Fires and Burning

Tasmania fires: First images of World Heritage Area devastation emerge, show signs of 'system collapse'

Sunday, January 31, 2016

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Tasmania's Central Plateau as captured by wilderness photographer Dan Broun. (Dan Broun)

The first images to emerge from within Tasmania's fire-affected World Heritage Area (WHA) have illustrated the level of destruction caused by bushfire, as experts warn such incidents are signs of a changing climate.

Backburn may have caused Wye River fire to escape

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

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A controversial backburning operation, carried out despite warnings of potential catastrophe, may have led to the Christmas Day devastation of the Wye River township, leaked files reveal. 

The confidential state government files reveal that three days after a lightning strike on December 19 caused a small, half-hectare blaze to begin near Wye River, Victorian fire officials ordered a controlled burn operation which included the dropping of small fireballs from aircraft.

South Coast residents concerned about bushfire risk from logging slash

Monday, December 21, 2015

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Logging slash in the Boyne State Forest

Logging slash in the Boyne State Forest, on the western side of the Princes Highway. Photo: John Perkins

Residents on the NSW south coast have expressed alarm at "metres high" piles of logs, leaves and branches left on forest floors after logging, as the bushfire season approaches.

Coroner finds AusNet could have prevented Marysville's devastating Black Saturday bushfire

Friday, December 4, 2015

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Marysville, the day after the 2009 bushfire. Photo: Keith Pakenham/CFA Public Affairs

The Black Saturday bushfire that destroyed Marysville could have been prevented if a power company had followed basic safety standards, according to an explosive coronial finding.

Unrealistic fuel reduction targets won’t guarantee better community protection

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

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Heat on: The area the Victorian National Parks Association says would be burnt annually under a 20 per cent fuel reduction target.

IT’S time to move beyond extravagant claims in the fire debate and have a good look at all of the evidence and options before us.

Ashes to ashes: logging and fires have left Victoria’s magnificent forests in tatters

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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In February 2009 the Black Saturday bushfires swept through the Mountain Ash forests of Victoria, burning 72,000 hectares.

These forests are home to the tallest flowering plants on the planet, and iconic species such as the Leadbeater’s Possum, Victoria’s animal emblem. In the six years since the fires, we and other scientists have been investigating how the forests have recovered, summarised in our new book. This research was in turn built on 25 years of research before the fires.

There’s some good news and some bad. The forests and their inhabitants have a remarkable capacity for recovery from natural disturbances like fire. However, the forest ecosystem is in a precarious state, largely due to the continuation of Victoria’s logging industry.

Lancefield bushfire: Controlled burn that destroyed homes 'poorly planned, under-staffed'

Thursday, November 19, 2015

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The controlled burn near Lancefield

Photo: The controlled burn near Lancefield was fanned by hot, windy conditions. (Supplied: Geordie Wood)

A planned burn-off that broke containment lines and went on to destroy homes near Lancefield in central Victoria was under-staffed and poorly planned, an independent report has found.

The investigation into last month's fire found "significant shortcomings" in the way Victoria's environment department carries out planned burn-offs and communicates with the community.

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