Pirra Jungku: How the loss of traditional fire management has changed desert fire regimes

Date: 13, Oct, 2021
Author(s):   Jesse Ala’i, Courtney Brown, Braedon Taylor, Ed Blackwood, Sarah Legge, Malcolm Lindsay
Publisher: TSR Hub

Indigenous people have used traditional fire management practices in Australia for thousands of years. In desert landscapes, regular, intentional burning of many small-scale fires created a fine-grained mosaic of post-fire regrowth patches that may have limited the spread of the massive wildfires that are common today in these regions. We aimed to understand how loss of traditional Indigenous fire management practices over time has impacted landscape-wide changes to fire regimes. We compared contemporary satellite imagery with aerial photographs of Karajarri Country from the 1940s, when Karajarri people were still living in the desert, and traditional fire management practices were still in use.