Jump to content
  • Recent Australian wildfires made worse by logging and associated forest management


    Raven Tree
     Share

    The recent fires in southern Australia were unprecedented in scale and severity. Much commentary has rightly focused on the role of climate change in exacerbating the risk of fire. Here, we contend that policy makers must recognize that historical and contemporary logging of forests has had profound effects on these fires' severity and frequency.

    David B. Lindenmayer, Robert M. Kooyman, Chris Taylor, Michelle Ward and James E. M. Watson

    Published in Nature Ecology & Evolution

    The authors found that logging causes a rise in fuel loads, increases potential drying of wet forests and causes a decrease in forest height. Watson has been quoted as saying, "[Logging] can leave up to 450 tonnes of combustible fuel per hectare close to the ground—by any measure that's an incredibly dangerous level of combustible material in seasonally dry landscapes.

    "By allowing these practices to increase fire severity and flammability, we undermine the safety of some of our rural communities.

    "[Logging] affects wildlife too by creating habitat loss, fragmentation and disturbance for many species, with major negative effects on forest wildlife."

    You can read the full report here.

    There's no reason to believe the impact of logging on the increasing severity of fires in BC, particularly in BC's dry Interior, would be any different from Australia's situation. The BC government has published no scientific analysis of the role clearcut logging has played in increasing fire size and severity in BC.

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...