Firefighters have clearly stated that fires are more destructive because there’s so little moisture in the landscape (Source). This is because of drought and heat fuelled by climate damage. Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has also said very publicly that hazard reduction burns have not prevented these recent fires from destroying homes and killing people. (Source)
The window for so-called prescribed burning measures during winter months is getting smaller and smaller. This is because climate damage is making temperatures higher, and droughts longer and drier. This has been expressed numerous times by fire authorities.
There are also many downsides to a big increase in prescribed burning, including increased air pollution and the chance of fires getting out of control and damaging property and ecosystems. Prescribed burning is also very resource intensive and must be ecologically appropriate as it can do as much, and sometimes more damage to natural ecosystems as unplanned fires.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have highly sophisticated knowledge of burning techniques, from which communities and governments can learn so much. This crisis has further elevated the need to take greater leadership from First Nations communities on these issues.