burn them first.

    And there’s a lot more debate over what will reduce bushfires than just “burning undergrowth is the answer”.

    And these people also advocate large-scale clearing of trees – particularly as requested by logging companies – to keep us safe.

    The point is – there is another side.

  5. The Magical Liopleurodon

    Unfortunatly there is really nothing we can do about it anyway, because the bushfires where actually caused by god remvoing his protection on Victoria for legalizing abortion.

    The only way we can stop bushfires in the future is if we criminilize abortion again.

  6. I heard it was because we weren’t being nice enough to the family-destroying cultists known as the Exclusive Brethren. But in news today, their funding from the taxpayer has increased – so we should be safe, right?

  7. Blimey be careful with the sarcasm, there are several out there who will take something like putting concrete all over the environment seriously and start to push for getting it done.

    A few years ago I heard about a scheme to convert the River Murray Lakes to sea water to save ‘fresh’ water for the irrigators. Only cost about $300 million, totally destroy the Lake Alexandrina ecosystem by drowning it in seawater and provide lots of money for the engineering firm that came up with the idea. They lobbied councils and govt depts. for a year or two.
    I tried to kick the idea in the head but was told by several relevant decision makers not to worry, it was a lunatic fringe idea and would never happen.

    Now it is happenening.

  8. I think Bolt may be jumping the gun on this — I’m pretty sure I heard on the news the other night that the Commission is going to look into the issue of back-burning and undergrowth clearing in the next stage of the inquiry.

  9. Jeremy I think you have completely misunderstood how fuel reduction burns work.

    The last one I did was on Sunday. The idea is to have low flame heights low(er) temperature burns that remove fuel from beneath and around forest areas to prevent crown fires occuring.

    The burn can be patchy, in fact thats preferable, esp in this part of the world.

    Bolt hasn’t got a clue tho (as usual). The heatwave a fortnight before the feb fires resulted in a massive amount of fuel being added to the load. There is no way a fuel reduction burn would have been considered between the heatwave and Black Saturday – anywhere in Vic, at least by sane people. That heatwave alone caused enough fuel to be added to the ground.

    When I visited friends in the fire damaged areas in April I was actually stunned by the amount of fuel lying on the road side tho.

    Specifically at the bottom of the mt, on the road from Kinglake to St Andrews. In unburnt ground. Approx 18 inches of leaf litter dry twigs and the rest. Scary. Its a miracle it didn’t go in February.

    Fuel reduction burns should be done. But its not that easy to do them safely in a state that has had 13 years of drought.

    “And these people also advocate large-scale clearing of trees – particularly as requested by logging companies – to keep us safe.”

    Large scale clearing is retarded.

    Scrub is as dangerous as forest, more dangerous in fact to people living there and to people fighting fires in it. Scrub always follows large scale clearing, unless there is intervention to prevent it.

    Forest often has a space between ground fuel and tree crowns, and fuel reduction aims to increase the space between a fire thats feeding off ground fuel and the crown. (the less fuel the smaller and cooler the fire and the harder it is for the fire to enter the crown.)

    Scrub and regrowth don’t have the luxury of that space.

    A “cool” fire in a forest is probably safer than any fire in scrub, provided the fire in the forest doesn’t start crowning.

  10. I think that you’ve missed that I’m mocking Bolt’s simplistic “I have the answer” approach to the problem and his stupid “if it’s burned it can’t burn again” reasoning, rather than claiming any kind of expertise on the specifics of fuel reduction strategies.

  11. There’s another benefit to concreting all of the bush- you’ll get much more runoff into dams.

  12. Yeah probably. I often miss the point of things.

  13. Not Allan Jones

    Jeremy its not simplistic.
    There are hundreds of studies and every report into past fires has reccomended fuel reduction as a critical tool in reducing the intensity of forest fires.
    The issue is that there is an obsessive reluctance to rebuce fuel load because it is deemed bad for the floor environment of the forest.
    Too bad.
    Humans are more inportant than fungi, frogs and possums.
    Sorry.

  14. Sorry Jeremy @11.48 am, where can you cite a logging company or logging lobby group asking to do more harvesting in order to reduce bushfire risk?

    I’d be surprised if you could show this.

  15. Another post in which Jeremy shows his ignorance of the issue at hand.

    Followed by a few comments making jokes about events that killed dozens of people very recently.

    Another top effort. 10/10.

  16. Another stupid, pointless, disingenuous, waste-of-time trolling effort from Sam.

    Followed by him not commenting any more.

    A top result for all. 10/10.

  17. haha. pwned.

  18. No Allan, I think you’ll find that as far as humans go, fungi are at least as important, cos basically we would be screwed without them.

    If you are into brain food, check out Paul Stamets lectures on TED.com.

    Fungi can save the world.

  19. As an owner of 122 acres of forest for 18 years I speak from some experience. Excessive fuel build-up on the forest floor inevitably results in a much hotter fire.

    Little wonder then that traditional winter burn-offs of undergrowth greatly reduces a summer fires ability to become a superfire.

    Surely, Jeremy, you don’t deny this historical fact of fire fighting?

  20. Actually, fuel reduction burning isn’t the panacea that many people seem to think it is. Where there is excessive fuel build up in certain types of bush, it’s an essential strategy. In damper forests it can actually be counter-productive, drying out the vegetation and allowing a bushfire to travel through the area even faster. A proper fire management strategy recognises the complexity of the issue – as usual, it’s not all black and white.

    But it’s a great meme to bash “greenies” – ‘GREENIES LIKE FUNGUS MORE THAN PPL COS THEY DON’T WANT TO BURN THE ENTIRE STATE OMG EVIL”.

    Sorry Jeremy, I know that was technically OT…

  21. Tim, in temperate south eastern Australia, the location under discussion, damper forests don’t constitute any significant relevance.

    Otherwise you may care to read a submission by the Institute of Foresters of Australia to the Royal Commission.

    So, Jeremy, care to counter this evidence from the forestry experts?

  22. So Adrian, how many lives would have been saved on 7 February if they had “cleared” the “fuel” from the forest floor?

    Are there really 173 more people walking around at this moment in the alternate universe where “common sense” prevailed and the “fuel” “clearing” actually occurred?

    The combination of wind and heat on that day was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced – and I was in inner city Melbourne. I think it could have burned a block of concrete given the chance.

    If the weather hadn’t changed the fire would have continued onward and we would ALL have been toast in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

  23. Ret Man, you pose a rhetorical question when all we need do is study bushfire history.

    Clearly there has been ferocious weather conditions in the past, yet in recent times south-east Australia has been increasingly subjected to superfires of incredible intensity.

    So what has changed in recent times ? A failure to reduce forest fuel loads, a major contributing factor identified in every subsequent inquiry.

    As with the Canberra fires, it beggars belief that in the 21st century we can lose so many people living in built-up areas.

    Only a society ruled by dopes could achieve such an embarrassing feat.

  24. Fuel reduction burning (not back burning) is one part in trying to stop or at least minimise bush fires. Back burning is done when we already have a forest fire so we need to get the correct terminology. When you have a a large amount of leaf litter and other fuel loads in the bush you need to do fuel reduction burns. I have sean first hand how these work and they do minimise the risk, but in a new post global warming world it may not be enough.

    I don’t advocate wholesale destruction of our bush but I do believe that fuel reduction burns play a part in keeping those of us who actually live in the bush just that little bit safer.

  25. Daryl, I do agree with you re fuel reduction burns.

    But the heatwave that pre-seeded the feb 7 fires dumped at least a foot of leaf litter and branches and twigs on the ground. Thats a massive addition to the fuel load, and anyone who suggests that fuel reduction burning could have been done to mitigate those fires between that fuel dump, and the fires themselves is frankly a twit.

    Back burning in the middle of summer is downright dangerous – so it does leave everyone in a bit of a bind, burn off now and you may cause a disaster. Don’t and you’ll probably get one anyway.

    I found the fuel loads I saw down there scary, especially along the roadsides.

    It turns out that it isn’t just “greenies” responsible for not clearing roadsides either.

    People I spoke to in councils across the far eastern suburbs of Melbourne said that councils stopped clearing roadsides years ago as a way of lowering their budgets, and saving money.

    But I still haven’t heard anymore about this in the RC or in public discussion. So I don’t actually know if its accurate, but if it is it certainly needs to be addressed.

  26. Surrounded as we were by the Kinglake National park, I have no idea how a burn would have helped reduce the fire we had.

    The National Park was like a giant heater, cooking everything within kilometers.

    The silly thing is we all thought that not burning the park was ‘saving’ it – when in fact it burnt so hot that most of the park is dead and will never return…..

    So….a burn to save us wouldn’t have worked but it might have saved the park….

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