Fires have been a feature of the Australian continent ever since it broke away from the Gondwanan landmass 50 million years ago.
Today, fire is a significant public safety issue as well as an issue for our native habitats and the many tens of thousands of species that live within them.
Most eucalypt forests and woodlands, heathlands, grasslands and banksia woodlands have evolved to be dependent on occasional fire in many ways.
But different habitats have very different responses to fire. Some, such as alpine areas, are not fire dependent and others, like rainforests, are damaged or destroyed by fire.
The Bushfires Royal Commission recommended a statewide fuel reduction burn target of 5% of public land (390,000 hectares) each year.
But the evidence is increasing that this overly simplistic target is not the best way to increase public safety, and it is likely to lead to long-term damage to our finest natural areas.
Independent monitor calls for burn target review
Ecologists fear burn overkill
The 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission recommended a tripling of annual prescribed burning in Victoria, but leading ecologists are voicing serious concerns about such massive burn regime. Rachel Carbonell reports for Radio National.
Reducing fuel for fire
The main problem with the Victorian Government's acceptance of a large statewide fuel-reduction burn target is that such a simple solution won't solve a complex problem, writes Phil Ingamells in the Weekly Times.
Fire and biodiversity - notes from the symposium
Fire - what's on the record
There is a lot of nonsense talked about fire. Not least in this regard are the claims and counter-claims about how much controlled burning once happened in Victoria, and what should happen in the future.
VNPA response to Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission
In response to the findings of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission the VNPA has prepared three issues papers. You can download them below:
> Royal Commission into the 2009 fires
> Royal Commission and planned burning
> More to learn about fire before setting a burn-off target
> Rethink fuel reduction burns
> Planned burns and clearing will not stop catastrophic fire events