Former Fire Chief Declares Bushfires Were Caused By Climate Change And Government Inaction
Parts of New South Wales and Queensland continue to burn and firefighters are working around the clock to protect lives, homes and further land from being burned.
As that continues, a large debate over what has caused this horror start to the bushfire season is raging around the country.
But a former fire chief from NSW has come out in support of the theory that climate change, teamed with government inaction, is to blame.
Greg Mullins, a former state Fire and Rescue Commissioner and a member of the Climate Council, has told Sunrise: "This is climate change, it's a warming climate, it's critically dry.
"My father was a firefighter since the early 50s and he'd never seen anything like it either."
"We've burnt more land in New South Wales in the first month of the fire season than the last three fire seasons put together. That's got to tell people something."
He's explained that he and 22 other stakeholders in the firefighting community penned a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this year asking for a meeting to discuss the upcoming season.
They were gravely concerned that this year was going to be big and they've been proven right.
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Mr Mullins says despite their warnings, they were 'fobbed off' by the PM, who allegedly didn't answer their request for a meeting.
In the letter, the stakeholders warned there will be 'increasingly catastrophic extreme weather events' that will 'put lives, properties and livelihoods at greater risk and overwhelm our emergency services'.
"We need to prepare for the worst and the Prime Minister has just fobbed us off," he told the ABC last week.
"Things are happening here that are outside the experience of season firefighters. I'm seeing things that frighten me. Extremes are far more extreme...Somebody's got to wake up somewhere, and that somebody is in Canberra."
The concerned stakeholders were instead offered a meeting with Energy Minister Angus Taylor.
Mr Mullins wrote an op-ed for the Sydney Morning Herald, explaining that what we've been seeing over the past few days will be the new normal.
He also slammed people who tried to claim that bushfires like this are typical around this time of year.
"If anyone tells you, 'This is part of a normal cycle' or 'We've had fires like this before', smile politely and walk away, because they don't know what they're talking about," he wrote.
"The drought we are facing is more intense than the Millennium Drought, with higher levels of evaporation due to higher temperatures.
"This has dried out the bush and made it easier for fires to start, easier for them to spread quickly, and as we saw on Friday, enabling spot fires to start twice as far ahead of the main fires as we would normally expect."
Three people have died and more than 170 homes have been destroyed in these latest fires.
Featured Image Credit: Channel 7