A little Bushfire Education from Krishna
Many of you recently heard the devastating news from up in Binna Burra, that our Modifyre Event Producer, and Environmental Manager Extraordinaire Chris "Krishna" Holt, and his partner Sammy, lost their home in the bushfires. Many a traditional "un-Australia Day" gathering has been held up the mountain and been enjoyed by members of our Event Production Team. When Krishna decided to disseminate some much-needed bushfire education, it went super viral on Facebook (last count 810 likes, 208 comments, and 1k shares), so we decided to share it further:
Time for Bushfire Education
It's annoying me a little with all the false fire facts and theories being thrown around. A few fun facts you can help educate your fellow humans with.
1. BACK BURNING is a fire fighting technique used to fight an already lit bushfire. A fire is lit ahead of the fire flame front and hopefully, burns towards the fire front. When the two fires meet, the fire is extinguished
2. Hazard reduction burn, prescribed or planned burn are for all intent and purposes the same thing. These burns are planned and carried out to reduce fuel loads (leaves, bark, undergrowth etc) to mitigate some impacts of future fires or as a ecosystem service to a forest that requires fire for its natural processes.
3. Yes, the majority of our forests require fire, it's a natural process that vegetation and wildlife have evolved with over 10 000's of years.
4. Eucalyptus trees and others are phyrophytes. They attract fire, want fire and rely on fire for their survival as a species. Eucalyptus oil is volatile and when the temp rises it turn into a gas. Considering the radiant heat in front of the fire front is well above the already hot ambient temp, the Eucalyptus oil turns gaseous and explains how trees or forests explode. No planned burn can or will eliminate the volatile tree canopy that exists within Eucalyptus forests.
5. More Planned burns could have prevented these fires.....No, Planned burns can assist in mitigating the affects of bushfires, in some cases they can help save houses but in reality we can't burn the entire country a month before every unknown fire.
6. Planned burns can in some cases increase the risk of wildfires by up to 800%. WTF you say ! Weve already learnt our forest need fire and one of those requirements is for seed germination. So not long after a fire, the forest floor is covered in a carpet of young trees and other vegetation. And guess what, most are pyrophytes that attract fire and as they grow, they connect the ground level vegetation to the volitile tree canopy.
Example. My dear friends in Wytalliba lost 50 homes last Friday. For the most part, their 3500 acre property and surrounding forests was already burnt by planned and unplanned burns over the last year.. The community was by any standard prepared ! But that volatile tree canopy of Eucalyptus still existed and the result of high temps and winds coupled with low humidity was devastating as the wildfire ripped through burnt country.
I lost my home in the September fires. Could more planned burns have prevented it ? Maybe, maybe not. If we could have predicted the path in which the fire would take that day, we could have burnt that out. But we cant predict every fire or the way a fire will behave.
Planned burns can assist in mitigating fires, but fire ecology is a complex science and planned burns is just a tool we can use to assist in reducing the risk of devastating fires. But when weather conditions are ripe for fire, wildfires will always be part of our life.
My rant finished.