Firestick Estate believes Australia’s
gross mismanagement of the level of prescribed burning required to mitigate extreme bushfires is negligent (WA is an exception). Australian extreme bushfires which range from 10,000 kilo-watts per metre to 150,000 kw/m, are over 800 times more damaging than average bushfires and are 5 to 10 times bigger than those of many other countries. The only practical way to mitigate large extreme bushfires is with landscape level prescribed burning.
Australia’s bushfire fighting equipment is focused on putting water on fires, which only works with controllable bushfires of less than 3500 kw/m. Much consulted bushfire expert Dr Tolhurst, told a public lecture on 6 August 2009:
“Firefighting equipment, even aeroplanes dropping water, can suppress a fire only when it’s energy output is 3500 – 4000 kilowatts per metre… At it’s peak this fire (a 2009 extreme bushfire) would reach some 38 times that intensity, – 150,000 kilowatts per metre… More than 90% of the damage and life loss occurs...(in)...really big fires…We need to plan, research and design for really big fires, not the other 99%.(Associate Professor Kevin Tolhurst, Fire ecology & Management, Department of Forest & Ecosystem Science, University of Melbourne & Member of The Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre).