Percentage targets for planned burning are blunt tools that don’t work

31 Mar

A more effective plan

http://theconversation.com/percentage-targets-for-planned-burning-are-blunt-tools-that-dont-work-39254?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+30+March+2015+-+2587&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+30+March+2015+-+2587+CID_3ea97089c94d786890216c71b60f85c7&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Percentage%20targets%20for%20planned%20burning%20are%20blunt%20tools%20that%20dont%20work

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“A more effective plan

The Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission also recommended that the Victorian government develop risk-based performance measures for bushfire management. In response, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has developed sophisticated methods for mapping risks from major bushfires across the state, and predicting bushfire risk following planned burning.

We strongly support this more sophisticated, regional risk-management approach. After all, planned burning to protect human life and property should naturally focus on places where people are most at risk from major bushfires.

Another new piece of our research, published in the journal Conservation Biology, offers a way to predict how planned burning also influences risks to biodiversity. This will allow land managers to consider trade-offs between protecting people and conserving wildlife when applying planned burning.

Just as the 5% target is an inefficient method for minimising the impact of major bushfires on human life and communities, it also has negative consequences for the resilience of natural ecosystems.

It’s time to drop the simple 5% target. It is a blunt tool, and a risk-based approach more effectively focuses fire protection where it’s most needed: safeguarding people and wildlife.”

 

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