The Scion rural fire research team has authored a chapter in a new book produced by AFAC.
Titled ‘Prescribed Burning in Australasia – the science, practice and politics of burning the bush’, the book includes a chapter on ‘New Zealand perspectives on prescribed burning’.
Prescribed burning is an essential part of bushfire mitigation and land management in Australia, and while less so in NZ, burning still remains an important land management here as well.
The book is centred around three themes: the social context of burning, evidence-led objectives, and diversity of expert opinions on the complexity and scope of bushfire knowledge. It includes contributions from more than 50 experts in the science and practice of prescribed burning.
Using findings from a recent review and survey on the use of fire here in NZ, together with other local literature, the NZ chapter answers a series of questions on whether prescribed burning is effective, what evidence there is to support this and how we can measure effectiveness. It also discusses what limitations there are to use of burning and how we can mitigate these limitations, what external factors influence the use and effectiveness of burning, and what knowledge gaps exist that prevent better targeting and understanding of prescribed burning in NZ.