Synopsis of the knowledge used in prescribed burning in Victoria
For many thousands of years south-eastern Australia has experienced wildfires. These days, in an average summer around six hundred wildfires occur in Victoria’s parks and forests. Between twenty and thirty percent of these fires are caused by lightning. In the last 150 years wildfires have resulted in considerable loss of life, and much property damage.
Experience over many years has shown that the planned use of fire, in strategic parts of our parks and forests, can provide a degree of security from wildfire. Prescribed burning is the controlled application of fire under specified environmental conditions to a predetermined area at the time, intensity of heat and rate of spread required to attain planned objectives.
Prescribed fire has also been used for many years for silvicultural purposes. Today park and forest managers also increasingly understand the importance fire plays in the maintenance of biodiversity in many of Victoria’s ecosystems.
Fire science has been a rapidly developing field in recent years. Our understanding of the fuels in natural areas, and the relationship between fire behaviour and weather will continue to evolve however, as will Victoria's approach to the use of prescribed fire. The Synopsis of the Knowledge Used in Prescribed Burning in Victoria contains an overview of the current knowledge that underpins the use of prescribed burning in Victoria's parks and forests. This synopsis forms a part of a comprehensive approach to the use of prescribed fire in Victoria.
Prepared by Kevin Tolhurst and Phil Cheney, the Synopsis aims to present the current state of knowledge gained from field experience and scientific research. In particular it compliments a prescribed burning operational manual and associated Departmental Instructions in use within the Department of Sustainability and Environment. The document should also be read in conjunction with Victoria’s ‘Code of Practice for Fire Management on Public Land’.
Synopsis of the Knowledge Used in Prescribed Burning - Part 1
Synopsis of the Knowledge Used in Prescribed Burning - Part 2
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