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Logging increases fire risk

Victorians are being warned to prepare for bigger and more intense firestorms than those experienced on the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, with continued “salvage logging” in forest areas increasing the risks.

Australian National University ecologist David Lindenmayer says Victoria has just undergone its biggest fuel reduction burn since 1939 and something needs to be done to further protect the state against another bushfire catastrophe.

“We now have younger trees which are more likely to burn more intensely as a consequence of the past 50 to 100 years of logging,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“We need a comprehensive forest management policy in Victoria – we can’t keep logging it because half of it has just been burned. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

“The removal of trees by logging creates microclimatic conditions that lead to increased drying of the understorey vegetation and the forest floor, and a corresponding elevated fire risk,” Professor Lindenmayer said.

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