It is true that fuel reduction nearby can improve the chances of buildings but they still need to be defended during a fire.
It is also true that lower fuel levels on a wider scale reduce the intensity of a wildfire.
However, in fires such as we have seen over the last few months, fuel reduction (by burning or other means) would not be practical because of the scale of these events.
Even fuel reduction along roadsides is of limited value.
To afford protection against radiant heat to vehicles and their occupants the fuel reduction zone would have to be unacceptably and impracticably wide.
Editorial: Memories short in fuel debate
Wide scale fuel reduction to prevent serious fires, as advocated by some people is impractical for a number of reasons mainly involving seasonal opportunity and the need for a very large work force.
I fear we are going to see the usual flood of "expert" advice as a reaction to current events.
But I hope we will not see a repeat of the knee-jerk reaction that resulted, after the 2009 fires, in the decision to burn a set percentage of the state each year.
There was a lot of pointless burning of bushland that presented no threat to assets, mostly carried out at a time of year that was not optimal for environmental maintenance.
I believe that it was abandoned not only because of this, but because there was simply not enough time when conditions were suitable to carry out effective fuel reduction.