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How many NSW fires were deliberately lit?

Well, there was no ‘dry lightning’ was there?

A few days ago there were seventy or so fires burning across NSW. The results were catastrophic. Lives lost. Properties lost. Many of those fires are still burning.

There are a myriad number of natural reasons why a fire would start. Since I’m not a fire-cause scientist I can only lump all of those reasons under the general heading of Spontaneous Combustion. It is a natural phenomenon. It happens. Always has. Always will. Nature’s bush clean out so to speak.

Other things happen too. Human things. Accidental things. Cigarette butts get dropped in the wrong spot, broken shards of glass out in the bush act as magnifying lenses, the blades of mowers strike rocks and produce sparks, the wind blows embers out of campfires, electrical shorts happen in power lines. Unintended consequences. Totally accidental.

However, on television, when I look at the grime-weary faces of firefighters, when I look in the eyes of those who have lost all, when I listen to the words of the fire and emergency management authorities, and when I hear about the efforts of the police to ensure the personal safety of the members of their communities … I cannot help but ask that question that is not yet being asked.

How many of those fires were deliberately lit?

Naturally, it is my hope, that only a very small number were deliberately lit.

A short while ago, here in Queensland, at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast, a fire roared up to the boundaries of the Peregian Springs residential estate. The residents who had to flee, the firefighters who had to fight the blaze, and the police who had to risk their own safety to ensure the rescue of others, were all subject to a terrifying experience. Who can forget the nationally shown footage of the ember attack as it was propelled across suburban streets by a strong and relentless wind.

That fire at Peregian Springs was deliberately lit.

The climate science is in. Long in. Our climate is changing. Our fire season, our natural-cause fire season is extending in length. The ferocity of fires is increasing. All of the authorities tasked with bush fire and emergency management deal with those facts. Deniers are short on the ground on that particular front line. The climatic conditions that contribute to the frequency of natural-cause fires are getting worse.

Naturally and accidentally occurring fires are hard enough to deal with, and yet we have people out there who seek to amplify the affect of all that, who seek to gain some sort of vicarious thrill by striking a match and standing back to observe the consequences.

So what can we as a society do about all of that?

I’m not talking about what do we as a society do with the perpetrators if identified and caught. I’m talking about how do we minimise the potential for it happening in the first place.

Education in our schools? Yes. It is probably already done. Also, there are obviously laws already in place that criminalise the deliberate starting of bush fires. Yet deliberate lighting still happens.

As a person who lives slightly on the centre-left of politics I am naturally wary of willingly lining up to give the Australian Government any more terrorism related powers, largely because I question who they target those powers at … refugees being a case in point.

However, when you look in the eyes of the firies, the traumatised residents, the police, the emergency service personnel, how could it not be said that in the case of a deliberately lit fire they were all exposed to to a rank act of terrorism.

I believe that as a nation we should identify gross acts of arson as acts of terrorism. Arsonists are not simple little breakers of the legal code. Their acts have the capacity to kill innocent people, their acts have the potential to burn out communities.

If bush fire arson is deemed to be an act of terrorism, and if it is subject to that kind of national law, then perhaps it might give the would-be perpetrators serious pause for second thought before the match is struck.

What do you think? What other approach, the thoughts above aside, might help to address the vexing problem of deliberately lit fires?

Note: The following information was supplied by another AIMN writer. You can read her full summation in the comments section below. As well, you can read her articles if you do an AIMN search.

“Proportion of deliberate bushfires in Australia

The Australian Institute of Criminology found that,”on average across the country, approximately 13 percent of vegetation fires are recorded as being deliberate and another 37 percent as suspicious. That is, for all vegetation fires for which there is a cause recorded, 50 percent may be lit deliberately.”

https://aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab051

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55 comments

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  1. corvus boreus

    Keith Davis,
    Laying aside relative dangers and merits within increases of authoritarian governmental powers, it definitely makes more contextual sense to label the deliberate ignition of wildfires as an act of terrorism (ie an attempt to instill terror of death upon civilians) when compared to, say, a social media campaign to encourage financial divestment from fossil fuels or, at the more extreme end, a raid on a slaughterhouse by a handful of hardcore vegetarians on a mission to liberate a few baby goats.

    Ps, I am undecided as to whether tossing a lit tailor-made cigarette out of a car window into hot winds whilst driving through tinderbox country should count as deliberate arson or just public endangerment through criminally culpable negligence.

  2. New England Cocky

    Keith, I understand your thinking but in this present emergency it is a matter of all hands on deck to fight the fires. When the situation eases, the investigations will begin. Hopefully, any culprits will be caught and suffer the full force of the law.

    I am reminded that the Adelaide Hills fires in the 70s were started by a man from Gawler SA who was taken into protective custody by police because there was a very real fear that he would be lynched before his trial commenced.

    Here is the link to NSW RFS website. Check out the areas of these fires. You should be able to move throughout the website from this link.

    https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/major-fire-updates

  3. Kaye Lee

    From NEC’s link, in NSW alone, more than half a million hectares are burnt/burning out of control from today’s updates.

    To give some perspective….1 million hectares annually – the forest destruction of Indonesia

  4. Keitha Granville

    I agree, arson is as bad as any other form of terrorism.
    I have lived through a catastrophic fire – ours was started by a controlled burn supposedly long burned out. It wasn’t.

    Throwing a butt out a window ?? Negligent, stupid, criminal. Thousands of dollars in fines might stop a few people. Loss of licence even.

    Starting a fire – at least 5 years in prison. And after that, 10 years fire fighting duty with volunteer brigades, right at the front line. Forced to face people who have had their lives destroyed.

    I would actually prefer dumping them in the middle of a fireground, to fend for themselves.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Proportion of deliberate bushfires in Australia

    The Australian Institute of Criminology found that,”on average across the country, approximately 13 percent of vegetation fires are recorded as being deliberate and another 37 percent as suspicious. That is, for all vegetation fires for which there is a cause recorded, 50 percent may be lit deliberately.”

    https://aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab051

    That data is over ten years old but there are too many stories like these…

    Sept 23, 2019: An 18-year-old Queensland volunteer firefighter has been arrested and charged with deliberately lighting three fires over the weekend.

    https://www.news.com.au/national/queensland/news/qld-volunteer-firefighter-charged-over-three-deliberately-lit-fires/news-story/ae0457d8f0f912568aae936366ba5a8d

    We know arsonists are usually men at an average age of 26, with a disconcerting number volunteering with the country’s fire fighting agencies. They also tend to be disconnected from friends and family and live with depression or mental illness.

    https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/paj9qb/how-a-volunteer-firefighter-became-a-serial-bushfire-arsonist-pyromaniac-interview

    Feb 26, 2016: A volunteer firefighter has been charged with deliberately lighting three fires around Donnybrook in Western Australia’s South West, with a Perth court told he was feeling depressed and wanted to help fight them.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-21/volunteer-firefighter-arson-donnybrook-fires/7187322

    I am not sure that punishment will act as a deterrent to these people.

  6. David Bruce

    I was reading about the fires in California yesterday and there are many similarities with what is happening in Australia. People posing as fire fighters in California have been filmed deliberately lighting fires. Maybe they were just back-burning?

    This past week I have also noticed a smoggy haze over much of south east Queensland. With a prevailing northerly wind, it was unlikely to be caused by smoke from the fires in Central and Northern NSW. There is something weird happening with our atmosphere in eastern Australia right now and the similarities with what has and is happening California are unsettling.

    The caption on one of the pics from California says “How do out-of-control wildfires only burn down houses to the ground while leaving nearby trees completely unaffected?!”

  7. Keith Davis

    Thanks Kaye Lee for the statistics and thank you all for the comments, and thank you to Michael for finding a better photo.

    The notion that possibly up to 50% of vegetation fires have the ‘suspicious’ tag attached, in one way or another, is not a good one to contemplate.

    corvus boreus: “Laying aside relative dangers and merits within increases of authoritarian governmental powers” … yep, I agree with the worry around such a move … I see it as a partial response to the problem … but I’m also concerned about how such powers could be warped in unintended directions, the wording I guess would have to be specific and fail-safe. As for the cigarette butt thing … I’m a smoker (never said I had brains) and I figure that if I am crass enough to throw a lit cigarette out of a car window into incendiary conditions then I would be fully guilty of the crime of deliberate arson.

    New England Cocky: You are right. The fires have to be put out first.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Keith,

    I would like to hear your (and others) comments about whether you think punishment is an effective tool considering the people charged often have mental health issues.

    I don’t want to in any way take away from the severe consequences of their actions or with the comparison to the (miniscule) harm caused by terrorism here. I want to find the most effective way to deal with a man-made terror that we cannot afford. I am bias but I always think early education makes a difference. Perhaps if kids heard from victims or firefighters, helped in the clean-up process, were involved in planting and nurturing trees, or something….we might change a mindset before it causes such catastrophic harm.

    Getting kids to help others from early on is something that should be part of our education system. It not only helps others, it makes kids (and all of us) feel better about ourselves and our place in our community.

  9. Keith Davis

    Kaye Lee … I think your point is pretty clear to be honest. In my view punishment follows the crime, punishment does not prevent the crime. In proposing that Bush Fire Arson be deemed a terrorist act it is my hope that such a notion enters the national consciousness, that it becomes a (regarding deliberate arson) a ‘don’t go there, ever’ scenario.

    Everything about the early years of a human being is key. When we are at the ‘sponge-knowledge-absorb’ stage we can be swayed, we can be guided, our notion of what is right, and what is wrong, can be imprinted either way. That is the time to step in and say, since our focus here is on deliberate arson, that such actions are beyond wrong.

    To be quite frank, my proposal cannot apply to people who suffer from organic-cause mental health issues, there are people in our society who literally cannot be held responsible for their actions, and punishing them for what they cannot help is pointless. It is my belief that we will never, ever, cut out the deliberate lighting of fires, but, it is my hope that we can diminish the frequency of such acts. Early childhood education becomes key in the achievement of that hope. Or so I think.

  10. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, until you said that many of those charged have mental health issues, I was about to say to throw the book at them.

    Now you’ve ruined it for me.

    I’m going to have to think this one through.

    Having lost a friend on Kangaroo Island to a fire that was caused by an irresponsible idiot throwing a cigarette butt out of a window, I’m only capable – at this stage – of giving a biased response.

    But that raises another issue: dickheads throwing cigarette butts out of cars.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Thoughtlessness is another problem, I agree. And not just from smokers.

    I walked down the bush track to the beach with my two (at the time) pre-school kids. At the bottom of the track, someone had obviously had a beach bonfire the night before. They had set fire to a huge log in a sandy dry creek bed leading to the beach. When we got there the wind had set the log on fire again and it had spread to the surrounding grassland…and my house is up the hill behind the bush we had just walked through. It was a FUCKING HELL moment. Me and the kids started throwing buckets of sand as we yelled for help and thank god people came. It could have been REALLY bad.

    Also not that long ago, some guys started a fire on a headland in Sydney when they went there to set off fireworks (illegally). When I was a kid my cousin set fire to the paddock next door setting off fireworks legally. It’s indicative that bringing back cracker night is a priority of the Young Liberals brought up all the time in their fight against a “nanny state”…huge eye roll.

  12. Keith Davis

    Kaye Lee … what you have personally experienced … well they are the very people who should be held to account. People with severe mental health issues … that is very different.

    I like the approach that you have espoused. Early childhood. Key!

  13. Kaye Lee

    I find you always very reasoned in your approach to things Keith – dare I say your life experiences have actually given you insight (as well as hell). I don’t bring up the mental health thing to excuse people – more to think how we can prevent this from happening. When I was teaching, kids would often use excuses with me like I’m dyslexic or I’ve got ADD or whatever. I explained to them that meant they had to try harder, not less, and that I would help them.

  14. Keith Davis

    Power to you Kaye Lee. Keep pumping out your articles!

  15. Trish Corry

    Sometimes the deliberately lit fires aren’t arsonists, but people taking on backburning themselves. Our MP stated a list today of all the things that are banned today (We have had a number of properties taken by fire in Yeppoon) Yeppoon is 40 minutes away, but we can’t go outside right now Cos smoke is strong. It’s also people with respiratory conditions who may live a bit away as well that suffer.

    Our State MP also spoke today about a number of people attempting to back burn and she stressed this was explicitly banned.

    Solutions? Education, Govt ads, Mailouts, Newspaper Ads. I think with technology an app could be invented that is pushed and pushed for people to have on their phone. Daily notifications advising of conditions, restrictions, to dos and penalties.

    I also think this should be a mandatory segment on the news, the same as weather, as not everyone will be up to date with technology.

    After all that effort of education and warnings, I have no empathy for harsh penalties. With regards to mental illness, behaviour and mental illness and two separate things. Behaviour and conscious choice isn’t always caused by an illness.

    Urgent Legislation is needed for minimum funding that must be allocated to each fire / emergency region. A public website should track spending and infrastructure. I’m appalled to find out today about severe cuts in NSW (state and federal) PM refusing to meet with Fire expert committee for seven months now, and closure – yes closure of rural fire brigades.

    Journalists s also have a moral obligation to report on councils, state and Federal Govts, not meeting necessary obligations, In a very vocal manner.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Trish,

    The interview with Greg Mullins was particularly scary.

    “The Erickson sky cranes, the Elvis helicopters, 737s with 15,000 litres, C130 Hercules with 15,000 litres. We don’t have them in Australia,” Mr Mullins said.

    This poses a major problem now that the seasons in Australia and California are overlapping.

    “Their air force of 23 — one fire service, 23 fixed-wing water bombers — we have one in NSW,” he said.

    “As each of the states and territories in Australia, their fire seasons heat up and start early, they won’t be able to share trucks, people, incident-management personnel, so it’s going to be harder and harder to fight these fires and we need a national response to this.”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-06/former-fire-chief-worried-about-firefighting-resources/11677760

  17. Keith Davis

    Hi Trish …

    “Sometimes the deliberately lit fires aren’t arsonists, but people taking on backburning themselves.”

    Fair enough. Comes under the banner of accidents, and unintended consequences.

  18. Matters Not

    Obvious tension here. The need for forests (broadly defined) to capture and store atmospheric carbon for the longer term and the urge to clear same in the shorter term – sometimes for personal survival.

    Perhaps we should just leave it to the market to sort it out? But maybe not!

  19. Michael Taylor

    There is an app for those fellow Victorians among us who are iPhone users. The app is called “VicEmergency” and gives constant updates about emergency situations in your selected region. You can also ‘zoom in’ on anything happening within 10ks of your location.

    It’s a must.

  20. Michael Taylor

    Burning-off in early Spring is a sound practice, such as the Aborigines used to do, to get rid of all the fuel a Summer fire would quickly consume.

    It was proposed somewhere in Victoria about a decade ago, but was prevented because it was the breeding area of the spotted frog-hopping green-headed bobcat bird (or something like that).

    A couple of years later the area was destroyed by bushfire. Lots of people died. Lots of homes were lost.

    I’m just as much a environmentalist as the next person, but they should have done the burn-off.

  21. Zathras

    Many areas, such as the ACT didn’t get their usual back-burning carried out earlier because the conditions were simply too dangerous at the time.

    Likewise, many areas of NSW wen’t back-burned because many of the Rural Fire Service staff were “sent home” during those critical months because the NSW Government severely cut their funding in the June budget – a point somehow never raised by the media, preferring to traditionally blame the Greenies instead.

    No doubt those with a fetish for lighting fires will be further spurred on by coverage of the current devastation. We should all remain vigilant and mindful of our environment – it’s all we can do.

  22. Trish Corry

    Michael, i’m More talking about an app that’s a daily notification system, so it continuously reinforces conditions, dos and don’ts etc and penalties for prevention, not emergency. So many people have a weather app. Yet a daily fire conditions app we don’t. A daily reinforcement 365 days a year might help, develop awareness and ingrain in the psyche. Something as important as the weather being taken notice of daily, makes it important by default.

    People backburning most likely think they are fine. They have done it heaps before. But a system needs to set up of notifying experts it needs doing. A culture needs to be built that you are an idiot if you do it yourself.

    You could even double penalties (and maybe they do, I don’t know) if fire warnings are advised and ignored.

    It wouldn’t hurt the state Governments to invest in a workforce of vegetation management either plus Federal invest in R & D so solutions for mitigation can be employed.

    I also often imagine why they can’t build in sprinkler systems into bushland so they aren’t as dry. naive and probably idealistic, but what if?

    Lyle Shelton complained about people complaining about thoughts and prayers, saying that prayers must come with action. Well the wrong people seem to benefit from the action. It’s certainly not people who have lost everything in a fire including lives.

  23. corvus boreus

    The idea of fireproofing the bush through the installation of sprinkler systems is sheer brilliance!
    Later on today I will be attending a liason meeting with other stakeholding agencies regarding the conduct of controlled burns on headland vegetation, and I will definitely be raising the sprinkler suggestion with the RFS rep.

  24. corvus boreus

    Seriously though, the idea of a national policy obliging media to accurately inform of existent and expected fire conditions and restrictions is a valid one, as is the notion of a campaign of positive propaganda (aka loaded messaging).
    Governments used to spend money on community ethics media campaigns (‘Life, be in it’, Do the right thing’, ‘Keep Australia Beautiful’), and fire-wisdom should be part of our national drill.
    Regarding penalties, included in any raft of punishments dished out should be obligation for significant dervice hours spent in remediation duties (whether wildlife rehab or general clean-up) and preventative monitoring (ankle bracelets).
    Name and shame can also work, but can be viewed as vindictive.

    Ps, what if near enough had been good enough when they built the great wall of China?
    ‘It’s a great fence…’

  25. New England Cocky

    @Kaye Lee: Further to the fire fighting equipment availability issue; your post on an earlier AIMN thread:

    “Under this NSW Coalition Government, the capital budgets of both Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service have been cut by 35.4 per cent and 75.2 per cent respectively – the equivalent to axing the jobs of at least 100 firefighters and 50 new firefighting trucks. This whilst spruiking their surplus.

    https://twintowntimes.com.au/_/2019/06/cuts-to-fireys-in-liberal-state-budget-a-disgrace-labor/

  26. johno

    It sure is a disgrace for politicians past and present to mock and joke about global warming in relation to ‘what’s it matter if the climate gets a bit warmer’ eg, when Tony Abbott says climate change is ‘probably doing good’. Yeah Tony, real good. I hope Tony is out there fighting some of these fires.

  27. corvus boreus

    johno,
    Former PM Abbott is, according to claimed eyewitness accounts, indeed out there wearing the orange overalls of the NSW VRFS, getting all soaked and smudged .
    Although people standing shoulder to shoulder fighting fires tend not to engage in detailed discussions of geo-environmental and political issues, apparently the glaring dichotomy of his cognitive dissonance in not correlating the increased incidence and severity of bushfires with the prevalence of scientific reports stating that human activities were heating the planet was raised during a moment of downtime, and he ‘laughed it off with a bit of a shrug’.
    A bit like how Tony likes to take a daily dip in the ocean, but still manages to deny the fact that it is rising.
    Still, good on him for getting out there and helping fight the fires.

  28. johno

    Then there was Trump when there was a cold snap, ‘Gee, we could do with a bit of that global warming’ … sigh

  29. johno

    Thanks Corvus.

  30. corvus boreus

    Trump haiku,

    Finland citizens,
    busy raking forest floors.
    Zero bushfires there!

  31. Trish Corry

    I was just thinking – Drones. Why can’t we employ an army of drones with in built sprinklers and make it rain? Conditions would not have to be dry.

    If salt could be in that water, well we are surrounded by it.

  32. johno

    Not to mention the infamous Craig moron Kelly.

  33. Hungry Charley

    The extremely dry conditions now across the continent make it difficult to use hazard reduction burning effectively due to greater risk of them becoming out of control. This happens anyway even under ideal conditions. However I am suspicious that fire-fighting efforts are not directed at fire sites while they are relatively small and confined in a timely manner. I know of many instances of this in my region, NPWS used to let fires get bigger so that they could get additional funding as it crossed a threat threshold. I hope this is not still being undertaken.

  34. Hungry Charley

    What do we do about fire-bugs? RFS needs better screening measures I think. Its an emergency now. People caught lighting fires should be treated as you would a dangerous mentally ill person. Doing something which you know may hurt people sounds psychopathic.

  35. Socrates.

    No point employing drones they are all already employed by the civil service or politics or the banks.

  36. Patagonian

    Well one thing we can be sure of is that the fires are NOT due to climate change. Just ask Bozo the Clown, current leader of the National Party. He’ll tell you we’ve always had fires and any attempts to link the current disasters to CC are the ravings of “woke capital-citiy Greenies ravings”.

  37. New England Cocky

    @Hungry Charley: Nothing known. What is evident is that NPWS is closing down Parks distant from Sydney to meet the financial cuts being made by successive governments. This means that many tourist projects that could bring valuable dollars into an urban regional centre are stopped before they begin. Just another example of Sydney-centric thinking by Macquarie Street politicians and their metropolitan desk jockey bureaucrats.

  38. corvus boreus

    Well, another boring day in the new norma, where unprecedented and catastrophic are everyday occurencesl.
    A change of plan saw me aiding in emergency asset protection fuel reduction on a rural property, which mainly consisted of dropping and dragging vegetation and flammable detritus away from the house, as the smoke got ever denser until all but the nearest treeline had disappeared. As we left the couple were readying to soak down their house then depart with their fingers crossed, as the local RFS had advised evacuation by nightfall.
    One of my colleages had, just last weekend, suffered the near-total burnout of her own bushblock, although her residence was spared through a combination of sensible planning/preparation and a dose of good luck, Many of her neighbour have lost homes and livestock, and the toll on wildlife was horrific.
    My own place is in no immediate danger for now, but nearby Coffs Harbour is on high alert as 2 separate nearby firefronts look set to converge and combine, especially with the conditions expected tomorrow.
    All very ‘interesting’, especially when you consider that we have not yet hit full summer nor officially entered an el-nino. .

  39. johno

    We are in the Anthropocene.

  40. corvus boreus

    This morning the acrid smoke that is stinging the eyes and choking every breath has hued the orb of Sol a wrathful orange-red, and by this days end it is very likely that hundreds, if not thousands of people will have lost their homes.

    If you happen to have a fleet of rain-making drones, please deploy them now.
    If you live south of Sydney, please face nor-nor-west and blow as hard as you can.
    If you live in or near the fire zones or are pitching in to help to fight them, blessings and good luck

    Now the holocene ends and the anthropocene truly begins

  41. Bruce

    David “something weird happening with our atmosphere in eastern Australia right now”. Try looking at it through the lens of this document ‘UN Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques’ https://www.unog.ch/enmod
    To those complaining about childrens behaviour here, if you want smarter kids, then remove wireless devices from all schools.
    Wifi radiation causes neurological damage! Alternatively, put up and shut up while the next generation gets screwed over.
    If you notice a blunt tone to this message, that is for a reason.

  42. Gary

    Going by government statistics……https://aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab051

    Nearly 50% of bushfires are either deliberately lit, or suspicious…..then 35% are accidental. Going by where and when many of these fires begin…I’m thinking most are deliberate.

    If people are caught purposefully lighting bushfires they should be treated under the same criminal offence as Terrorism. Because that is what they are. Their purpose is to terrify people, maim, destroy property bushland and animals.

  43. Kaye Lee

    The southerly hit the Central Coast about 20 mins ago. Brace yourselves people to the north.

  44. McBryde

    I’ve read all the comments.
    Nobody has covered the clear possibility that the fires were started intentionally by extremists who, like the extinction rebellion people, want to influence public opinion – disregarding the safety of those who happen to be in their path.

    Whether or not this is true doesn’t mean the possibility shouldn’t be looked into. At the scene of a crime all possibilities need to be examined.

    Looking at the maps of the fires I note that they are not all connected to each other.
    Surely the conditions weren’t such that they all started by themselves.

    A group of people could have been driving around starting them.

    Most of the west has been pursued by ample advertising that man made CC is real and happening. Some high level resistance to the idea is being expressed in Australia, and the world is watching. Time to teach them, and any non believers, a lesson?

  45. corvus boreus

    McBride,

    So, borrowing from Bolsanaro, you reckon, based on absolutely no evidence, that it is possible that environmentalists are committing wholesale destruction upon the living environment and putting peoples lives in danger just to prove a point
    Equally valid is the idea that the fires have been deliberately set by yourself (possibly working in concert with others) based on an anti-environmentalist agenda, just to teach those greenies a lesson.
    Like your own, my accusatory speculations are completely unsubstantiated and may or may not contain a shred of truth, but are equally worth looking into.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, 2 Qld youths who were responsible for the destruction of 11 homes were punished with a verbal caution and a possible fine ; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-13/binna-burra-fire-an-accident-teenagers-discarded-cigarettes/11699474

  46. McBryde

    The fact that the most common motive is self-empowerment which vandals undoubtedly enjoy, doesn’t preclude other possibilities. And unless highly politically motivated green activists are spoiling their own backyard – being cruel to be kind – I appreciate your point of view.

    While looking for evidence, a detective would need to consider all possible motives for the arson, and your suggestion (that it could be a group trying to teach environmentalists a lesson for not allowing firebreaks, etc) would have to be one of them to consider! But over such a grand scale would necessitate a large body of fellow antagonists…. perhaps sponsored, which is improbable.

    As there were so many separate fires burning, and given the understanding [above] that fires don’t start spontaneously, there is the idea that they weren’t necessarily accidental, and that some sort of co-ordination could have been involved.

    I didn’t consider that my suggestion went as far as being accusatory.
    Re: Bolsanaro – I had read that a member of an NGO was caught lighting a fire in the Amazon, but hadn’t considered that to be proof that the whole thing was propagated that way. (On further reading I learned that most of the blaze area was the usual burning off which the locals have done for years – but the media made a thing of it… It’s not easy to find the truth.)

    In the recent NSW forces there was a string of separate incidents, beginning near Moonbi, where there was a lag of something like 1/2hr(?) between the start of each fire. (I know that some birds of prey carry embers, but there wouldn’t have been time for a piece of wood to be a transportable ember, and the distance too far.)

    Also there have been reports of people caught lighting fires, disguising themselves as firefighters.
    That could be pathological arsonists, but a broader view should also be taken: does this pattern emerge in other areas – where here’s a distance between separate fires?

    I do hope you’re right. It makes no sense to destroy that which we strive to protect. 

    However, when it comes to the possibility that people might be attempting to promote ideas which promise to revolutionise world politics and economics (at the expense of a large part of the population), there will be those who urge vigilance. Countering the perceived CACC with the radical solutions proposed would cause an extremely high level of destruction of human life and property.
    A cause with such a high price would have to be pushed in unacceptable ways.

  47. Anarchy rules

    Surely the vast amounts the government spends on the military should now be redirected to the fire fighting services as a potential enemy equipped only with a few boxes of matches could destroy the whole country .

  48. Andrew Mackinnon

    McBryde is right. These fires were deliberately lit in order to support the idea that ‘climate change’ is a threat which caused them and that Australia needs to enact policy to deal with ‘climate change’, which is actually a fraudulent agenda.

    It’s irrelevant who was caught lighting the fires, even if they were youths. These are third party intermediaries used for plausible deniability. The Australian government is behind the deliberate lighting of these fires.

    Look at the flare up in the Jewish controlled media linking the fires to ‘climate change’. It’s obvious. I initially thought that the fires were deliberately lit by the government in order to distract from the failing economy in Australia. Maybe that’s a secondary reason, if any. Without a doubt, the primary reason for the government lighting the fires is to spur the public to support policy regarding ‘climate change’.

    Australian citizens voted for Liberal over Labor at the last federal election because they didn’t want the action on ‘climate change’ that Labor was promoting. The majority think that ‘carbon dioxide-driven climate change’ is a fraud, like me. They voted Liberal because it’s the lesser of two very bad evils.

    The Liberal Party pretends to be opposed to action on ‘climate change’ but that is only pretence. It supports it because its allegiance is to the Rothschilds-led synagogue of Satan that needs action on ‘climate change’ in countries around the world in order to provide an excuse for establishing world government ruling over various unions around the world like the European Union, the African Union and the South American Union. There is a planned Asia Pacific Union including China, India and Australia, as well as other Asian countries.

    http://www.stop-world-government.com

  49. Matters Not

    Andrew Mackinnon, please remember to take your medication(s) – morning, noon and night and frequently during the day. That’s a good boy!

  50. Roswell

    The majority think that ‘carbon dioxide-driven climate change’ is a fraud, like me.

    Andrew Mackinnon, I wouldn’t say you’re a fraud, but I’d say that your ideas are crazy.

  51. corvus boreus

    Andrew McKinnon,
    I am not sure that McBryde, who at least tried to couch his/her completely unsupported speculative hypothesis of a concerted enviro-extremist conspiracy engaging in multiple acts of criminal arson in guarded tones of ‘intellectual speculation’, appreciates your patently batshit-crazy conspiracy theories being offered to support his/her already marginal postulations.
    Having a piss-stained froth-mouth braying agreement with your spurious pronouncements rarely strengthens the public credibility of your argument.

  52. Kaye Lee

    Whoa Nelly. Is it a full moon?

  53. Winifred Jeavons

    How does a sprinkler system work in a serious drought, when dams are running dry?

  54. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, to quote a comment I noticed on Twitter directed to a Trump supporter:

    “Your elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top, does it?”

    😂😂

  55. Kaye Lee

    I don’t expect everyone to be across the science that proves anthropogenic global warming is causing catastrophic climate change, but take a step back…..

    We are being asked to believe that there is a worldwide conspiracy in which Jewish bankers, scientists, and environmentalists have colluded to trick us so they can impose a “new world order”.

    How many people are involved in this conspiracy and where do they meet to cook up their strategy?

    I know it is important to listen to others and address their concerns. I try to do that. But fuck me…it gets to the point where I want to poke myself in the eye.

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