Over 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, indigenous people practiced a special form of environmental reform known as cultural burning.
Cultural burning, identified by Australian archaeologist Rhys Jones in 1969, is the practice of regularly and systematically burning patches of vegetation used in Australia to facilitate hunting, to reduce the frequency of major bush-fires, and to change the composition of plant and animal species in an area. This “fire-stick farming”, or “burning off”, reduces the fuel-load for a potential major bush fire, whilst fertilizing the ground and increasing the number of young plants, providing additional food for kangaroos and other fauna hunted for meat. It is regarded by indigenous people as good husbandry and “looking after the land”.
Through research in 1999, it was identified that smoke compounds, within liquid smoke replicated natures bushfire regeneration process, triggering many beneficial effects of cultural burning on the soil, including germination, promotion of plant health and reconditioning of the soil to maximise growth without emissions to the atmosphere and other environmental concerns associated with fire.