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Interview 1: Living In Western NSW

James: Its very difficult living in Western NSW as there is a lack of services and plenty of dangers. If anything goes wrong you're on your own.

Tom: That's right, James. There are plenty of dangers but there is such a thing as self help by being a volunteer.

James: What do you mean?

Tom: There are several associations which survive because of volunteer labour such as the Rural Fire Service of NSW.

James: Yes that's right and the Rural Fire Service provides training, clothing and equipment to its volunteers to better fight bushfires when they are around.

Tom: Its a worthwhile cause and it protects the community and gives many people who are volunteers an interest, mateship and a purpose outside their normal working careers.

James: Yes well there are nearly 3,000 volunteers who assist the Rural Fire Service of NSW who are making a massive contribution to the community.


Interview 2: The cause of Victorian bushfires. An interview with the Mayor of Shepparton, Victoria.

Mayor of Shepparton: What was the cause of that bushfire?

Bushfire volunteer: Well, we are not quiet sure yet?

Mayor of Shepparton: What can be the possible causes of this fire?

Bushfire volunteer: For this fire there can be numerous causes. Firstly, there is a drought in Victoria and we have been getting extreme temperatures for a few weeks in a row.

Mayor of Shepparton: What can droughts do to cause a bushfire?

Bushfire volunteer: Droughts dry up all the land and if a fire does start, it feeds on the fuel left by branches falling off trees, dead trees, leaves and dead or dry grass.

Mayor of Shepparton: How long can it take for extreme weather like we have now to start a bushfire?

Bushfire volunteer: It can take at the earliest a couple of hours. It does not take too long to start a bushfire.

Mayor of Shepparton: Is that all that can cause bushfires in Victoria?

Bushfire volunteer: No, other causes are campers lighting fires, lightning strikes, people throwing cigarettes from their car and not putting the cigarette out first, agricultural and controlled burn offs that go out of control and people purposely lighting fires.

Mayor of Shepparton: There should be a massive education campaign to educate the population about the dynamics of bushfires so that they can be prevented.


Article 1: The causes of bushfires by Dr. Andrew Cameron.

Australia is a huge island continent which suffers from periodic droughts and is prone to bushfires. Bushfires to the Australian ecosystem are an essential part of the generation and regeneration of the fauna and flora. Many of the Australian flora cannot generate unless a bushfire ravages the area as the seeds which are buried underground are germinated by the heat of the bushfire.

There are several causes of the bushfires. Such causes are prolonged droughts followed by long periods of high temperatures, campers not putting out fires, people throwing lighted cigarette butts out the window of cars, lightning strikes, branches touching electric power lines, agricultural and controlled burn offs and people purposely starting bushfires. Often people starting bushfires are pyromaniacs. That is they have a mental illness whereby they must light bushfires to satisfy their inadequacies.

Pyromania is a compulsion to start fires. Pyromaniacs are psychopaths who have a obsessive compulsive reaction or a symptom of an antisocial personality and are responsible for hundreds of deaths each year. The unconscious motivation for pyromania may be defiance of a particular authority figure or of the establishment, and a general expression of agression and sexual drives that do not find another outlet. Pyromaniacs (also known as arsonists) watch the fires they start and become sexually aroused to the point of orgasm.

The state, territory and federal police should maintain a database of pyromaniacs to stop and incarcerate them so that they don't inflict any harm or damage for their irresponsible activities. By doing so a major source of bushfires will be eliminated.

Article by Dr. Andrew Cameron, Head of the School of Psychology Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland.


Article 2: Bushfires and the Australian Ecosystem by Professor Aurthur Wallace

Australia is a large land mass in the South Pacific Ocean and South Indian Ocean which is affected by frequent and often prolonged droughts and high temperatures which are ideal conditions for a bush fire. Australia is affected by the el nino effect which increases the likelihood of a bushfire. Often bushfires cause enormous damage to the rural areas and the regional and national economy due to the loss of life, livestock and property. Often it may take years or decades for an area to recover from a bushfire.

Ever since the First Fleet arrived in Sydney in 1788 Europeans have tried to tame the environment by introducing European style agriculture and horticulture into Australia. To some extent they have been successful but at great costs as Australia is not ideal or even suited for such practices.

Bushfires are a common occurrence in Australia and are an essential part of the Australian ecosystem which is generated and regenerated by the bushfires which germinate the seeds which are buried underground in the soil. Such bushfires generate and regenerate the fauna and flora of the Australian bush. The fauna are affected by the bushfires in so far as the strong survive and the weak perish ie Darwinism. For that matter agriculture and horticulture should not be practiced in Australia at all.

Article by Professor Aurthur Wallace Head of the School of Environmental Sciences Flinders University South Australia.


Story by John Cosgrove Solicitor at Margaret River Western Australia.

I am a Solicitor and practice in the regional town of Margaret River in Western Australia. I am also an officer bushfire fighter volunteer. Our town has a population of 18,000 and we are threatened by bushfires each year so the town has decided to protect itself by assisting the permanent fire fighters in their time of need by engaging volunteers.

I joined the bush fire service as a volunteer in 1995 as the bushfire service needed every available man and woman that can assist to assist. Since then I have taken advantage of the specialized training, uniforms, and equipment that the bushfire service provides and I love being a volunteer.

Being a bushfire fighter volunteer is fantastic as it is full of excitement and it is very rewarding when I know that my efforts have saved lives, property and livestock. Bushfire fighting is a change from the rule bound and procedure bound practices of the court and the etiquette between legal practitioners and members of the court. I love being a volunteer bushfire fighter.