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Recent Australian wildfires made worse by logging and associated forest management

The recent fires in southern Australia were unprecedented in scale and severity. Much commentary has rightly focused on the role of climate change in exacerbating the risk of fire. Here, we contend that policy makers must recognize that historical and contemporary logging of forests has had profound effects on these fires’ severity and frequency.

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Fig. 1: Fires within logged areas of native forests.

images 1–3 by C. Taylor; image 4 by R. M. Kooyman

Fig. 2: Fires within East Gippsland.

map by C. Taylor

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D.B.L., R.M.K., C.T., M.W. and J.E.M.W. contributed equally to the preparation of this paper.

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Correspondence to David B. Lindenmayer.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Lindenmayer, D.B., Kooyman, R.M., Taylor, C. et al. Recent Australian wildfires made worse by logging and associated forest management. Nat Ecol Evol 4, 898–900 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-1195-5

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