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The current bushfire crisis provides compelling evidence of the dangers posed by extremely dry landscapes and hot, windy conditions.
While there's no evidence "greenies" precipitated the current crisis by blocking hazard reduction, it is clear that we need to explore new ways to manage fuel loads to reduce the severity of bushfires.
Community - Groups - Types - Hazard - Reduction
It is worth considering how local, self organized, place-based, community groups could be supported to conduct various types of strategic hazard reduction, including targeted grazing and prescribed or fuel reduction burning.
One model we could look to is Landcare, which has enjoyed 30 years of bipartisan support. Funded and supported by governments, local, semi-autonomous, self-directed groups aim to take a sustainable approach to land management through on-ground projects such as habitat restoration and improving biodiversity.
Model - Reduction - Burning - GreenFire - Groups
This model could be applied to prescribed or fuel reduction burning, carried out by local "GreenFire" groups. This would involve:
1. Developing and resourcing GreenFire groups.
Equivalent - District - Landcare - Groups - Hazard
These would be the equivalent of district Landcare groups, but focused on hazard reduction and fuel management. These groups could be encouraged to learn patch-burning techniques, and other landscape scale management practices, such as creating green firebreaks of non-flammable species.
If well coordinated, these techniques would reduce fire hazards across private and public lands. These groups could be an extension of existing Landcare groups combined with volunteer firefighting services. They would aim to increase capacity for fuel management at the landscape scale and provide opportunities for more people to learn skills and share knowledge, with and from professionals working in government forest and national parks agencies.
Kinds - Activities - Cooler - Seasons - Capacity
These kinds of activities, mostly in the cooler, green seasons would enhance the capacity of communities to prepare for future fires, and increase the capacity of traditional fire fighting to suppress dangerous fires.
2. These groups could work under the mentorship and authorization of fuel management/reduction officers.
These could be public...
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