Controlled burns destroy ecosystems and may not reduce fire risk

07 December 2019

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AUSTRALIA – As fires rage across five Australian states, well ahead of the expected bushfire season, debate rages about our fire management of forests. Some call for more controlled burning during cooler months, thinking this will decrease the rate of uncontrolled fires. But biologist Kinsley Dixon explains, so-called prescribed burning, produces a more flammable system in the first years after a fire. And he says there are devastating effects on the natural ecology. He says whereas some forests may experience a natural fire every 80 years, there is no chance for the ecosystem to re-establish when that frequency becomes a prescribed burn every five years.

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