The main thrust of the reading is the comparison of modern day fires and the ancient fires in Australia. The author brings out the contract between the fires. The old day fires in Australia, which the author refers to as Aborigines bushfires is depicted to have been of greater importance to the livelihood of people at that time. Aborigine’s bushfires were never as devastated as present or modern Australia fires.
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There were little or minimal killer fires in Australia because they knew to prevent such fires and worked harder to make the fire malleable. The bushfires also never had devastating effects because the country was properly looked after and it much harder for large scale bushfires occurring. Bush burning during the period was controlled, predetermined by season and predictable.
Additionally, burning was purposefully done to either benefit animals, allow re-vegetation, and attracting game. The locals had proper timing, and frequency helped regulate fire intensity (Gammage, 2011). Conversely, modern Australia fires are more devastating than the Aborigine fires. This is attributed to cluttered, grassy and scrubby vegetation cover.
Furthermore, the devastating fires are attributed to poor biodiversity conservation and lack of skills, awareness, and inclination to fight such fires. The forests are dense today, which is a great risk in case of fire breakup. The present generation is more centralized and disregards the local knowledge that is vital in fire management (Gammage, 2011).
The author observes that killer fires are prevalent today due to modern society’s lack of important knowledge in the control of such fires. The main issue arising from the reading is the present day devastating effects of the modern fires as compared to the old days when the fire was an ally in Australia.
From the presentation of the explanation of the causes of this phenomenon, it is clear that the differences in the utilization of the biodiversity are the key indicator for the variance. Another key issue arising from the commentary is the differences in the management of the biodiversity between the past Australian society and the modern society that was created after the arrival of the European.
I tend to agree with the fact that poor management of the natural resources or rather biodiversity is an explanation for the devastating effects of the bushfires presently. I also agree with the authors’ suggestion that for the present Australian society to combat this killer fires effectively, local knowledge on how to manage fires and biodiversity a critical strategy in the elimination of the fires and its devastating effects.
Gammage, B. (2011). Fire in 1788: The Closest Ally. Australian Historical Studies, 42(2): 277–288.