The 50,000-year-old method can extinguish Australian forest fires

A 50,000-year-old secret of the Aboriginal people in Australia can extinguish wildfire is raging in this country.

According to CNN, the state of New South Wales last week had to declare a state of emergency, amid worsening weather conditions that could lead to a greater risk of wildfires.

Bill Gammage - a historian and a professor of teaching at the Australian National University - said local Aboriginal people have a deep knowledge base on the land. They can sense the grass and know how much it can burn, they know the type of flame corresponding to each type of soil, how long and how often it is burned.

Picture 1 of The 50,000-year-old method can extinguish Australian forest fires
Forest fires broke out violently in New South Wales, Australia, December 31, 2019.(Photo: AFP / TTXVN)

'Such skills, they possess and we do not know,' Professor Gammage revealed.

Aboriginal technology is partly made up of fire prevention: removing flammable materials such as debris, bushes, bushes and certain types of grass. Aboriginal people caused small-scale fires themselves, not so fierce to clean up combustible materials in the area. Smaller fires will reduce the impact on insects and animals living in the area, as well as protect trees and forest canopy.

Although the government firefighters still use dangerous offloading techniques and control of combustible materials, Professor Gammage says that is not enough.

'Some things have been done, but not enough honesty. We do not really pay attention to the vegetation and creatures threatened by fire. Secondly, we don't really know when the best time of year is, how much fire can burn and how to get through the fire front. '

So why is aboriginal technique difficult to apply?

The creation of small-scale , low-intensity flames to contribute to preventing the larger fire from spreading seems to be common knowledge. In fact, doing so is very difficult.

'It is related to the level of knowledge. The time you start a small fire is what time of year, when the day. How long do you want that small fire to start? What are the plants around there? What is the weather condition? In general, we need a lot of indigenous skills , 'the historian explains.

Taking evidence from ancient Europeans, they also learned how to put out the fire of Aboriginal Australians by creating small fires. However, their fire was too big and created even more flammable dirt, which in turn led to a greater fire.'Even if people watch aboriginal people control the fire, and see the results, they won't learn it , ' Professor Gammage said.

Current weather conditions in Australia are hot and dry, which makes forest fires spread faster and more difficult to control. According to Justin Leonard, a researcher who specializes in forest fires and land management in Australia, the Aboriginal method still works.'The lands that have undergone preventive combustion have resulted in less intense fires.'

However, this method requires higher costs and more resources. Leonard says it takes a lot of labor to start small-scale fires everywhere. Even just using this tactic near inhabited towns can be very laborious.

Professor Gammage noted that the high cost was always a top concern of the government when it came to using the aboriginal fire extinguishing method, but he did not agree with the view.

"The current fire suppression campaign is much more expensive. The fires destroyed 18 million hectares of land. It's a shame we let such terrible fires happen. Aboriginal people know and take care of them." caring for their land is what Australians should think about and learn from, '' Mr. Gammage concluded.

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