#firefighters

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.

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!

NSW Rural Fire Service statistics – where your tax dollars go

NSWRFS Budget.png

The media has been quick to pick on the calls for our government to spend more on our fire services. We thought it a good idea to look at the facts gleaned from the annual reports of the NSW RFS, available here. We will go through state by state in the coming days and look at the totals to work out where our money has gone. What you are about to read may surprise you.

The first chart denotes the NSW RFS budget. The 2018-19 budget was $554mn, up from $311mn 5 years prior, or a 78% increase. One would expect that money would be spent on shiny new toys to help fight fires.

NSWRFS FT.png

As we can see, the number of fire trucks in service has trended down. From a peak of 4,385 in 2014/15 to 3,883 in 2018/19 or down 11%. There could be an argument made for replacements to more efficient equipment but in order to put out blazes, sheer numbers should help

NSWRFS WP.png

Water Pumper numbers have fallen from 71 to 63, or -11%. Water carriers have fallen from a peak of 64 to 53, or -17%.

NSWRFS WC.png

When looking at the number of grass or bushfires that were dealt with the trend looks as follows.

NSWRFS Bushfires

When assessing controlled burns, the total area in hectares by year that was conducted is as follows.

NSWRFS CB.png

However, when dividing by the number of controlled burns conducted by year, we see that the average slid from 259ha per burn to 74ha. This is not proof of efficacy.

NSWRFS CB PC.png

How has the trend of the brave and selfless volunteers at the NSW RFS progressed?

RFS Voluntee.png

Employed staff at the NSW RFS has increased from 846 in 2012/13 to 936 in 2018/19.

NSW RFS FT Emp.png

With that, average salaries have crept up from $114,285 in 2012/13 to $131,908 in the latest filing. In no way is FNF Media casting aspersions on the value of those full-time employees.

NSWRFS FTE Salary Avg.png

Although the growth in the Chief Commissioner’s total remuneration has grown from $292,450 in 2012/13 to $439,015 in 2018/19 or a 50% increase over that period.

NSW RFS CC Salary.png

Running the RFS is no simple task. Hiring good people to run the operation shouldn’t be done on the cheap.

The reason FNF Media has suggested that the fire services need a thorough audit is to work out whether tax dollars are being spent wisely. Since 2012/13, $2.75bn has been spent on the NSW RFS. Are we right to question why a rising budget has led to a drift in equipment and a fall-off in volunteers? Can we link the reduced average burns in some way to the very high level of fuel loads that many volunteers have pointed to within all of the current political grandstanding of chucking more money at the problem instead of evaluating the efficacy of that spend?

Because to look at the data on a stand-alone basis, it would seem that the ball has been dropped somewhere. It doesn’t seem plausible that firefighters can be short of vital equipment when there was a $140mn extra spent last year. Only $15m went on extra salaries. Stands to reason that there might be a problem within the decision making processes in the senior management echelons of the fire service that warrants closer inspection.

That is a job for you Gladys Berejklian

Uninformed bash ScoMo thanks to media which loves to misinform

The optics were awful. Residents of Cobargo, in the Labor held electorate of Eden-Monaro, hurled expletives at PM Scott Morrison. People shunned handshakes and the PM, in hindsight was a little daft trying to force a few for the cameras. It just made a bad situation worse. It was almost Malcolm Turnbullesque in its awkwardness. Still the media got exactly what they wanted – clickbait.

Most of us can’t fathom losing a home to raging bushfires. Yet the media beat up is bordering on Morrison Derangement Syndrome (MDS). Do the press corps honestly believe that Morrison’s popularity would suffer a blow from those assembled? Nary a Coalition voter in that mob.

The reporting has been pathetic. Little or no attempt to point out how the fire services are financed and funded. Next to no coverage of the voices of the volunteer fire fighters who have blamed years of green tape preventing them from mitigating the damage we’re experiencing now. Just feeding narratives and worse incorrectly apportioning blame.

How eerily silent the media has been over Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s two week holiday during these bushfires. Where was the demand for her to come back? No, just kick the PM for having a holiday. Don’t forget to take a swipe at his faith for added mileage.

Like most crises, it’s easy to become an armchair expert when hindsight is 20-20. The simplest thing to do is criticize whoever is at the helm. So MDS reigns supreme on social media as people seek moral preening.

How many are aware that in order to conduct hazard reductions, a combination of local councils, fire authorities and state governments (Dept of Planning, Infrastructure & Environment) need to issue permits? Not the federal government. See below:

NSW

Queensland

Victoria

South Australia

Western Australia

Tasmania

Northern Territory

ACT

So in short, most of this bushfire hazard reduction system is out of the ‘legal’ remit of the PM. What leadership can he truly provide without running roughshod over the state premiers? Even if he did so, nothing practical could have been achieved in such a short time. Not as if you buy fire trucks off a dealership floor.

Should he give the states more cash? Speak in platitudes? Promise the world before having completed the due diligence on the shortcomings that has led to the disaster? Hand out water bottles? Buy a whole fleet of water bombers and keep them parked in hermetically sealed hangars at Canberra Airport for states to borrow as needed?

All the decisions surrounding equipping the fire services are state decisions. This makes sense as each state has a different nature portfolio to oversee.

ScoMo has made sensible commentary to the effect that the hazard reduction regulations need serious overhaul. It is still up to the states to legislate the changes.

FNF Media has suggested a full audit over the several decades within the fire services themselves. Find out what went wrong? The management errors. The processes by which terrible equipment and fuel load choices have been made. Listen to the volunteers who are singing an entirely different tune to the fire management. Don’t forget there is nothing more honest than the voice of someone willing to sacrifice time and money to serve their fellow citizens.

When will the media grow up and start some honest reporting?

As Mark Twain once said,

If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.”

Indeed, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for the PM. He has handled the situation poorly. Albanese has extracted some political mileage at his press conferences.

Yet politics is a strange game. Already the media is chomping at the bit in predicting ScoMo’s downfall.

Morrison already won the unwinnable election. Canadian PM Trudeau won a second term despite a myriad of scandals where he was found guilty, black face, nauseating political correctness and endless hypocrisy.

Morrison may have many shortcomings but he still proves why opposition leaders can’t run campaigns on being less worse than the incumbent. Moreover he has many years left in this term to make amends.

Volunteer Fire Fighters Association torches climate alarmists’ bushfire claims

Well, well, well! If we ask the volunteers who dedicate their time for free, we get the truth. No vested interests. Just the wish to serve.

This is an excerpt from the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association(VFFA). It noted,

The Volunteer Firefighters Association (VFFA), the body representing the Voice of Volunteer Rural Firefighters in NSW refutes the claim by green alarmists that climate change is the cause of the recent bushfires in New South Wales.

It’s ridiculous to blame climate change when we know there has been far worse bushfires stretching back to the earliest days of European settlement in Australia including the Black Saturday Victoria 2009, NSW Bushfires 1994, Ash Wednesday Victoria 1983, Blue Mountains NSW 1968, Black Tuesday Hobart 1967 and Black Friday Victoria 1939, said Peter Cannon, President of the VFFA.

The VFFA is angered by comments from the green lobby groups that tackling climate change was more important than prescribed burning of forest fuels to reduce bushfire risk. The real blame rests with the greens and their ideology as they continue to oppose and undermine our efforts to conduct hazard reduction in the cooler months and to prevent private landowners from clearing their lands to reduce bushfire risk.

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 that are now becoming a more regular feature.

The NSW State Government must also provide sufficient funding for bushfire hazard reduction works on a planned and sustained basis, including the creation of asset protection zones and upgrades of all fire trails in high bushfire risk areas.

Remember that it’s far more cost effective, say around 66 to 100 times more cost efficient, to prevent wild fires 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 wild fires, what then will the total fiscal amount be…….when it could have all been prevented by effective Hazard reduction!

To increase the area treated by prescribed burning on bushfire prone lands from the current level of less than 1% per annum to a minimum of 5% per annum, as recommended by the Victorian Royal Commission and many leading bushfire experts.

Hazard Reduction by prescribed burning has been identified as a key management tool to reduce the intensity and spread of bushfires in national bushfire enquiries since the 1939 Stretton Royal Commission. In this regard the VFFA supports:

1 Strategic and targeted hazard reduction by prescribed burning to reduce forest fuel levels and bushfire threat to human life (including fire fighter safety), property and the environment in areas identified as high bushfire risk.

2 Bushfire risk management planning approach based upon the ‘Canobolas’ Model in NSW.

3 Integrated hazard reduction by prescribed burning and complementary methods such as slashing, grazing and cultivation.

4 The provision of adequate recurrent state and commonwealth funding to rural fire agencies, land management agencies and local government for the creation and maintenance of asset protection zones and fire trails in high bushfire risk areas on a planned and sustained basis.

Ongoing relevant research on fire behaviour, prevention and management and the effects of fire on biodiversity through the bushfire Cooperative Research.

Mr. Peter Cannon

President

VFFA

Be it on the heads of the alarmists for a tragedy that could have been minimized if not avoided. This is what happens when ideology meets reality. Thank you VFFA for exposing the truth.

Time we investigated and audited the fire services’ senior personnel

Trust The Guardian to publish a piece from Michael Mann, of hockey stick fame, to dish a sermon on the connection of bushfires with climate change as he prepares his studies in Australia. Perhaps he can cut his trip short by first paying a visit to the Australian Institute of Criminology which will tell him that 85% of bushfires are caused by humans – accidentally, suspiciously or deliberately lit. Watch the media wax lyrical about his pontification.

David Marr has also written a puff piece in The Guardian which has nothing to do with bushfires and everything to heap on a conservative prime minister, Scott Morrison to push the climate narrative. There is a reason he is a regular on the ABC Insiders program.

Marr wrote,

We know the sight by heart: corrugated iron on a low pile of ash with a chimney left standing. Another house gone. And the pattern of bushfires is part of our lives too.”

Anyone with a beating heart feels a sense of sorrow at the destruction of 1,000 homes and the tragic loss of nearly two dozen lives, but some perspective is needed.

The 2009 Black Friday bushfires in Victoria saw 173 deaths and over 2,000 homes destroyed.

The Great East-Japan Disaster of 2011 caused the destruction of 374,000 homes and the deaths of over 16,000 people.

Still none of these statistics will help those who have lost loved ones. We need to focus on what caused the problems in the first place. In Iapan’s case Mother Nature was to blame. In much of these recent bushfires, arsonists are to blame. Don’t let that get in the way of the climate change narrative.

Negligence is a big factor. Does this look like a well maintained fire trail to you? The only way you can tell is by the sign marking it.

But don’t let poor forest management get in the way of a climate change agenda, as Marr does here,

One of the duties of a leader is to find the words in times like these. So many have died. So much has been destroyed. But how can Scott Morrison speak to the experience of the country if he can’t admit we are living through unique times? He says instead: “We have faced these disasters before.”

Yes perhaps they are unique times where Marr can honestly believe that reducing our already minuscule emissions is somehow more important to mitigating bushfires than actually removing the aging fuel loads from the floor. Easier to blame ScoMo.

While we can’t sing the praises of the brave men and women fighting the blazes high enough, we must reflect on the upper management within the fire services for some spectacular own goals.

Take the Gullen Range Wind Farm built around Bannister. Despite local RFS officials raising concerns that the erection of these wind turbines would take Crookwell airstrip out of action for fire fighting duties (because the water bomber aircraft would not be able to get sufficient height to clear them), the head honchos overruled them.

We’ve mentioned in earlier posts that the Boeing 737 water bomber is a white elephant because it can only operate out of 4 airstrips, limiting its usefulness outside of political happy snaps to say we have one. Were it perfect for the job, one imagines the extent of the fires would have been less.

So in order to defeat the side effects of supposed climate change, advice from climate alarmists led to the construction of barriers to prevent mitigating them.

The saddest part from the bushfire disaster is that fingers will be pointed incessantly at climate change being the largest factor when human negligence of another kind is actually the problem, including those people entrusted to prevent them in the first place. Not the actual fire fighters but the senior management.

Blaming everything on climate change is the biggest cop out.

FNF Media recommends the key fire service senior management be audited for their actions, practices and communications in the years leading up to this. So much was preventable. There should be no sacred cows. In the aftermath of the disaster, we can take our time to work out the best way to prevent such fires occurring down the line instead of expediting tax payer dollars to buy equipment that might be unfit for purpose.

Bushfires more closely linked to white patriarchy than climate crisis

Again and again we have said we feel sorry for the manipulation of poor Greta Thunberg by activist adults. Yes she has a huge platform, but the more things that come out of her mouth the less credible she sounds as we pointed out yesterday with what caused Germans to cut air travel in November.

Her latest stab linking climate to the bushfires in Australia was to post on Twitter, “we still fail to make the connection between the climate crisis and extreme weather events.

Perhaps because there isn’t.

Had her overseers referred her to the very reports they themselves have published (March 2018 report on weather extremes with respect to anthropogenic induced global warming) she would have learnt,

“…There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systemsin 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 floodslow 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 monsoonslow confidence in wave height projections…overall low confidence because of inconsistent projections of drought changes…low confidencein projected future changes in dust storms…low confidence in projections of an anthropogenic effect on phenomena such as shallow landslides.”

Low confidence” is mentioned 230 times in the above report. “High confidence” gets talked about 169 times. “Cold” is mentioned 82x. “Hot” 44x. “Cold extreme” 11x and “Hot extreme” 8x. Is this a coincidence?

But of course a spoon fed teenager knows better than the Australian Institute of Criminology which states 85% of bushfires are accidentally, deliberately or suspiciously lit. US Forestry Service data backs up the AIC with its research revealing 90% of fires starting the same way. So unless climate change impacts the moods of arsonists, this is not a strong case.

The ultimate irony is that she actually helped make climate alarmism cool again (no pun intended) because another 9,000 extra time wasters flew into the COP25 summit in Madrid over the 22,000 that attended COP24 in Katowice.

Now that Greta has parroted,

After all, the climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice, and of political will. Colonial, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fueled it. We need to dismantle them all. Our political leaders can no longer shirk their responsibilities.

perhaps she can get more mileage by tweeting the AIC’s report which finds the most common profile of arsonists is,

“white male, mid-20s, patchy employment record, often above average intelligence, but poor academic achievement and poor social development skills…56% of convicted structural arsonists and 37% of bushfire arsonists in NSW had a prior conviction for a previous offence. 

Why didn’t the fire services buy this?

Image result for shinmaywa us-2 fire fighting cost"

Who knew that the Japanese have probably the best fire-fighter bomber available? Shinmaywa originally built the US-2 as a military spec amphibious rescue aircraft. It has been converted into a water bomber. It is expensive (c.$100m) but way more flexible than the Boeing 737 Fireliner. Ultimately, isn’t efficiency the whole ballgame in defeating mega-fires?

The US-2 can carry 15t of firefighting water and fire extinguishers, which is equivalent to the amount that about 21 ordinary firefighting helicopters can carry. The STOL aircraft can drop water with pinpoint accuracy on the area where a fire has spread. By taxiing on the surface of the water/ocean/lake for approximately 20 seconds, the 15-ton water tank can be filled up. This means cycle time can be far faster. Dump, scoop, dump, repeat. It is the ability to help contain a fire that makes it so useful.

The Boeing 737 Fireliner has the same payload as the US-2. The problem with the converted commercial jet is the cycle time is awful. It operates out of 4 airports in NSW because of the length of runway required. While it might take 12 minutes to refill the retardant, if it needs to fly an hour away to do so, the retardant refill time is over 2 hours and that doesn’t take into account checks or refuelling for the aircraft itself. So in order to contain bushfires, it is pretty useless unless the blaze is local.

The US-2 is the aircraft the fire services should have deployed. It also requires slower spotter aircraft too. The 737 requires two Citation jets to keep ahead of it. That didn’t stop the NSW Gov’t spending $26m to get it. Yet more thoughtless deployment of capital.

Why did the RFS management sign off on buying a used military helicopter which spends 5hrs in maintenance for every hour it spends in the air? Why did some RFS units receive new equipment when the existing trucks were only a year old? Who is keeping proper accounts of how monies are allocated? Of course, we all want firefighters to have the best possible equipment but if the administration is lousy, just chucking more money at the problem is futile. Not a bad time to audit the fire services after this disaster.

As with any government spending, we should heed the saying,

Those who cry out that the government should ‘do something’ never even ask for data on what has actually happened when the government did something, compared to what actually happened when the government did nothing.

FNF Media covered off bushfires and climate change here.

Fighting ideological fires

As FNF Media has long held, the stats simply do not back the climate alarmism behind the former fire chiefs led by Greg Mullins who are turning this into a political football. Once again, how quick the media has been happy conflate expertise in one area to another. As we wrote yesterday, too many unqualified people straying out of their lane.

The Australian picked up on comments from former president of the Volunteer Firefighters Association , Mick Holton.

Holton said,

I found he [Greg Mullins] was a great person to work for, and he’s a great fellow, but I think he’s lost his way…It is disappointing to me when he would have learned about fire science and isn’t discussing the fuel load issue…To me, it doesn’t seem right to blame climate change when we’ve dropped the ball on other issues.”

There you have it folks. Not all firefighters are on the same page of Mullins. The only think Mullins and Holton agree on is a strategy to combat fires with a focus on land-management that would include hazard reduction and the advice of indigenous Australians. That’s just what the WA Government’s Bushfire Front website advises.