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Author: Subject: Angry Australian fire survivors blame council 'green' policy

Zen Peach





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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 04:55 PM
Not only is this a problem in some areas of America, but friends of mine in Oz have complained about this policy for years - so-called 'nature lovers' who make policy who wouldn't know nature if it bit them in their ass. The native Aborigines used controled fires long before the white man came because fire is a part of nature.

I also get sick of cops keeping folks from their houses, etc. In many cases, it is ridiculous, with the whole "for your own good, we control what is safe and isn't' crap. If I have ID that says I live there, get me a piece of paper to sign if you have to and get your badged up ass out of the way..


quote:
http://www.theage.com.au/national/angry-survivors-blame-council-green -policy-20090211-83p0.html?page=2


Angry survivors blame council 'green' policy


Andrea Petrie, Arthurs Creek

February 11, 2009


ANGRY residents last night accused local authorities of contributing to the bushfire toll by failing to let residents chop down trees and clear up bushland that posed a fire risk.

During question time at a packed community meeting in Arthurs Creek on Melbourne's northern fringe, Warwick Spooner whose mother Marilyn and brother Damien perished along with their home in the Strathewen blaze criticised the Nillumbik council for the limitations it placed on residents wanting the council's help or permission to clean up around their properties in preparation for the bushfire season. "We've lost two people in my family because you dickheads won't cut trees down," he said.

"We wanted trees cut down on the side of the road and you can't even cut the grass for God's sake."

Later, the meeting was cut short when Mr Spooner's father, Dennis, collapsed in his chair and an ambulance had to be called. Despite losing his wife and son and everything he owned, a friend later said he had not stopped or slept since the weekend.

Another resident said she had asked the council four times to tend to out-of-control growth on public land near her home, but her pleas had been ignored.

There was widespread applause when Nillumbik Mayor Bo Bendtsen said changes were likely to be made about the council's policy surrounding native vegetation.

But his response was not good enough for Mr Spooner: "It's too late now mate. We've lost families, we've lost people."

More than 500 people spilled out of the small hall during the meeting, at which the CFA, Victoria Police, Department of Human Services and Telstra provided updates.

Many expressed anger that police road blocks were stopping them from reaching survivors trapped in fire-ravaged areas with no water, power or other basic needs. One man present spoke of counselling a woman whose two children had been killed and whose grief had been compounded by not knowing where they were because the area had been declared a crime scene and she had not been allowed to return.

Most of those present were tired, grieving the loss of relatives and friends and with little more than the smoke-coated clothes on their backs. Some were still showing symptoms of shock after experiencing the worst natural disaster in the nation's history.

Scattered around the hall and outside were trestle tables with clothing sorted in neat piles, toiletries, food and bottled water. On the floor were dozens of pairs of shoes. There was also a section dedicated to baby clothes and another for children's toys.

Of all the speakers who addressed the meeting, it was Arthurs Creek CFA Captain David McGahy who got the most rousing reception.

Choking back tears he told them: "I'm so terribly sorry. We desperately wanted to protect you but we couldn't.

"In the cold analysis of light, it wouldn't have mattered if we'd have had 200 units here, all that would have happened is we would have ended up with a whole lot of dead firefighters. I've been at this game for about 40 years and I haven't experienced anything like that, not even remotely like it."


 

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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 05:27 PM
sounds like another case of the Government knowing whats "Best" for us and then screwing up royaly,,,,,,AGAIN.

 

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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 05:40 PM
Today on the news they said it was caused by arson. So what difference does it make?

 

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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 05:46 PM
Sounds to me like arsonists are at fault, not "nature lovers."

 

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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 05:56 PM
quote:
Not only is this a problem in some areas of America, but friends of mine in Oz have complained about this policy for years - so-called 'nature lovers' who make policy who wouldn't know nature if it bit them in their ass. The native Aborigines used controled fires long before the white man came because fire is a part of nature.

I also get sick of cops keeping folks from their houses, etc. In many cases, it is ridiculous, with the whole "for your own good, we control what is safe and isn't' crap. If I have ID that says I live there, get me a piece of paper to sign if you have to and get your badged up ass out of the way..


quote:
http://www.theage.com.au/national/angry-survivors-blame-council-green -policy-20090211-83p0.html?page=2


Angry survivors blame council 'green' policy


Andrea Petrie, Arthurs Creek

February 11, 2009


ANGRY residents last night accused local authorities of contributing to the bushfire toll by failing to let residents chop down trees and clear up bushland that posed a fire risk.
During question time at a packed community meeting in Arthurs Creek on Melbourne's northern fringe, Warwick Spooner whose mother Marilyn and brother Damien perished along with their home in the Strathewen blaze . criticised the Nillumbik council for the limitations it placed on residents wanting the council's help or permission to clean up around their properties in preparation for the bushfire season. "We've lost two people in my family because you dickheads won't cut trees down," he said" We wanted trees cut down on the side of the road and you can't even cut the grass for God's sake."
Later, the meeting was cut short when Mr Spooner's father, Dennis, collapsed in his chair and an ambulance had to be called. Despite losing his wife and son and everything he owned, a friend later said he had not stopped or slept since the weekend.

Another resident said she had asked the council four times to tend to out-of-control growth on public land near her home, but her pleas had been ignored.

There was widespread applause when Nillumbik Mayor Bo Bendtsen said changes were likely to be made about the council's policy surrounding native vegetation.

But his response was not good enough for Mr Spooner: "It's too late now mate. We've lost families, we've lost people."

More than 500 people spilled out of the small hall during the meeting, at which the CFA, Victoria Police, Department of Human Services and Telstra provided updates.

Many expressed anger that police road blocks were stopping them from reaching survivors trapped in fire-ravaged areas with no water, power or other basic needs. One man present spoke of counselling a woman whose two children had been killed and whose grief had been compounded by not knowing where they were because the area had been declared a crime scene and she had not been allowed to return.

Most of those present were tired, grieving the loss of relatives and friends and with little more than the smoke-coated clothes on their backs. Some were still showing symptoms of shock after experiencing the worst natural disaster in the nation's history.

Scattered around the hall and outside were trestle tables with clothing sorted in neat piles, toiletries, food and bottled water. On the floor were dozens of pairs of shoes. There was also a section dedicated to baby clothes and another for children's toys.

Of all the speakers who addressed the meeting, it was Arthurs Creek CFA Captain David McGahy who got the most rousing reception.

Choking back tears he told them: "I'm so terribly sorry. We desperately wanted to protect you but we couldn't.

"In the cold analysis of light, it wouldn't have mattered if we'd have had 200 units here, all that would have happened is we would have ended up with a whole lot of dead firefighters. I've been at this game for about 40 years and I haven't experienced anything like that, not even remotely like it."







Arson or not somebody F'ed up and dropped the ball....

 

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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 07:10 PM
The citizens in the article speak for themselves. The last big bush fires in Oz a couple of years ago happened where my friends live in Canberra. They say the same thing as those citizens on the ground in the article above. Bad policy by so-called nature lovers who wouldn't understand nature of their life depended on it. Arsonists did start some of the fires, but not all of them, as anyone who is following this story knows. The BBC report I saw on TV said about 30% were arson, out of the 400 fires. The fellow 'nature lovers' didn't start the fires, but they sure exacerbated them because they are boneheads..

 

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  posted on 2/11/2009 at 09:58 PM
You state its the nature lovers fault with all their green policies that caused this terrible situation but maybe the town did not have enough money to deal with the issue.

Maybe just maybe its stupid to be building houses in these areas. We see it every year in California.


 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 04:11 AM
it's too easy to blame 'authorities' for something that no one I repeat no one could have foreseen. I can understand how some people are feeling angry and just want to lay blame but this fire moved so quickly and so violently that no amount of preventative measures could have made any difference. there are so many opinions about how this or that should have been done...all talk is too late. this is a known bushfire area and this has happened before. not to this extent though. lessons were not learnt. people have a right to choose where they live. end of the day this is a major tragedy and help and support is what is needed.

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 04:16 AM
quote:
If I have ID that says I live there, get me a piece of paper to sign if you have to and get your badged up ass out of the way..


quote:


problem is no one has any i.d. they have nothing. nothing. these areas are crime scenes and who is to say that the nutter that is starting fires isn't returning to the scene of the crime?

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 09:30 AM
quote:
Sounds to me like arsonists are at fault, not "nature lovers."


Oh but Allen, Derek has "friends" in "Oz" so he absolutely knows better.

Someones been Googling Australia lately...

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 10:40 AM
quote:
Sounds to me like arsonists are at fault, not "nature lovers."


I agree it sounds like arson BUT i think the point here is that people should have the right to fire proof their property, and that the policy of not legaly being able to cut underbrush and weeds needs to be changed.

I understand this problem all so well I am a volunteer fire fighter here and I also live on the south side of the river the side where the sun dries out the weeds and underbrush we have fires that can cover 1 mile in 10 to 15 min, if there is too much fule so it is important to keep everything flamable in control around your home.

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 10:54 AM
quote:
quote:
Sounds to me like arsonists are at fault, not "nature lovers."


I agree it sounds like arson BUT i think the point here is that people should have the right to fire proof their property, and that the policy of not legaly being able to cut underbrush and weeds needs to be changed.

I understand this problem all so well I am a volunteer fire fighter here and I also live on the south side of the river the side where the sun dries out the weeds and underbrush we have fires that can cover 1 mile in 10 to 15 min, if there is too much fule so it is important to keep everything flamable in control around your home.


Bingo..... I agree with Garry ..... that it's something that was way big....

But I agree with Ryde.... In 03 we had a major tornado & I made sure to get rid of all the downed trees to keep the fire danger lower around the house .....

Now after the ice last week...... I have another big bon fire ready to go .....on the right day.... Looks like one of them old school Texas A&M pep rally stacks....

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 11:04 AM
Every spring in the Flint Hills of central Kansas and the prairie of Western Kansas multiple lightning strikes catch the prairie on fire...the brush controlled prairie. The fires spread quickly and with the spring winds the embers even jump the interstate and light the prairie ablaze on the other side.

For about a week after, it looks like charred desolation as far as the eye can see...then with all that burnt mess turning the soil into magic, the entire prairie renews itself in amazing beauty. The speed of the recovery is damn near an enviromental miracle. Actually, the spring prairie fires are a bit of a tourist attraction and make good business for the bed and breakfasts out there.

I guess the point is if we just help Mother Nature along here and there, she'll take care of the rest...those prairie fires predate humanity.

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 02:04 PM
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Sounds to me like arsonists are at fault, not "nature lovers."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Oh but Allen, Derek has "friends" in "Oz" so he absolutely knows better.

Someones been Googling Australia lately...


Then again, there are those that live it and those that are pure grain dolts who exactly fit the label of clueless 'nature lover.' I have several friends in Australia, and a very good friend in John Taylor, musician and president of the Australia National Folk Festival last year in 2007-2008 and now on the festival's Board of Management - http://www.folkfestival.asn.au/the-festival/management/. He has come to America twice with his wife Moraq and son William and daughter to visit and hang with us, we have taken two Merlefest festivals in together and he is coming back this fall for a third time to hunt for whitetail deer across the river in Kentucky and get-together and see and play more music together. In fact, Fife, I have documented some of our time spent together in my 2004 Merlefest article for Gritz;

http://swampland.com/articles/view/title:the_world_comes_out_to_merlefest

...and my 2007 Merlefest article for Gritz where you will see a picture of John and son Wiliam at our campsite;

http://swampland.com/articles/view/title:merlefest_at_21_doc_watson_at_85_f estival_notes

John, who is also a barrister for the Aussie Federal government in the Food Standards ministry, also writes for music publications. I have edited his work at times and he facilitated an article of mine being published in an Australian music magazine called "Trad and Now."

quote:
You state its the nature lovers fault with all their green policies that caused this terrible situation but maybe the town did not have enough money to deal with the issue.



Read the article, as the polroble, clearly stated, is that the local council won't let folks tend to their own land, not the government doing it.

quote:
Every spring in the Flint Hills of central Kansas and the prairie of Western Kansas multiple lightning strikes catch the prairie on fire...the brush controlled prairie. The fires spread quickly and with the spring winds the embers even jump the interstate and light the prairie ablaze on the other side.

For about a week after, it looks like charred desolation as far as the eye can see...then with all that burnt mess turning the soil into magic, the entire prairie renews itself in amazing beauty. The speed of the recovery is damn near an enviromental miracle. Actually, the spring prairie fires are a bit of a tourist attraction and make good business for the bed and breakfasts out there.

I guess the point is if we just help Mother Nature along here and there, she'll take care of the rest...those prairie fires predate humanity.



Correct. And, again, the Aboriginal People knew this and practiced controled burning and bush clearing this long before the white man showed up. And then, that's when the 'nature loving' Squanks take charge and look out for us....for our own good, of course.

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Sounds to me like arsonists are at fault, not "nature lovers."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



I agree it sounds like arson BUT i think the point here is that people should have the right to fire proof their property, and that the policy of not legaly being able to cut underbrush and weeds needs to be changed.

I understand this problem all so well I am a volunteer fire fighter here and I also live on the south side of the river the side where the sun dries out the weeds and underbrush we have fires that can cover 1 mile in 10 to 15 min, if there is too much fule so it is important to keep everything flamable in control around your home.




Correct!! And, a good reason for a carbon producing and fun bonfire!!!!!

DH

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 02:46 PM
DFC, weren't you in Kansas one time right around the time of the year of the prairie fires?

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 02:57 PM
I don't remember being there during a prairie fire. I would have checked it out if so, but I've only seen farm fields and post rock. By the way, there are actually small sections of prairie still left in Ohio that I have found in small state parks.

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 03:06 PM
quote:
I don't remember being there during a prairie fire. I would have checked it out if so, but I've only seen farm fields and post rock. By the way, there are actually small sections of prairie still left in Ohio that I have found in small state parks.


I'm taking the family out to the Flint Hills this spring to show them the fires and the aftermath. My wife thinks I'm nuts...but, she said as long as we get some camping in she's cool with it. I'll post pics of that for sure. Fascinating natural process.

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 05:41 PM
some local council has a poor policy on brush control and somehow this is the fault of the worldwide environmental movement.

talk about leaps of logic.

nice work DFC.

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 05:56 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----
Sounds to me like arsonists are at fault, not "nature lovers."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Oh but Allen, Derek has "friends" in "Oz" so he absolutely knows better.

Someones been Googling Australia lately...


Then again, there are those that live it and those that are pure grain dolts who exactly fit the label of clueless 'nature lover.'
DH


This is what Derek was shooting for when he started this thread. I just helped him get there a little quicker.

I've just moved in with a new roommate up in Bonny Doon. I asked him how close the fire last year got to his house, which is on 8 acres, and he took me to the front porch and pointed to a tree in the front yard where an ember had flown to and burned completely, with a small patch of ground around it. Firefighters put in out, as they left some hoses on the property. If that one had caught, his house and several others would have surely burned. One thing I'll be helping him do is continue to clear a larger area around the house.

The closest any of the fires got to me last year as a small one that started 2 miles away, and only burned an acre. They caught it real fast, but it is scary seeing smoke over the hill so close by. We had several big fires in Santa Cruz County last year, and many homes burned. We haven't had nearly as much rain as we need so far this year, and next summer could be another bad one. Once it stops raining around April, we won't get another drop until October or November.

Yeah, Derek is right. Some people actually live it, and others live in a suburb of Cincinnati, and talk about it on the Internet.

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 06:26 PM
quote:
quote:
I don't remember being there during a prairie fire. I would have checked it out if so, but I've only seen farm fields and post rock. By the way, there are actually small sections of prairie still left in Ohio that I have found in small state parks.


I'm taking the family out to the Flint Hills this spring to show them the fires and the aftermath. My wife thinks I'm nuts...but, she said as long as we get some camping in she's cool with it. I'll post pics of that for sure. Fascinating natural process.
As a former Kansas gal I think the Flint Hills are beautiful, BHawk. Travelled through them many times going back and forth to ElDorado from DSM to visit my grandparents and I've seen the controlled burn from a distance but never close up and personal. National Geographic had an article on this about a year ago that was fascinating. I don't think you are crazy.

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 07:43 PM
Hasn't the US Forest Service begun to rethink our policies on this issue?

Used to be, their goal was to prevent any and all fires. Without the natural clearing process of brush fires every few years, the brush builds to such a state that when it does go up, there's so much tinder that what might have otherwise been a smaller, controllable fire turns into a monster.

Isn't that basically what's being referred to here?

 

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  posted on 2/12/2009 at 10:09 PM
True that Fujirich here in the west we let it burn as long as homes are not in danger.

 

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  posted on 2/13/2009 at 07:06 AM
not sure if anyone is really understanding the scope or intensity or speed of these fires which are continuing to burn. here you go:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/bushfires/

it's estimated that at times the fire travelled ten kilometres in ten minutes. most of the deaths were people fleeing in cars when they realised the ferocity of the fire.

the thing to realise is that this is not a brush fire. these are mountainous areas with huge amounts of vegetation. not flat plains. many communities linked closely. much like a village scenario. once a fire gets going there ain't no stopping it. ask the aboriginals. that's why most of them lived on the coast!

 

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  posted on 2/13/2009 at 07:29 AM
quote:
quote:
Sounds to me like arsonists are at fault, not "nature lovers."


I agree it sounds like arson BUT i think the point here is that people should have the right to fire proof their property, and that the policy of not legaly being able to cut underbrush and weeds needs to be changed.

I understand this problem all so well I am a volunteer fire fighter here and I also live on the south side of the river the side where the sun dries out the weeds and underbrush we have fires that can cover 1 mile in 10 to 15 min, if there is too much fule so it is important to keep everything flamable in control around your home.


there is no policy of not being able to cut underbrush and weeds.
everyone that lives in australia knows and is aware of bushfires hence everyone takes the necessary precautions that is the sensible thing to do. this was not an ordinary fire. but you can't go round willy nilly chopping down trees! that's a crime.

 

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  posted on 2/13/2009 at 09:50 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Sounds to me like arsonists are at fault, not "nature lovers."


I agree it sounds like arson BUT i think the point here is that people should have the right to fire proof their property, and that the policy of not legaly being able to cut underbrush and weeds needs to be changed.

I understand this problem all so well I am a volunteer fire fighter here and I also live on the south side of the river the side where the sun dries out the weeds and underbrush we have fires that can cover 1 mile in 10 to 15 min, if there is too much fule so it is important to keep everything flamable in control around your home.


there is no policy of not being able to cut underbrush and weeds.
everyone that lives in australia knows and is aware of bushfires hence everyone takes the necessary precautions that is the sensible thing to do. this was not an ordinary fire. but you can't go round willy nilly chopping down trees! that's a crime.


Sorry i am not following you... here is a quote from the original poster.

<> ANGRY residents last night accused local authorities of contributing to the bushfire toll by failing to let residents chop down trees and clear up bushland that posed a fire risk.
<>

Sounds like to me they are not letting the local people cut away what needs to be done.

i know full well what mountainous fires can do i live in the mountains within a mile of my home the elevation changes 2000 feet this canyon country i live in can and does burn fast, and no authority will tell me what i can and can not clear or cut to save minbe or others homes,sadly it is too late in many places in Australia but maybe they will gain some better practices from this tradgedy.

Santa Cruz blues Our little department fought fires in cal this last summer we had a structure engine down there for almost a month doing home protection the people were awesome to all of us bringing fruit and water and just being friendly ...

 

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