Fires and Burning

How forests carry out their own fire suppression management

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How did forests ever cope before the era of government planned small scale bushfires? Forests had many brilliant systems in place that digested leaf litter, kept the understory damp and a layer of nutrient rich humus at ground level, all operating with clever symbiotic relationships between plants, animals and fungi.

Below is just a selection of extracts from research which shows how important these ground layer ecosystems are – and how vulnerable they are to planned government burns.

Coastal incineration plan

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This planned burn is not an isolated case of cowboy vandalism. The DEPI proposal to burn a 6,000ha piece of coastal old growth in the Croajingolong National Park includes the Barga Reference Area. Reference Areas are set aside as untouched landscapes and must not be interfered with. Called the Old Coast B burn, it’s between Sydenham Inlet and Tamboon Inlet.

This is a high risk fire and would be difficult to control as the land is peaty and there are few access tracks within it. It has no history of fires, and no surveys for wildlife, let alone plans for their protection.

2014 Goongerah-Deddick fires

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A strange weather phenomenon over central Australia in January and February influenced SE Australia’s hot dry season. This, coupled with the January lightning storms across Victoria created another serious fire season this summer. The mid January storms saw 770 lightning strikes, slightly up on the 30 year average of around 600. Many of these self-extinguished or only burnt very small areas, others were rounded up and put out and in East Gippsland 10 became problems fires.

Influences of the Victorian fires of February 2009

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Report analyses the driving influences of the February 7 fires and looks at how the fires passed through and affected different areas of land including plantations, regrowth from logging and National Parks. The summary of the implications of the report is below and you can Download the full report here (PDF 6.2MB) This report was commissioned by combined environment groups.

Is the loss of Australian digging mammals contributing to a deterioration in ecosystem function?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Australia’s once common digging mammals that played an important role in ecosystem function, have been largely lost from our landscape. Around half of digging mammal species are now extinct or under conservation threat, and those that still exist have very contracted ranges.

Call for investigation into "Ecological Burn"

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Once again, government pyromaniacs destroyed extremely valuable ecosystems and a wildlife corridor in the Kirth Kiln Regional Park near Hoddles Creek (March 2013). This was two days before a total fire ban when rainfall for the prior 6 months had been the lowest ever recorded. The fire managers called it an ‘ecological burn’, but had absolutely no ecological purpose. It was meant to be patchy and low level but in those conditions it burnt 100% of the area. It destroyed non-target gullies, remnant hollow-bearing old trees and was conducted within a protected water supply area.