VAFI CEO Tim Johnston has addressed concerns with timber harvesting being linked to the tragic Black Saturday bushfires

Mr Johnston has identified that the University of Melbourne's Professor Peter Attiwill AM refuted these claims in a letter to the Herald Sun on August 4, 2014. Professor Attiwill wrote:

"Many of Australia’s leading fire scientists simply do not agree that timber harvesting increases fire intensity (Logging raises risk, 4/8), thereby contributing to increased deaths and property damage.

Research in 2013 by fire experts around Australia, including the University of Melbourne, found bushfires did not burn more intensely in forests where there has been timber harvesting than in National Parks and reserves where there is no harvesting.

In fact, aerial imagery taken after the 2009 bushfires highlighted that areas of young forest regrowing after timber harvesting were some of the only areas unburnt during the high-intensity stages of the wildfire.

The reality is the small amount of forest harvested for timber means these areas do not have an impact on overall fire severity."

Mr Johnston has further highlighted that the timber industry plays an integral role in fire-fighting efforts across the state each fire season.

"VAFI and our members will continue to support the community and the state with resources to fight the threat of bushfires in Victoria," said Mr Johnston.