Greg Mullins has devoted his life to being a firefighter, and so did his dad.

He rose to become a state Fire and Rescue Commissioner and is now one of the most respected voices in fire management in Australia.

Mullins is now speaking up about the role of climate change in the devastating NSW fires.

“This is climate change, it’s a warming climate, it’s critically dry,” he told Sunrise.

“My father was a firefighter since the early 50s and he’d never seen anything like it either.”

“We’ve burnt more land in New South Wales in the first month of the fire season than the last three fire seasons put together. That’s got to tell people something.”

In an article for Fairfax he also wrote that there is “nothing normal” about these fires.


Global warming, he says, has brought dryness, low-rainfall, low humidity and high winds the likes we’ve never seen.

“In NSW, our worst fire years were almost always during an El Nino event, and major property losses generally occurred from late November to February,” he wrote.

“During the 2000s though, major fires have regularly started in August and September, and sometimes go through to April.

“The October 2013 fires that destroyed more than 200 homes were the earliest large-loss fires in NSW history – again, not during an El Nino.

“This year, by the beginning of November, we had already lost about as many homes as during the disastrous 2001-2002 bushfire season. We’ve now eclipsed 1994 fire losses.

“Fires are burning in places and at intensities never before experienced – rainforests in northern NSW, tropical Queensland, and the formerly wet old-growth forests in Tasmania.”