‘Long-term pain’: Scientists warn against Western Australia’s prescribed burn regime

By Sarah Brooks
The Sydney Morning Herald
June 6, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SYDNEY, Australia — State government agencies are amplifying bushfire risk in south-western Australia, say scientists, who further say that government efforts to discredit their research have backfired, resulting in newer and even stronger research. The original paper… published in 2022, examined 55 years of WA’s fire history data. Research lead, Curtin University Associate Professor Philip Zylstra, a former remote area firefighter in New South Wales, said their analysis of records kept by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions concluded that prescribed burning makes the bush more flammable. The research was dismissed a few months later without explanation by then-WA minister for the environment, Stephen Dawson. In 2023, the department finally provided its reasoning to Zylstra, who used this information to re-analyse the data. This re-analysis has now been published in the journal Environmental Research Letters and Zylstra said it found the results were actually more compelling once the department’s concerns were accounted for.

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