Controlled burning not protecting us: report

As authorities come under scrutiny over their handling of planned burns that raged out of control near Lancefield in central Victoria this month, a study has shown such burning had “leverage” in reducing the area burnt by later fires in only four of 30 regions examined in Victoria, South Australia, NSW and the ACT.

Yet new research, published in the Journal of Biogeography, throws into question the worth of prescribed burns such as the one carried out in state forest near Lancefield that escaped into a bushfire, which destroyed five homes, burnt about 4000 hectares and generated fury among local residents.

“In most bioregions, prescribed burning is likely to have very little effect on the subsequent extent of unplanned fire, and even in regions where leverage occurs, large areas of treatment are required to substantially reduce the area burned by unplanned fire,” according to the study.

Originally Published at http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/controlled-burning-not-protecting-us-report-20151018-gkc39p.html

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