The subject comes up in the above vid around 13:15. The main quote apparently comes from a TV interview of Ben Shepherd, the NSW Rural Fire Service Inspector, cited in this article which goes on to discuss the causes of the 2019/20 bushfires state by state:
'Only about 1 per cent of the land burnt in NSW this bushfire season can be officially attributed to arson, and it is even less in Victoria, the ABC can reveal.
The world has been shocked by the scenes of devastation as the unprecedented destruction of Australia's horror bushfire season rages on.
The disaster has sparked significant media speculation that many of the blazes were deliberately lit.
While it is true firebugs remain a legitimate and serious threat, we crunched the numbers provided by police and fire authorities around the country.
The results might surprise you.
NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Inspector Ben Shepherd said earlier this week lightning was predominantly responsible for the bushfire crisis.
"I can confidently say the majority of the larger fires that we have been dealing with have been a result of fires coming out of remote areas as a result of dry lightning storms," he said.
In Victoria, where about 1.2 million hectares has burned, only 385 hectares — or 0.03 per cent — have been attributed to suspicious circumstances.
NSW has been the epicentre of Australia's bushfire crisis, but the facts show arson has little to do with it.
This week, a NSW Police media release revealed 24 people had been charged over deliberately-lit bushfires this season.
However, the majority of suspected arson relates to small grass fires and rubbish bins set alight, which have inflicted negligible damage and burnt a tiny area compared with fires sparked by lightning.' - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-11/australias-fires-reveal-arson-not-a-major-cause/11855022
Here's a fact check page noting the key difference between 'vegetation fires' and 'bushfires': https://www.factcheck.org/2020/01/setting-the-record-straight-on-climate-change-and-arson-in-australias-bushfires/ and an article that goes deeper into the climatic causes: https://metafact.substack.com/p/australia-is-burning-whats-the-cause
Interesting reading up on sclerophyll forests (for anyone else interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sclerophyll ) thanks for that. Fascinating how aboriginal fire setting and resulting soil conditions can so dramatically change the vegetation types. Was talking with Morrissey a few months back about the practice of spraying fertiliser from the air, 'aerial topdressing' - https://members5.boardhost.com/xxxxx/thread/1613998020.html . Admittedly that's more on grassland than forest, but the effect on plantlife that has adapted to soils low in phosphorous must be just as dramatic.
Agreed on the shittiness of blaming individuals for the predictable results of deep systemic trends. Always surprises me how many people are willing to go along with it. Must be a lot of self-loathing and pessimism about humanity out there! Of course it also it lets the authorities of the hook, and even bolsters their power if people think they need to be saved from themselves... Sad.