A group of former fire and emergency chiefs has explicitly labelled the ongoing bushfire crisis the direct result of climate change, urging the Federal Government to address the “fundamental problem” which is “supercharging” the blazes.
Speaking at a press conference this morning, former Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said a group of 23 former emergency commissioners and bushfire experts tried in April to warn Prime Minister Scott Morrison of the looming catastrophe.
“We knew that a bushfire crisis was coming,” Mullins said, adding they wanted to advise the Federal Government on how to mitigate the risks of “climate change-driven extreme weather events”.
But here we are.
Mullins said the group wants additional tools and funding for frontline emergency services, but also called on Australia’s leaders “to take urgent action on the fundamental problem which is leading to these catastrophic fires, and that’s climate change.”
Lee Johnson, who served for over a decade as commissioner of Queensland’s fire service, expressed concern the blazes will only get worse unless Australia take drastic action on the issue.
“I’m here for my children and my grandchildren, because I am fundamentally concerned about the impact and damage coming from climate change.”
Bob Conroy, who oversaw firefighting responses for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, pointed to fires in alpine regions, old growth forests, and rainforests as proof that fire conditions are only getting worse.
When asked about claims from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack that climate change was only the concern of inner city “lefties”, Mullins said he would not dignify the comment with a response.
To date, Morrison has urged concerned experts and climate denialists alike to stay mum about climate change until the blazes are over. According to today’s gathering of former fire chiefs, it’s unclear when, or if, conditions will actually get better.