‘The “bulldozer solution” of clearing large tracts of bush to reduce the risk of bushfires will only compound the problem – by clearing the land, you get a hotter land surface, so bushfires will be more severe,’ said Dr McAlpine.
‘Rather, we need to restore and actively manage native forests and woodlands for the multiple ecosystem services they can provide.’
"I have lived in the Gippsland forests for 30 years, been a volunteer fire fighter for 20 years. I have noticed the same type of fire behaviour. The old growth enclosed canopy forests that have not been subjected to manipulation, tracks, burning, logging – and are more fire-proof. The dense understory creates a damp micro climate and slows down the ferocity of the winds."
Kevin Tolhurst, a fire ecologist at the University of Melbourne, says roadsides sometimes actually provide a good wind break and can actually slow fires down.
"We need to be managing those roadsides but the concentration on woody material in the roadsides is probably a little bit of a furphy, but we should be maintaining and managing those," he said.
"And one of the things we need to be doing is keeping weeds out of them, because weeds are more flammable than the native vegetation that we have."