How could one tire of sunrise here? It refreshes the spirit. The lagoon has shrunk, almost vanished. There’s been no rain and bushfires are raging all over the State. The colour of today’s sunrise seems to have foretold the destruction. Fire management is such a controversial subject and an inexact science.
Bill Gammage who was a guest of our Readers & Writers Festival earlier this year says that while Australia now has a far larger population there are far fewer people involved in fire management than pre 1788 when all Aboriginal people were involved in caring for the land.
Aboriginal methods of fire control both protected them from major bushfire as well as creating grasslands for hunting. He believes that modern fire managers and pastoralists through their experience are edging towards the methods used by Aboriginal people, mostly so far as learning how to control fuel loads.
He says the Aboriginal experience shows that it is possible to control fire and to avoid catastrophic bushfires. “Fire is drought with legs.” The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia.