An increase in the frequency of fires and drought-like conditions could result in an ecological tipping point

The Victorian government’s move to dump the controversial policy on planned burn-offs, which are supposed to reduce fuel for bushfires, of 5 percent of bushland has been made in response to the Lancefield fire.

fires
fires
In October last year, a controlled backburn near the Victorian town of Lancefield broke containment lines, by the time firefighters got the fire under control 3,000 hectares of land and four houses had been reduced to ash.

Business24

Following public backlash, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews announced an independent review into the incident.

The Inspector-General for Emergency Management returned a damning report, criticizing Victoria’s burn targets for not focusing on high-risk areas.

On Tuesday, the state government said it would follow the report’s recommendations, replacing the strict 5-percent target with more tailored strategies in the coming months.

Victoria’s Environment, Climate Change and Water Minister Lisa Neville, said the new tactics would open up a dialogue between rural towns and Central Fire Authority firefighters, giving them more discretion about when and where they reduced fuel levels.

“It’s not about more or less burning, but ensuring we are reducing the risk to life and property,” Neville said on Tuesday.

“It means communities will get more of a say on how we reduce the risk of bushfire, including where and when planned burning should occur.”

The fire controls were introduced after Victoria’s Black Saturday in 2009, the most destructive bushfire in Australia’s recorded history.

Under the new plan, regions will be able to pick and choose their individual fire-safety priorities.

In last month’s 2015-16 budget, the state government committed 271.5 million U.S. dollars for bushfire management. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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