Fuel Reduction Burning

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Subject: Fuel Reduction Burning
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2005 16:34:35 +1000

Some general thoughts on fuel reduction burning:

For habitats where such action is possible:

1.  fire is eventually inevitable, if not of human origin, then from lightning strikes;

2.  if  there has been a major build-up of fuel and weather conditions are severe enough there will be complete devastation;

3.  prior to European settlement a fire-devastated area could be recolonised by  fauna from surrounding unburnt areas;

4. an area surrounded by developed land is unlikely to be naturally recolonised by native fauna, and fuel reduction burning may be a lesser evil than an eventual totally devastating wildfire.

In some areas, it may be possible to carry out fuel reduction burning under circumstances where only some parts of an area are burnt.  The obvious exception is where there is already such a large build-up of fuel that any fire once started may become catastrophic.

Aerial ignition can be useful by starting many small fires that do not build up to catastrophic proportions before each encounters already burnt terrain.

Weather conditions have a major bearing on the success of fuel reduction burning; weather forecasting is not yet an exact science.

Syd Curtis in Brisbane

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