Control Burning in Eucalypt Forests in Victoria, Australia
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.
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Document Type: Journal Article
Affiliations: Fire Research Officer, Victoria, Australia
Publication date: 1968-08-01
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