Fire Fighters

Never let a good crisis go to waste even if you have to trespass

Senator Kamala Harris and California Gov Gavin Newsom took the opportunity to do a photo shoot on the property of a family who lost their home to the devastating wildfires.

This is what Trampas Patten, son of the owner, had to say:

For the friends of mine that don’t recognize the fireplace in the background, that is what is left of my parents house! What has me really frustrated right now is the fact that these two politicians used my parents loss for a photo opportunity to push their political agenda! Political party wouldn’t have made a difference in this moment. Decent human beings that have character and class, wouldn’t air someone else’s misfortune on national television! Think about this when you go to the polls in a few weeks to vote. Look at this picture closely, imagine it is what is left of your hard work, hopes, dreams, place of sanctuary. Do you want this kind of leadership, using you and your loss for political gain?! For the record, my parents haven’t even been let back in yet themselves, to sort through what is left of their lives, but these two felt the need to go traipsing around my parents property without permission. I guess those property taxes my parents pay allow politicians to do this! Private property doesn’t exist in California anymore!

His sister Bailee chimed in with:

Dear Governor Newsom you don’t know me but I’m one of your CA citizens. That truck you are standing by is my dads work truck. He has had that thing for as long as I can remember. That land with all the rubble your standing next too, that’s my house I grew up in. You never got my parents permission to go on our property, nor did you ask if we needed help. What you did do is take my families loss and parade it all over social media and news networks to push your agenda. That agenda can wait, right now you should be caring about the families of this state. Thankfully this community is #mountainstrong and we will thrive.

When it is all to push a climate change agenda in media approved Timberland boots, who cares about those affected? Facts don’t matter. Fashion and fashionable causes not supported by the facts do.

Scientific American endorses Biden – first time in 175 years

Wow. Scientific American has endorsed Joe Biden. This is the first time the magazine has backed a presidential candidate in 175 years. We think it may live to regret its move. The magazine has merely exposed the deep partisan bias and confirmed again how much of scientific academia and media leans left. Why?

The editors closed with,

It’s time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science.”

If we listened to Joe Biden’s ‘Moses and the 10 Commandments’ speech the other day, it was full of unsubstantiated hyperbole about the risks of higher incidences of floods, hurricanes and wildfires if Trump is reelected despite the fact that under the current administration, harmful GHG emissions have fallen by the largest absolute number ever in 2019 according to the IEA.

For a magazine that rests its laurels on “following the data” and “being guided by the science”, perhaps it missed the UNIPCC’s March 2018 report on weather extremes (with respect to anthropogenic induced global warming) which noted:

…There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems…in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods…low confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences..low confidence in projections of changes in extreme winds.. low confidence in projections of changes in monsoons…low confidence in wave height projections…overall low confidence because of inconsistent projections of drought changes…low confidence in projected future changes in dust storms…low confidence in projections of an anthropogenic effect on phenomena such as shallow landslides.

Perhaps the editors missed the questionnaire posted by the UN Interacademy Council committee on its website which invited interested parties to respond to the scientific processes at the IPCC during the compilation of the gold standard climate bibles? These were some of the responses;

some of the lead authors…are clearly not qualified to be lead authors.” (p.16)

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter…we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent.” (p. 138)

The whole process…[is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific.” (p. 554)

half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world.” (p. 296)

Lest anyone think that people from less affluent countries were being unjustly stereotyped,

The team members from the developing countries (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality, we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.” (p.330)

The founders of Scientific American must be rolling over in their graves. If their scientific rigour is as sound as their endorsement then Trump has even more chances to secure reelection.

This should be seen as a rejection of Trump not an endorsement for Biden.

2 lefty narratives destroyed in one – climate change & 2A

An Oregon lady caught an arsonist in the act and exercised her second amendment rights to hold the individual under citizen’s arrest until the police arrived.

As Bernie Sanders and the left keep banging on about climate change being behind the bushfires, once again, arson is a large factor. Joe Biden gave a speech saying that the US risks being destroyed by fires, floods and hurricanes.

We wrote about the causes of bushfires during Australia’s recent disaster here.

In short, coronavirus has run its scaremongering course so it is now time to rachet up global warming again. We imagine Greta Thunberg will he invited on Zoom to do a town hall with Biden.

California fires vs Australia

As wildfires sweep across California, we were struck by this infographic put up by Cal Fire.

While we will investigate more deeply in coming days, we were struck by several things compared to Australia’s NSW RFS.

The first is fire engines. Cal Fire claims to have 343. NSW RFS has 3,883. Although aerial bombing seems a preferred method in California.

Cal Fire employs 6,100 full time staff. NSWRFS 936.

Cal Fire has 2,600 seasonal staff, 3,500 inmates, wards and conservation members and 600 volunteers. NSWRFS has 71,000 volunteers.

Cal Fire operates on a budget of US$2.1bn. NSWRFS runs on US$405m.

Cal Fire attended 5,750 wildfire incidents while NSWRFS attended 9,675 bushfires in 2018/19.

Cal Fire staged prescribed burn offs of around 19,000 acres in 2017/18. NSWRFS conducted 469,500 acres of burn off in the last recorded year. In NSW’s case, this wasn’t enough.

So before the “climate change” experts start blaming Mother Nature for California’s wildfires, a quick glance at the stats shows that NSWRFS were doing far more with less. Despite that, the Royal Commission has exposed that nowhere near enough forest fuel was being managed which led to the uncontrollable fires experienced late last year. Poor administration is a feature too.

We will endeavor to do a more comprehensive look at the stats to ensure consistency in methodology.

However we implore people to look at a report we wrote discussing climate change by the fire services themselves which goes a long way in proving what we already knew. Poor fuel load management and arson remain the biggest issues.

As ever, we don’t disparage the work of the fire fighters but question the management. In Australia, one volunteer claimed the administration acts like a mafia.

Virginia Democrats declare open season on public servants with new legislation

Virginia Senate Democrats have passed a bill, Bill 5302, reclassifying the assault of a law enforcement officer as a misdemeanor.

In summary,

[The bill] eliminates the mandatory minimum 6-month term of confinement for an assault and battery committed against a judge; magistrate; law-enforcement officer; correctional officer; person directly involved in the care, treatment, or supervision of inmates; firefighter; or volunteer firefighter or any emergency medical services personnel and provides that such crime can no longer be committed as a simple assault and must result in a bodily injury.”

So do Democrats want to declare open season on public servants? Should EMTs trying to save lives or fire-fighters attempting to protect the community be subject to thuggery without legal protection too?

Is it any wonder the police unions are flocking to endorse Trump. We imagine the fireys and ambos aren’t far behind.

The truth about Portland

Ami Horowitz hit the streets in Portland to interview the “peaceful” protestors who were, as ABC so eloquently put, “intensified.”

Amazing how few blacks appear to be protesting under the banner of black lives matter which ought to tell us something. Still, those peacefully pushing for change used choice words such as

– violence

– burn it down

– looting

One of the interesting parts of his short clip is around the 3 minute mark where an irate gentleman correctly points out that most of the fools rioting aren’t even black. As we often point out, it’s only social justice warriors who preach to us what needs to be done without consulting the very groups impacted.

Reality burns – our data always suspected it

As we have suspected by analyzing the data of the fire services, there was always a risk that poor administration was a big factor.

It seems 56% of Aussies polled agree vs 35% who think it is climate change related.

We list our recent reports on the fire services here. The numbers don’t lie. Hopefully the focus in the Royal Commission focus on the following.

Link between bushfires and climate change

Data never seen before compiled on climate change and fire

VIC CFA Budget statistics

NSWRFS Budget Statistics

An extra $1bn spent on fire services end up in smoke?

Senior management of fire services act like a mafia

NPWS hazard reduction data

Time we investigated the fire services personnel

Our next prediction is that the upcoming annual reports of the 8 state fire services will be stuffed full of “climate change” related commentary which was conspicuous by its absence to date.

“Senior management of the Fire Services act like a Mafia”

We have been lucky to speak to one of the brave volunteers (pseudonym Fred, a 25yr veteran in the RFS) who has spoken out about the utter incompetence of the administration within fire services HQ. You should be furious after reading this. You are being lied to and the media is complicit by failing to do basic investigative journalism.

Instead of all of the glowing praise being heaped on the senior management of the fire services, here are some brutal comments that contradict the current media narrative.

What you will read are some of the direct quotes from our conversation which throw more light on some of our earlier suspicions.

FNF Media has been questioning the competence of senior management in the HQs. We have been demanding that the fire services are thoroughly investigated when this is all over. At the moment senior fire management teams are being deified in ways that almost seek to make them exempt from any wrongdoing. If there is nothing to hide, they should welcome the clean bill of health that would arise from an audit.

Putting it down to climate change, as some of our former chiefs suggest, is just way too convenient a scapegoat to cover up for what looks more and more like poor management practice.

We noted last week that budgets and salaries have been rising at NSWRFS, but equipment levels falling. How is that that with $140mn extra dollars last fiscal year, a 78% jump on 2014/15 levels, can this be? Fred mentioned,

there has been a massive effort in restricting bushfire hazard reduction burning by the fire services. Also, the senior management of the fire services act like a mafia. I don’t know how they get away with it.

Scarily we’re told that no resources are being refused. Unfortunately, we have evidence to the contrary. Fred said,

Premier, Minister and Commissioner all lied when they said that all resources were being used and no offers of assistance were ever refused.

Fred has asked FNF Media to withhold the proof of the conversation with RFS and it is damning, to say the least. It is toxic.

Recall our post which discussed the frustration within the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association (VFFA) with respect to restricted burning. The VFFA said,

“Hazard reduction is the only proven management tool rural firefighters have to reduce the intensity and spread of bushfires and this has been recognised in numerous bushfire enquires since the Stretton enquiry into the 1939 Victorian Bushfires…The amount of ‘green tape’ we have to go through to get a burn approved is beyond frustrating; says Peter Cannon. The VFFA is calling on the NSW State Government to reduce the amount of green tape involved in planning and conducting hazard reductions so that our Volunteer Firefighters can get on with the job of conducting fire prevention works in the cooler months to prevent the inevitable summer bushfire disasters…Remember that it’s far more cost-effective, say around 66 to 100 times more cost-efficient, to prevent wildfires through hazard reduction than it is to have reactionary fire response, which is what we have at the moment. With the great number of lost homes and decreasing property values through these wildfires, what then will the total fiscal amount be…when it could have all been prevented by effective Hazard reduction!”

Fred’s comments with us sing the same tune.

They spend such huge amounts of money on tech, equipment and salaries and yet achieve bugger all bushfire hazard reduction works. If I had half the budget of the FRNSW Bushfire Section I could do at least 4 times more burning. They are so inefficient.

My volunteer brigade did Zero burning last 12 months…volunteers are having to purchase their own uniforms and PPE… RFS senior management lies constantly and the media go along with them.

In the most recent fires, Fred commented,

The state government, RFS and FRNSW all declined our assistance, even as homes burned down with no trucks to save them.

The back burn on Bells Line of Road SW of Mt Wilson. It ended of pushing East and took out Mt Wilson and then went into the Blue Mountains National Park. Media reported that fire as part of Gospers Mountain but it was a wholly separate fire lit by RFS in exactly the wrong spot.

This is commentary from an experienced veteran volunteer with a quarter-century of under his belt, not some rookie with a garden hose who will just get in harm’s way. Yet Fred’s well-trained services were refused. Period. We have the evidence. He went further,

Very poor use of available volunteers. 70,000 are on the books but less than 7,000 are being used????

They [management] should be investigated and sacked. Not given medals and bigger budgets.

I am hoping I will be a witness in the inquiries or Royal Commission after…This all needs to come out.”

I have emails from RFS and FRNSW already shared with the Minister and Premier. They are well aware of the problem. But the RFS Commissioner is like Santa at Christmas right now.

Will our mainstream media going out of its way to ask probing questions instead of having the likes of Karl Stefanovic rant on morning TV about the PM’s shortcomings while blowing wind up the backside of the fire chief? Apparently not. Too simple to report on easy clickbait, devoid of any facts.

Let us pray that when all the fires have died down, the post-mortem avoids arse covering and blame-shifting. Although we know that is exactly what will happen.

Remember climate change is an irrelevant argument as we pointed out in our study here. FR NSW mentions the word ‘climate change‘ once in the last 6 years of annual reports. Even then it was in reference to fire stations voluntarily switching off non-essential lighting for Earth Hour. Hardly pointing to detailed statistics derived from their own experience. On the flip side, the Victorian CFA mentions ‘inclusion‘ 56 times in the last 6 years of annual reports. Priorities don’t seem to lie where the core business lies.

Money does not seem to be the major problem even though a further $2bn is being committed for relief. It is increasingly looking like mismanagement. If the volunteers, who do it without compensation, are screaming at the desk jockeys who orchestrate the controlled burn-offs (or lack thereof) doesn’t it make one curious as to why the fires got so ridiculously out of control?

We have every right to be angry. We should settle for nothing less. FNF Media is astonished at the generosity of the $40m in donations raised for bushfire relief. However, we worry that the fire services don’t appear to have a lot of skill in allocating vital funds where needed if volunteers like Fred are to be believed and as we wrote in previous discussions. Given we have the proof, he should be and the cover-up will be found out.

National Parks & Wildlife Service hazard reduction data request

Logo - National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW

As requested by a reader yesterday, we investigated the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) data on bushfire hazard reduction. NPWS is part of the Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) annual reports but the data is best gleaned from NSWRFS annual report appendices.

NPWS is responsible for the management of more than 860 national parks and reserves across NSW, covering an area of approx. seven million hectares, a land base that includes some of the most remote, rugged and bushfire-prone country in NSW. Since 2005, NPWS has regularly undertaken more than 50% of the total area of prescribed burning in NSW despite only managing about 25% of the state’s bushfire-prone lands.

In 2013, NPWS noted in Living with fires in NSW National Parks,

Fuel is one of the fundamental elements required to sustain a fire. While other factors, such as topography and weather, will greatly influence fire spread and intensity, fuel is the element most easily manipulated for fire management. Hence hazard reduction is about reducing the quantity and/or changing the structure of the available fuel…It is neither possible nor desirable to eliminate bushfires in NSW – they are inevitable across all fire-prone vegetation types. When high fuel loads, ignition sources and adverse weather inevitably coincide, wildfires will result.”

NWPS.png

As we can see, prescribed burning carries a fair degree of variability within the seasons, however, when benchmarked against NPWS’ own self-imposed targets (135,000ha from 2013/14) we see the following.

NPWS TGT.png

5 out of the last 8 years, NPWS missed its goal. When one considers that NPWS has such a high weighting in the burns, a miss has a larger relative impact.

NPWS TGT PCT.png

So who else is responsible for prescribed burns in NSW?

WHO BURNED.png

We also note from the NPWS report, Living with fires in NSW National Parks that the trend in bushfires since 1976 has been down. It also says that “despite climate change impacts, a weak but downward trend in the annual average size of wildfires on parks and reserves has occurred over the last 35 years and NPWS aims for this trend to continue. Improved bushfire detection and suppression effectiveness and more strategic fuel management within parks and reserves may be a contributing factor to this trend.

The proportion of wildfires managed in various size classes is a more useful indicator than average fire size for assessing the effectiveness of detection and suppression capability. Since 2000, 79% of all wildfires on NPWS reserves have been contained to less than 100 ha in area.Only 1% of fires exceeded 10,000ha in size. 

Now that we have a fire size in NSW exceeding 3,600,000ha it is safe to assume that the effectiveness and detection of suppression capabilities have not been extensive enough.

We should add that unlike the annual reports published by the fire services, NPWS does make more reference to climate change in the previous hyperlink although it is worth mentioning that it relies on third-party sources even though a lot of its own data conflicts with those trends in the report itself. At the very least it is a bit more extensive than FR NSW’s voluntary pledge which nudges fire stations to observe ‘Earth Hour’ once a year.

There is a stark admission by NPWS that arson is on the rise and confirms it is the largest cause of bushfires, data supported by the Australian Institute of Criminology. According to the US Department of the Interior (DOI) notes that 90% of wildland fires are caused by humans, 49% of that being deliberate.  So there is consistency in bushfire data across nations. In November 2019, one NSWRFS volunteer was arrested for starting 7 fires.

FNF Media wants to encourage people to objectively evaluate the data sets we provide. They are provided so readers can form opinions in an easy to consume manner that, will more often than not, challenge the narratives so rife in the clickbait hunting mainstream media. We are more than happy to receive requests like this to get to the bottom of issues while endeavouring to remove the emotion so often attached to ideological positions, especially climate change.

Data you’ve never seen compiled on our Australian fire services

CCFRNSW

For listed corporations, an annual report reads like an opus magnum which outlines the company’s major achievements, missions, strategic outlook, future concerns and goals. No ifs and no buts. The chair and CEO write glowing puff pieces about their achievements and why you, the shareholders, should keep them doing their jobs! Fire chiefs also write about the achievements during the year, every year.

Therefore when studying the language within the last 10 years of annual reports of the state fire services around Australia, why is ‘climate change‘, the words that 29 former fire chiefs told us is such a big factor, barely mentioned, if at all? Take Fire & Rescue NSW’s only mention of ‘climate change‘ on p.81 of its 2018/19 Annual Report,

Where practicable, FRNSW crews were encouraged to turn off all non-essential lights on 30 March 2019 from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, joining millions of people worldwide in showing their commitment to tackling climate change and inspiring all generations to support environmental initiatives and sustainable climate policy.

That is it. No words saying that the ‘catastrophic climate emergency’ preached by a 16-yo truant will lead to devastating increases in bushfires…Further evidence that we can sleep sound at night knowing that some (not all) firefighters might have switched the lights off for 1 hour on one day. So much for instilling a sense of unbridled panic preached by the retired fire chiefs…that’s right one mention of the word ‘climate change’ in 6 years.

Wasn’t Greg Mullins’ most important leadership role to warn NSW residents of the danger of climate change while in the top job? Wouldn’t it have been important to document those ‘climate’ fears in the annual reports that are presented to parliament each year? Clearly not. Best do it when sponsored by advocacy groups. Unfortunately, the ‘lack’ of acknowledgement by the fire service senior management surrounding climate change is an indelible mark by its very omission.

The chart above highlights the number of times the word ‘climate change‘ was mentioned in state fire authorities’ annual reports since 2010/11.

The QFES mentions ‘climate change’ 28 times in its 2018/19 annual report as it references an earlier report written on the subject. Prior to that, there are very few mentions.

Tasmania’s TFS notes ‘climate change’ alongside terrorism and economic downturn as things to watch in its 2015-16 annual report but makes no further in-depth reporting on global warming.

The Victorian Metropolitan Fire Brigade (VICMFB) mentioned climate change once in its 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 annual report but it only refers to the federal department that includes the name ‘climate change’ as a footnote. In 2018/19 the VICMFB refers to an “awareness” of climate change but it hardly sounds like a definitive statement.

Note that in 2011/12, FR NSW mentions climate change twice – once in the index and a loose passage that refers to it potentially having impacts. Yet FR NSW makes no determination by virtue of its own personal experiences. Note in 2010/11, ‘climate change’ is mentioned eight times by FR NSW but even then it refers to the IPCC research, not the findings of its own in-house data.

Let’s get this straight. If climate change was such a huge flashing red light issue in 2010/11, why no mentions between 2012 and 2017, a time when alarmist Greg Mullins was Chief Commissioner of FR NSW?

FNF Media encourages readers to save the following link for future reference. It is the 678-page IPCC internal review tabulating qualitative feedback on the processes of how it compiles the very climate bibles our media and governments swear by. A few excerpts comfortably debunk the credibility of the science contained within.

On page 16, someone complains that:

“some of the lead authors…are clearly not qualified to be lead authors.”

Here are other direct quotes:

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter…we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent.” (p. 138)

“The whole process…[is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific.” (p. 554)

“Half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world.” (p. 296)

Even those from minority backgrounds agreed (p.330):

“The team members from the developing countries (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality, we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.”

Remember this is the IPCC evaluating itself. Imagine if this was a topic that wasn’t related to climate change. Would you be concerned at diverting billions of taxpayer dollars against such woeful governance and amateur approaches to compiling data and legislating policy? Exactly. Frightening!

hazred.png

The alarming part of the annual reports published by the state fire fighting authorities is that they don’t contain much in the way of words that the laymen would expect to see e.g. hazard reduction or fuel load. However, there has been an explosion in words such as diversity and inclusion. These two charts below outline clearly where the shift in purpose would seemingly lie.

Diversity.png

inclusion.png

Note that Californian power utility PG&E took this approach. The company had absolute clarity on the breakdown of gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity of its workforce and suppliers. Sadly it had woefully incomplete data on the age and status of its infrastructure (aka its core business) which caused the scheduled blackouts and forest fires. Unfortunately, because of this focus on diversity & inclusion, it dropped the ball on providing the very service its customers paid for and is now bankrupt. Get woke, go broke.

Forgive FNF Media for being blunt. If your house is at risk of burning down, will you be secretly praying that the emergency crew sent to put the fire out ticks the diversity box or competency box? If you prefer inclusion over ability, then don’t complain that your prized possessions have gone up in smoke. It is such an irrelevant metric to focus on all of this warm and fuzzy data without reporting the very actions that we should be benchmarking the brave men and women who actually serve in the capacity of firefighters.

We can wail at climate change as the cause of these dreadful bushfires or accept the sickening amount of people arrested for arson.

Sorry to keep labouring the point. We should conduct a thorough audit of the fire services to determine whether they have lost their way in deprioritising the safety of the very people they are supposed to protect for the sake of woke causes. Make no mistake, we cast no aspersions on those who work as first responders.

We hope that people drop their climate alarmist/denial bias and take a cold objective view of the data. Take out the emotion. Seriously, does the only comment in the latest FR NSW annual report surrounding voluntary ‘Earth Hour’ participation strike one as making meaningful impact on climate change?

Perhaps we appear cynical but when we see alarmist former fire chiefs sound the alarm on climate change, we could have at the very least expected consistent, comprehensive and extensive data/research “on the record” while they were in a position to do so. They didn’t. Those actions really have the alarm bells ringing!