Statement from Jo Dodds, Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action president:
Yesterday Greg Mullins, a 14 year veteran state fire chief, warned of an approaching bushfire risk. Today, I’d like to add my voice – and those of thousands of other Australians whose lives have been turned upside down by bushfire over the past four years.
The Tathra and District Fire of March 2018 fundamentally altered the landscape around my home. And it opened my eyes to the absolute urgency of action on climate. I’ve since experienced two more fires within reach of my home. Watching the forest recover I’ve observed exactly the issues Greg warns of. The ash combined with increased rainfall has supercharged regrowth and in the hottest burnt areas impenetrable thickets of eucalypt saplings now tower 4-5 metres high.
People assume our fire made us safer but it’s clear as day we’re now at greater risk than ever, and knowing that the same situation is supercharging regrowth across millions of hectares of Black Summer firegrounds is frankly terrifying. There’s just no way this regrowth can be safely managed.
Communities like mine have been waiting, nervously, to see the recommendations from the Bushfires Royal Commission implemented. Meanwhile, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and average temperatures creep ever higher. If governments haven’t addressed the recommendations, and implemented measures to make us safer, before that next hot, windy, lethal day it will be very hard for anyone to say they didn’t know the risk. Please, act NOW.