Australian Bushfires -Post Mortems

It is to be hoped that the inevitable post mortems-Royal Commission/government enquiries or whatever, will bring some appropriate balance to the polarised current debate and the lessons to be learnt for the future.

The usual desire for a “silver bullet” single cause needs to be tempered with the recognition of the multiple factors which led to what was indeed a series of horrific events. Without in any way understating the intensity and extent of the fires, the human and property loss, it needs to be recognised that the media coverage, both domestically and internationally, has often been exaggerated. Statements about the whole of Australia burning as a consequence of “climate change” and reference to “unprecedented”, “worst ever”, cry out for some reasoned correction.

The combination of drought, very low humidity, heat, fuel-load, and wind need to be understood together with triggers of ignition-lightening, arson, and carelessness in the widest sense, all need to be factored into a comprehensive analysis with knowledgeable weighting of each factor.

Informed Australians know that the fires were very much concentrated in national parks and forestry areas and towns and villages abutting them, along the east coast. Reminiscent of Cook’s 1770 voyage along the east coast of Australia and the entries in his log, although it would seem that these recent fires were/are much more numerous and intense.

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