An age-old tradition could well be the solution to a contemporary problem: wildfires, which are also occurring again on a large scale in Europe this summer. Due to heat and drought, fire can spread rapidly in more and more nature reserves. In Australia, where this problem has existed for years, the Aboriginal community is now drawing attention to their way of forest management.
Centuries ago, they already managed to fight large fires by starting smaller fires themselves. And with large parts of Australia’s wildlife going up in flames every summer, practicing that tradition could change a lot.
According to the Australian science institute CSIRO, the dry bushes and grass, along with the extreme weather, lead to severe bushfires. And by allowing the grass and bushes to burn controlled, the uncontrolled fire can spread less. A method that the Aboriginal community has been drawing attention to for years.
Cultural burning is not only looked at in Australia to combat large wildfires. Scientists in the United States are also looking at how the indigenous people coped with forest fires. They had a similar method there.
At the beginning of this year, a new law was passed in the US in favour of cultural burning. People who use controlled fire as firefighting can no longer be liable for damage if the fire gets out of hand. In this way, the threshold for applying the method has become much lower.
In Europe, fire is sometimes fought with fire, but this indigenous way is not yet widely used.