Australia bushfires- INDIAN EXPRESS- 18-01-2020
How indigenous fire-prevention techniques are getting popular:
Under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conversion Act, 1990 bushfire management is separated into two categories, of firefighting and fire prevention, but amid the ongoing bushfires, indigenous methods are gaining significance. Amid the devastatingly unprecedented bushfires that have been raging in Australia since this year’s bushfire ignited, indigenous methods of preventing bushfires, which draw on ancient ways are gaining traction. Under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conversion Act, 1990 bushfire management is separated into two categories, of firefighting and fire prevention, but amid the ongoing bushfires, indigenous methods of preventing fire are gaining significance.
Australia bushfires: The scenario so far
While bushfires are an intrinsic part of the Australian environment, as per the Australian government website, the country’s natural ecosystem has evolved with fires and the landscape and its biodiversity has been shaped by historic and recent fires. In fact, while many of Australia’s native plants are fire-prone and very combustible, a number of species depend on fires to regenerate. Moreover, while bushfires are a routine affair in Australia, authorities have called this season of bushfires the worst on record, aggravated by an impending drought and record high temperatures.
What does it take to extinguish Australia bushfires?
Other methods include firefighters using water to put them out or water bombing, under which helicopters drop water on bushfires. Even so, sometimes, bushfires are simply too big to be put out using these methods. Such is the case with the current bushfires, with some reports comparing the size of some of them to places such as Sydney and Manhattan.
What are the indigenous methods?
It says that with the onset of colonisation and the removal of the aboriginals from their lands, traditional burning was stopped during the twentieth century, which led to “the emergence of large, uncontrolled wildfires, usually occurring late in the dry season and destroying important ecosystems and habitats. ” Now, in the last 25 years, these traditional methods are seeing a reinvigoration with the recognition that western fire prevention methods “have not been working”. Some of the indigenous fire management techniques include lighting ‘cool’ fires in targeted areas during the early dry season between March and July. ” Even so, these traditional techniques are not fool-proof methods and need to be used in unison with other fire-prevention techniques.