Australia bushfires: Fires a result of climate change - Fire Service Commissioner

The man in charge of New South Wales' firefighting efforts is rubbishing claims that climate change isn't to blame for the fires.

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says the fire seasons are longer and hotter, which is a direct result of climate change.

"There's no doubt that we see longer, hotter fire seasons, which then correlates with shorter periods where you typically see your safest period for burning."

The United Nations also agrees, and says the link between climate change and the fires' magnitude cannot be dismissed.

"On the one hand you do have the natural climate variability. On the other, climate change is playing a role and we should have no doubt about that," says World Meteorological Organisation spokesperson Clare Nullis.

But former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce claims Australia's Green Party - which has never been in government - has been blocking key hazard reduction efforts, like controlled burns, and cleaning the forest floor.

"I believe, and this is my view, there are too many caveats that have been placed on people, let's call them Green caveats, that impede people's capacity to fight fires," he says.

Fitzsimmons says the "caveats" have nothing to do with the fires.

"The environmental clearances are invariably not our problem with hazard reduction burning. Our biggest challenge with hazard reduction is weather, and the windows available to do it safely and effectively," he says.

He adds it's time Australians have a meaningful argument over what it means to reduce hazards and manage the risks.