There’s a 60,000-Year-Old Way to Help Stop Australia Burning
Australia’s indigenous people say the bushfire-ravaged country is paying the price for ignoring their expertise in managing the ecology of the world’s-driest inhabited continent.
The fires have already burned more than 6 million acres — an area the size of Massachusetts — and caused smoke haze to blanket Sydney and other cities. With a deepening drought suggesting there’s no end in sight to the crisis, indigenous fire practitioner Victor Steffensen is calling for a radical change in how the land is managed.
“The Western mindset is always about dealing with problems while they’re doing damage — it’s reactive,” Steffensen, 46, said from Cairns in the nation’s far northeast. “If we can use our way, these types of fires will never get the chance to start.”