Better forest management can help prevent bushfire disasters

The Age has published an opinion piece on forest fuel reduction by Professor Mark Adams, Director of the Centre for Carbon, Water and Food at the University of Sydney. Professor Adams also co-authored Burning Issues, published by the CSIRO in 2011, which examines the many facets of fuel reduction burning in forests. Professor Adams writes, “For decades foresters were taught how to manage fuels in concert with the ecology of the forests. Some of it they learnt by sitting on the same blackwood stools that are now piles of ash. It wasn’t too hard for them to manage forests so that disasters were avoided. How many disasters must we have, and how much public and private money needs to be spent, before we stop accepting a situation that can and should be avoided?”

In addition to fuel reduction programs, AFPA continues to advocate for innovative fuel reduction strategies for bushfire management such as mechanical thinning and fuel removal, and links to commercial markets such as renewable bioenergy. This includes the $1.5 million national mechanical fuel reduction trials project announced by the Government in March 2015 that is being managed via a Departmental Oversight Committee of experts including AFPA.