June 26, 2021 –
Please join us to hear Dr Mike Bamford, fire ecologist, give an ecologist perspective on fire. The free presentation will be followed by a walk through a fire effected area of Noble Falls.
Where and how we choose to live puts us at risk, with homes in forest that quite literally has been moulded by, and is adapted to, fire. Prescription burning is no panacea and may not even reduce fuel loads and fire risk in the way some people think; in some forests it may make the fire risk greater by increasing some types of fuel.
Furthermore, fuel does not increase steadily year after year, and the dense litter that accumulates decades and centuries after a fire is different from the shrubby mid-storey that chokes forest just five years after a burn. Fuel will eventually decline in very long-unburnt forest, so are broad belts of long-unburnt forest our best insurance against wildfire?
But fire is not something to be challenged and is not a problem that can be solved. It is a risk that can be reduced through a holistic approach affecting where and how we live, and how we manage forests and woodlands. And that management needs to be based on evidence, not anecdotes and simplistic opinions.