Greg Mullins is frightened, and that goes against the grain.
“My whole career as a fire chief was trying to calm people down,” he said.
“When you have people like me who have been around for half a century doing this work getting frightened — and I’m frightened — it’s time for everyone else to be, particularly politicians in Canberra.”
The firefighting veteran and former head of Fire and Rescue NSW is in northern California, assessing the damage caused by the Kincade Fire which has swept through the state’s famed wine country north of San Francisco.
It is the third year in a row the area has been devastated by fire.
Mr Mullins is a member of the Climate Council and Emergency Leaders for Climate Action.
“The most fire-prone parts of the planet are burning more and more,” Mr Mullins said.
“Here in California, 18,000 homes last year, 9,000 the year before. Previously 3,000 was the biggest they’d think of. They’re just shaking their heads saying, ‘What the hell is round the corner?'”
Read more on this story from ABC News (Australia)