Mega fire-breaks – environmental Berlin walls
It’s been a huge bonanza for logging and earth-moving companies. Since last summer’s fires, reckless clearing of extremely large swathes of high-quality forest has continued under the guise of fire safety. Last April/May, the Bracks Government agreed to stop these monstrous “fire-breaks” until a public consultation process was put in place. But more and more areas of forest have been lineally logged along tourist roads and tracks, and the practice continues. Funny thing about this is that the CFA, Victorian Association of Forest Industries, the Institute of Foresters Australia, Forest Fire Victoria and most scientists oppose the firebreaks (comments submitted to the ‘Impact of Public Land Management Practices on Bushfires in Victoria’ investigation). No fire-fighter would ever use these areas to tackle a fire. And backburn lines only need to be a road’s width (six – ten metres), not 100 metres.
In the Otways and the Mallee, these fire-breaks are more than 100 meters in width and are literally ripping the guts out of decades of land restoration.