Australia — A national parks conference in Canberra has heard there needs to be a rethink in the use of proscribed burns to manage bushfire risk.
Kosciusko fire manager Phil Zylstra says the index currently used to assess bushfire risk is outdated and it may be more relevant to consider the density of shrubs, the bark on trees and the flammability of certain plants.
Mr Zylstra says more research is also needed to find out whether the vegetation that grows back after a burn off is more flammable.
“The big question for me is that as we introduce fire, although we may reduce the amount of flammable vegetation for a short period of time, the question is what will happen after those first couple of years,” he said.
“Will the vegetation that comes back be more or less flammable and that’s a question that isn’t asked at the moment.”