The blame over the tragic bush fires in Australia has a new target: environmentalists and green policies. Some experts say more prohibitions on logging and burning worsened the fires that have claimed the lives of at least 200 people. Prescribed burning creates a natural break that stops the flames from spreading, yet in recent years, it has sharply decreased in favour of greening the natural urban environments. With the exception of Western Australia, all of the nation’s six state governments have reduced heir forest burning programs since the 1980s, according to Phil Cheney, a retired chief scientist from the Bushfire Research Unit of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. In some areas, there are strict laws on cutting down trees around one’s property, and residents now say this put their houses at risk. In a heated exchange, a Victoria resident, Warwick Spooner, blamed local councilors for the deaths of his mother and brother, who had died in the home in the blaze.
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