The team at the Charles Darwin University’s Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research has been working with Indigenous land managers, conservation, research and government organisations in northern Australia for the last 25 years to find more effective ways to manage wildfires.
These collaborations have led to a new approach, blending modern scientific knowledge with traditional Indigenous land management practices to reduce bushfire risk.
How? By reducing fuel load through a patchy mosaic of small, low intensity, burns early in the fire season that cut the risk of late dry season fires when greenhouse gas emissions are much greater.
Of all the factors that contribute to the intensity of a fire (temperature, wind speed, humidity, topography, fuel moisture and fuel load), only fuel load can be readily modified by human effort, but bearing in mind that since the industrial revolution it is now clear that humans have also modified the world’s temperature, and action on emissions may eventually assist to bring this down.
As bushfires peaked in the Australian summer of 2019-20, we heard a lot of the myth of climate change as the prime cause of the flames’ spread and severity. In this article, Christine Finlay addresses climate change and a second myth, mostly promoted by politicians and leaders of bushfire management organisations: that an appropriate response is to promise a thorough review of bushfire management (via royal commissions or otherwise) while pre-emptively pouring yet more taxpayer dollars into fire-fighting organisations and aerial firefighting, in particular. This is the latest instance of a repeated pattern, more likely to worsen rather than improve the situation.
AFAC’s CEO Stuart Ellis, in a well balanced piece, corrects a number of ex-APAC CEO Greg Mullins incorrect statements on hazard reduction and climate change.
It is most refreshing to see such clarity of view on the importance proper land management and effective fuel reduction has to play in managing the environment for climate change.
Thank you Mr Ellis!
I am writing to support the NSW Farmers proposal for grazing to be re-introduced into Crown Lands including National Parks.
I believe this need only be applied in marginal areas around National Parks which cannot be protected from fire by graded fire breaks. Many National Parks boundaries are on very steep and inaccessible areas thereby making fire and stock control very difficult.
On Saturday 23 December 2021 a memorial was held at Peak View for the American air crew of ‘Bomber-134’
The day marked the one-year anniversary since the water bomber flown by Captain Ian McBeth, first officer Paul Hudson and flight engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr crashed while fighting a bushfire at Peak View, north-east of Cooma
The Peak View Bushfire Memorial Poem was written and delivered on the day by Peak View RFS member Ernie Constance.
The people who lived through the fires are confronted with their changed landscape every day – but they would also like the rest of Australia to remember those traumatic events.
People are still recovering and rebuilding, people who haven’t even started rebuilding yet.
People are still living in tents.