For millennia, fire has been a natural feature of many Australian environments, and a major driver of vegetation change. Some vegetation communities are well adapted to, and benefit from, regular fire, while other vegetation communities exist only because they are rarely burnt.

Similarly, the effects of fire on fauna may be positive or negative, and direct or indirect, depending heavily on the scale and intensity of the burn. Fire also has the potential to cause changes in aquatic ecosystems, particularly when a large volume of post-fire sediment is washed into rivers and streams.

Forest in central Victoria a couple of years after being burnt