National Parks playing with matches again

 Aerial Arson of Mt Cronje
(A recent example of aerial arson to the Blue Mountains World Heritage)


Once again across the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, smoke blocks out the horizon.

Once again the custodian of the natural values of the World Heritage Area has set fire to it in the middle of wilderness, over 15km from the nearest human habitation.

The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Regional Manager, a Mr Geoff Luscombe, is proud of his widespread lighting of natural vegetation in as part of the cult of ‘Hazard Reduction‘.

On this occasion some 5,640 heactares of wilderness vegetation in the remote Wild Dog Mountains of the southern Blue Mountains National Park was targeted as a hazard.

This wild wilderness region is wholly within the internationally protected Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.   And so we have wolves managing the chickens.

It was a hazard because it hadn’t been burnt for many years, perhaps 20 years, so according to hazard cult orthodoxy, unburnt bushland asked for it and so had to be burnt.  No concern for native fauna was made and no concern for fire sensitive flora was made.   Such values are condemned as fuel hazards.


The Tigerquoll  (Dasyurus maculatus)
A rare and threatened top order predator of the Blue Mountains


Like in the Vietnam War, the choppers were called in with aerial incendary to set fire indiscriminately to all wilderness below and to its world heritage values.


Aerial incendiary dropped from helicopter in National Park wilderness


So the NPWS set fire to the vast wilderness area way south of Jamison Valley, way south of Mount Solitary and south of Cedar Valley beyond – between Green Gully, Cox’s River, Narrow Neck and the remote Wild Dog Mountains.

Hazard reduction for whose perverted gratification, and to benefit whom?

And Luscombe boasted that the Wild Dog West burn will be the largest burn undertaken in Blue Mountains National Park for many years.

Once underway, the Wild Dog Mountains burn will affect the following locations:

  • Green Gully picnic and camping areas (Dunphy’s Camp) will be closed during and after the operation
  • Wild Dog Mountains, the Kanangra to Katoomba track, Splendor Rock, Yellow Dog track, Blue Dog track, Breakfast Creek track, Carlons Head off Narrow Neck Bell Bird Ridge track and the Cox’s River south of Breakfast Creek


Since 1st July 2012 the NPWS has completed more than 210 burns totalling more than 110,000 hectares – our largest ever Hazard Reduction Programme. This is more than 65% of all hazard reduction carried out in NSW during the period, despite NPWS managing just 25% of the state’s fire prone land.

This hazard reduction burn is part of the NSW Government’s $62.5 million package to boost bushfire preparedness and double hazard reduction in the state’s national parks over where conditions allow.


[Source:  ‘Hazard Reduction Burn proposed for Wild Dog Mountains’, 20130501, New South Wales National Parks Service, ^]


$62.5 million is going to setting fire to Blue Mountains World Heritage
How much or little goes to protecting endangered wildlife and their Recovery Plans?  
Zilch across the Blue Mountains?


Perhaps this National Parks Report from 2007 in the Blue Mountains, which is probably sitting on some dusty NPWS shelf, may ring a bell for our Mr Luscombe.

Do the recognised practices of “mosaic burning” and “retaining fauna habitats in a long unburnt state” have any meaning in National Parks management?



>GSSR_Volume5 – The Fauna of the Blue Mountains Special Areas.pdf  (2Mb)


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