Pre-European Fire Regimes

Fire regimes prior to European settlement are reflected in the vegetation that was present prior indigenous dispossession, settlement and clearing.

Modelling has recreated what the vegetation may have looked like in 1750

Large areas of wet forest and swamps have been cleared and drained. Plains woodlands and forests have been cleared.

The changes in vegetation and natural and indigenous fire regimes have resulted in a potentially more fire-prone landscape.

Ecological Vegetation Class Groups in 1750

 

Ecological Vegetation Class Groups in 2005

Tolerable fire intervals

Detailed studies and modelling of vegetation in Victoria can explain how it has evolved with natural and indigenous fire.

The dependence on fire for reproduction or the requirement for no fire until plants and trees are old enough to reproduce can be expressed as upper and lower limits .

These can be seen in the following two maps.

For example at Yarram the expected fire interval would be between 15 and 90 years.

Minimum Tolerable Fire Interval (From the growth and reproduction habits of plant species present it is possible to say that fire frequency was generally no less than the figure shown)
Maximum Tolerable Fire Interval (From the growth and reproduction habits of plant species present it is possible to say that fire frequency was generally no more than the figure shown)