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forest defense | technology

Australian Fake Fires Puzzle Experts, Confuse Amateurs

This week we have an interview with Syd Sorge, fire captain in Innisfail, Alberta on the series of so-called fake fires reported from the Australian continent over the last weeks. Also, the branch insider talks about missing coral reefs, military occupation for the „Asian pivot" and new risks for yachting boats in the region.
SU: You have been described as the number one counter-espionage man of the Canadian fire brigades. Please explain to our listeners around the world what is going on there.

SS: A spectre is haunting Australia. Every night the fire brigades receive several emergency notifications of forest fires in native forests there. And every time they move out it is another blind alarm. The Australian fire brigades are being flooded with false alarms from all over the country.

SU: By whom?

SS: It is being investigated. A few years ago there was a case in which an independent hacker in the suburbs of Sydney had redirected cab requests in the city's trade fair area to the fire brigade as a practical joke. But this spoofing effort is so systematic that it cannot be a script kid in a basement. And from a professional standpoint it must not be brushed aside. Whenever an alarm device gives an alarm, they need to go there and check, that's the routine to keep up.

SU: Do you have a suspect?

SS: Honestly, what worries most of us much more at this moment is the risk of emulation. We cannot ignore this entirely, at least some news of the false alarms are being talked about at least at a local level, and news writers complain their customers want to read printed explanations why our sirens woke them up the other night. The more of this is happening, the more likely it is that we might end up with cascades of suspects.

SU: You do not suspect the usual small fish, but a bigger one?

SS: I do nothing. The colleagues over there are reporting similar irregularities from other branches demanding the same pattern of explanation. But first let me elaborate to you why the fire situation down under is so explosive. The Eucalyptus tree virtually evaporates its own incendiary. In the drought, an Eucalyptus forest is as inflammable as a Lama on Tianamen Square. And once it is burning it is next to impossible to extinguish, unless a blanket landslide was to cover the entire area. There are ideas to preventively spray the trees with chemical agents to reduce the inflammation risk but this is something turning into a crazy effort once done systematic. That is why we fear emulators so much.

SU: So who meddles with your safeguarding of this precarious situation?

SS: Of course it was checked whether this time it is traffic speeding cameras whose alarms are being redirected, or burglary sensors in local businesses, or drive-by-clerk wakeup induction circuits, or last year's car accidents, but nothing the like. Similar irregularities are being complained about by the East Coast Fishery Union. Fishermen have been reporting over the same period that their sonar signals suddenly showed rich fish swarms that are not there and even a lot of coral reefs of which they are absolutely certain that they are not there. It is a conundrum for firemen, it is a conundrum for fish-hunters, and it plainly is cause of a lot of lost sleep for many.

SU: Who exactly meddles with Australian yachts?

SS: It is currently being verified whether these incidents in fact are occurring with a much higher probability around Unitedstates foreign military occupation bases, which have sprouted up there over the last years as part of the ``pivot on China.´´ This could be a common factor in both and a reference to their causal origin. It would mean that forged sonar signals and forged internet protocol packages would be originating from there. It would also have to be interpreted as plausible in this situation regarding the balance of words and deeds.

SU: What do you recommend?

SS: The standard reference concerning Eucalyptus trees is Falleramayr's ``Not For The Paper Mill´´ - it got everything useful in it you might otherwise miss, and in a form that allows you both to walk trough it all in a stunt and to digest a few pages here or there before falling asleep. But when it was written there were no ``smart-meters´´ sending fire alarms across the networks. Further, I urgently recommend the Australian colleagues to publish their technical manuals describing how which substance in which condition is to be extinguished the best way in an edition that does not contain commercial advertising.

SU: What?!?

SS: That's right. The official manual is next to impossible to study due to ad pollution. An issue free of distractions would help freshmen to get to work and adjust quicker than now, and keep experienced colleagues focused on the facts without sacrificing precious forests or homes to inefficient routine. I don't think advertising revenues could be able to justify the extra risk they create.

SU: Why would a foreign military occupation command want to play this weird kind of fire show on a population in good faith?

SS: The taxi cracker is like a pupil throwing a piece of scrap paper on the yard. It angers the janitor. What we are seeing now is like a visiting parent throwing a car load of rubbish into the schoolyard. In the best case the teachers will conclude their time is better invested with other pupils and this one has only got its parents to blame for neglect.

SU: And in the worst?

SS: In the worst case the teachers will invest time in the pupil but as a rebel. The bad habit of the parent is being paid back with feeding a revolutionary attitude, consciously or unconsciously. In other words, whoever is doing it, who is not a loner but a conspiracy of officials with official resources, is making the fire brigades so angry against them that regret may follow suit.

SU: Why in the world would a country which is not Australia's declared enemy pursue such hostile behaviour?

SS: There are rumours of it being a neoliberalist economic stimulus effort meant to increase the efficiency of aforementioned advertising. These guys seem to think, kind of, if we get idle firemen to read their manuals then they will also look at our ads, and spend their earnings for purchasing our products. But the causality is exactly the other way round, it makes informed professionals angry to have to handle obstructive alarmists and does not leave them much time for calm and peace.

SU: That sounds nearly cynical.

SS: From the perspective of all those trees already lost to emulation it is, all the more the more emulators see through the multiple volatility of the situation. But to anyone listening who is thinking of setting a few on fire, be warned that if you do you will most likely lose your life in it, and regret the last few minutes and moments thereof very much. I am saying this because it also could be climate deniers.

SU: Climate deniers?

SS: Climate deniers. Who would be interested to make claims that the reefs were intact, the fish were alive and the forests in good health? What does it do with people who are actually interested in something else making up their daily chores when they are being flooded with false news on a true issue, would they miss the most important bit of it and understand it as a false issue? It is already happening. These deniers have a whole facade of credibility to lose and are clinging to every straw of it.

SU: As a fireman, what is your conclusion?

SS: Don't play with fire. Don't lighten up people's interest on an issue without serving it. This seems like a despicable nuisance, but the longer it goes on and the more people it frustrates the higher the risk that it is to develop into a grave threat to Australian native forests, and it can turn from one into the other over night, and from there into an Apocalyse any moment, and the only thing which I like even less than having to save the climate is when the climate has to come to save us.

SU: Thanks for telling me.