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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fires burn more than previously thought.

Fires have burnt more than we were told, previously.
(photo: Miriam O'Brien - on ABC bushfire photo gallery)

I am not really surprised, as the estimates have been quite consistent so far - in other words, just educated guesswork. Now the Victorian Government has done an aerial infra-red survey, and the area burnt out is far larger than previously thought. 408,000 hectares, not the 250,000 hectares we were told previously.

Fires at night - Eddie Jim (The Age)
Go to "The Age" for the full story. This quote is taken from the end of the story, on page 2 of the website story.

"DSE spokesman Kevin Monk said infrared images taken from aircraft showed the fires, sparked by lightning 11 days ago, had so far ripped through 408,000 hectares."
That is a huge increase over the area I talked about yesterday, namely the Wingecarribee Shire's area. It would be equivalent to adding the entire Woronora Plateau (Robertson, to Wollongong, and down to Appin and across to Bargo) to the area I talked about yesterday.

Eric Abetz, a Senator for Tasmania, one of those 12 Senators for the pocket-handkerchief State, who gets into Parliament on a handful of votes, has added his twopence worth.

"Federal Forestry Minister Eric Abetz says a build up of fuel in wilderness areas where logging or grazing is banned is contributing to the severity of bushfires."

Good one Eric.

I hope you feel good about making that comment. Did the PR manager of Gunns write that for you, or was it all your own work?


Greens leader Bob Brown has rejected the Minister's argument.
He says in Tasmania some of the most destructive fires have been sparked by logging regeneration burns.
"The Minister's quite wrong in attributing the fires to conservation," he said.
"One thing I think Senator Abetz needs to be very careful about is trying to make a political gain out of the enormous misfortune people have when bushfires get away."

Well said, Bob Brown.

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