The ABC is furiously promoting the NSW fires as “unprecedented” and evidence of the global warming that actually paused 15 years ago.
This morning Fran Kelly, host of ABC Radio National Breakfast, claimed there had never been bushfires in October and implicated global warming:
In fact, of 48 major bushfires in NSW between 1926 and 2006, 11 occurred in October or earlier:
North-Western NSW: Bushfires – 01/09/84 deaths – 4Western Sydney and Central Coast, NSW: 16/10/91 deaths – 2Hunter Valley, NSW: 01/09/96Central Coast/Hunter Valley/south coast. 15/08/96NW NSW : Bush Fire 30/10/01Sydney, NSW: Bushfires 09/10/02Northern NSW: Bushfire 27/09/02Central Coast, QLD/NSW: Bushfires 27/09/02Cessnock, NSW: Bushfire 19/10/02 deaths – 1NSW Bushfires 24/09/06Bushfires: Sydney and South Coast, NSW 24/09/06
These fires are serious. But the scale of destruction is nothing like the very worst we have faced:
The ‘Black Thursday’ fires of 6 February 1851 in Victoria, burnt the largest area (approximately 5 million ha) in European-recorded history and killed more than one million sheep and thousands of cattle as well as taking the lives of 12 people (CFA 2003a; DSE 2003b). On ‘Red Tuesday’, 1 February 1898 in Victoria 260,000 ha were burnt, 12 people were killed and 2000 buildings were destroyed (DSE 2003b).