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The bushfire crisis currently gripping Australia has been absolutely devastating, but perhaps inevitably, the issue has become an opportunity for political finger pointing.
There have been a lot of people who are angry at Prime Minister Scott Morrison for either not being in the country while the crisis was escalating or for his lack of emotion while visiting a bushfire-affected town in New South Wales.
But there have also been a lot of people who have accused the Green party for stopping hazard reduction burns. They allege that because these burns haven't been undertaken, the fire crisis is much worse than normal.
The Greens haven't been in power on a state or federal level and therefore can't enact policies that affect these types of things, but that hasn't stopped many people from blaming the political party for having a hand in the fires.
Now a fire brigade has broken its silence on the matter and explained how that rumour is wrong.
The Fire and Rescue NSW Station 428 Queanbeyan Facebook page posted onto a message board, saying that hazard reduction burns are essential in getting rid of big fuel loads before the bushfire season begins.
But it also added: "Political parties of any denomination do NOT influence the decisions of organisations like FRNSW, ACT Fire and Rescue, ACT and NSW Rural Fire Services and Parks and Wildlife Services when choosing when and how to do Hazard Reduction burns.
"It just doesn't work like that.
"The main reason Hazard Reduction burns are cancelled or delayed is due to the predicted intensity of the burn exceeding the limits that would make it safe for firefighters, native flora and fauna and obviously you wonderful people."
This is in keeping with what one former fire chief said as the rumour about the influence of the Green party was taking hold a few weeks ago.
Former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins wrote for The Guardian: "Blaming 'greenies' for stopping these important measures is a familiar, populist, but basically untrue claim."
Even experts have dispelled the claim.
University of Wollongong's director of the centre for environmental risk management of bushfires, Professor Ross Bradstock, wrote: "These are very tired and very old conspiracy theories that get a run after most major fires. They've been extensively dealt with in many inquiries.
"It's simply conspiracy stuff. It's an obvious attempt to deflect the conversation away from climate change."
If you want to help those affected by the bushfire crisis, click here.
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