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Severe bushfires give us fuel for thought

AT THE time of writing, Australia's east coast has no bushfires out of control.

For this reason there is very little focus on vegetation control, fuel load management etc, but we must not become complacent.

The Australian Forest Products Association has welcomed a serious debate with the Climate Council on effective fuel reduction and control measures.

The AFPA argues that fuel reduction may have to be massively increased to manage greater frequency and severity of bushfires.

Also, removing some of the fuel loads by mechanical means instead of just burning must be part of the solution.

Forestry and forest product industries are major stakeholders in terms of providing bushfire suppression as well as bearing the direct risk to commercial timber and other forest values so it believes it should have a very large say in the management of fuel loads.

On the other hand we have our green environmental movement who do nothing more than criticise, lock-up and leave and don't provide any hands-on when it comes to forest fire management, so it is believed that they shouldn't have a say in the matter.

By positive controlled burning, removing woody debris on the ground and taking out bushy undergrowth will reduce the risk of large fires getting out of control.

Also all forested areas need access roads, even our national parks.

With direct access, firefighters can target areas more closely instead of just waiting for the fire to come to them.

Topics:  bushfires rod henson talking timber