Published: Tue, January 14, 2020
Science | By

Australian PM says could have tackled forest fire issues better

Australian PM says could have tackled forest fire issues better

"It is with great sadness that we confirm that a ... firefighter from Parks Victoria has been involved in an incident while working on a fire in the Omeo area resulting in a fatality", Forest Fire Management Victoria Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said in a statement. Conditions were milder on Saturday and the forecast remained relatively benign for next week.

Protesters in Sydney on Friday. The government was in the process of developing a national disaster risk reduction framework within the Interior Ministry that would deal with forest fires, cyclones, floods and drought.

He said his government accepted that climate change was leading to longer, hotter and drier summers, despite junior government politician George Christensen posting on social media over the weekend that the cause of the latest fires was arson rather than man-made climate change.

Despite growing domestic and worldwide criticism, Prime Minister Scott Morrison - who has long touted the importance of commodity exports such as coal for Australia's economy - has repeatedly defended his government's climate policies.

Three large fires merged at the borders of the neighbouring states of New South Wales and Victoria to form a "mega fire" that has already reached more than 600,000 hectares.

State authorities have said a minority of fires are deliberately lit.

"This fire took on a major scale about seven or eight days ago, and with the weather changing now, the weather has calmed down, the fire has calmed down", he said.

Australia has experienced episodes of catastrophic fires since September 2019, the most serious being on New Year's Eve.

"The government's policy is set by the Cabinet". "This is a longer-term risk framework model that addresses one of the big problems in response to the climate", said Mr. Morrison.


University researchers estimate that more than one billion mammals, birds and reptiles have been killed in the blazes.

Recently, Professor Christopher Dickman of the University of Sydney said he calculated that 480 million animals - almost half a billion - might have been killed in New South Wales, which encompasses Sydney.

The National Interagency Fire Center directs the U.S.'s wildland firefighting forces, which include thousands of firefighters who work for the Forest Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior and hundreds of aircraft.

Progress came after a firefighter was killed by the fall of a tree.

The married father of two, 60, was congratulated in November on 40 years of service to the forestry agency.

A poll released Monday showed Prime Minister Scott Morrison's approval ratings have nosedived in the face of widespread anger over his handling of the deadly crisis.

Another junior politician, Craig Kelly, has also publicly denied any link between climate change and fire crisis.

It comes as the fire threat across the east was slightly downgraded, with all alerts across the state sitting at a watch and act level or lower at midday Monday.

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