Gum trees can reduce fire hazard
Following the unprecedented Australian
wildfires in the spring and summer of 2019/2020 (some of which are still burning as I write) it is likely that some people will demand the clearing of gum trees to reduce the fuel available for future fires.
On this page I argue that, far from increasing fire hazard, gum trees can reduce it because they greatly reduce the amount of grass and other flammable material at ground level.
I have made these observations on my own property near Clare, about 140 km north of Adelaide in South Australia.
I have observed at least four nearby bushfires, the closest of which came within a few hundred metres of my property (photos below), in the nearly 30 years that my wife and I have owned the place.
The ferocity of a fire depends on a number of factors, the amount of fuel available, where that fuel is (near ground level or in the tree-tops), how dry the fuel is, temperature, strength of the wind, and the humidity.
I make no pretence of being any sort of expert on wildfires.
This page was written 2020/01/18, modified 2020/02/17 – ©
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©