31 deaths and 2600 burnt out homes has not yet woken up governments as Canberra is again threatened by wildfire
by staff writers
The futility of using aircraft to impede large bushfires has been borne home after a converted military C-130 Hercules four prop tanker crashed near Cooma (NSW) killing all three American crewmen.
Dense smoke and poor visibility were blamed by authorities for causing the accident.
“Tragically, there appears to be no survivors as a result of the crash down in the Snowy Monaro area,” Shane Fitzsimmons, the Rural Fire Services Commissioner for New South Wales, said at a news conference.
The tragedy brings the death toll from the blazes to at least 31 since September. The fires have also destroyed more than 2,600 homes and razed more than 10.4 million hectares (25.7 million acres).
New age, politically correct firefighting techniques which include aircraft have proven ineffective in fighting large bush fires.
Tens of millions of dollars have been wasted in highly dangerous water and fire retardant bombing, giving only false hope to property owners.
While the retardant might slow down a fire the evidence from the firefront shows water only temporarily slows a hot fire with a several kilometre long front, particularly when the Hercules can drop only 15,000 litres at a time.
The aircraft has to land at the closest suitable airfield, fill up with water then take off to the fire ground, a round trip of 90 minutes or more depending on the distance from the airstrip.
These aircraft cost the federal government more than $15,000 an hour each to operate.
The tried and proven method of constructing wide fire breaks with dozers and graders then back burning has become politically incorrect and almost no footage of machinery building fire breaks has been shown by any of the television networks.
The fire services and government instead ensure the wider viewing audience sees plenty of shots of aerial bombers dropping pink retardant which in reality is a public relations, conditioning exercise to imbue the public.
Struggling volunteer firemen on the ground had no chance of stopping any of these huge conflagrations without constructed firebreaks.
Anecdotal evidence reveals the use of machinery at these mega-fires was very limited. In years past there would and should have been dozens of graders and dozers making breaks.
Desk jockeys of the Fire and Emergency Services had no idea how to fight these fires. They should have known months before that fire breaks were needed. What happened?
Regional firefighters would have informed the hierarchy of the impending danger of excessive fuel loads and should have done something about it like hazard reduction burning from fire breaks.
A thousand or more dwellings of the 2600 destroyed were surrounded by eucalyptus trees and dry grass of any length was growing up to the back door in many cases.
Fire can run along 10mm high dry grass in house yards even though it gives the appearance of bare ground if the wind and weather conditions are right and the only way it can be stopped is with a fire break and water. There were almost no breaks around house yards.
Trees growing around homes for 100 metres should have been felled and pushed away. There was no preventative preparation. Why not?
If you want trees growing out of your lounge room then expect to get burnt out.
Insurance companies would be mugs to pay for losses under these circumstances. Sue the state governments.
Fire survivors who have lost everything should place the blame squarely on the political party duopoly, Greens and Bob Brown and in some cases themselves for a lack of preparation.
Volunteer firefighters should have objected to the lack of preparation. They should have refused to go into some of these danger zones. Instead six are now dead.
So-called ‘climate change’ has absolutely nothing to do with the size and intensity of these fires.
Yesterday snow fell in the desert in Saudi Arabia.