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Control Burning in Eucalypt Forests in Victoria, Australia

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Fire has been a factor in the eucalypt forest environment for thousands of years. In this period the flora and fauna developed the ability to live in balance with widespread and repeated fires. In recent times, colonization and the demands of a modern society have reduced the forest area, altered the composition of the forests and created new values in the forests. Fires with intensities above 500 BTU/sec/ft cause severe damage to these values: those of low intensity do little or no measurable damage. The intensity of wildfires and the difficulty of controlling them is a function of severe weather and the amount of fuel available for burning. Doubling the available fuel usually doubles the rate of spread of the fire and increases its intensity fourfold. Control is made extremely difficult by mass short-distance spotting front stringybark fuel and spectacular long-distance spotting from candlebark fuels. Control burning over large areas to keep fuel quantities below six tons per acre cheaply and effectively reduces the incidence of high intensity wildfires and minimizes damage. Guidelines have been prepared to assist foresters plan and manage these fires.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Fire Research Officer, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: August 1, 1968

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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