In early-colonial Australia, invading colonisers regularly marvelled at the local environment’s park-like aspect, counting themselves multiply blessed that ‘nature’ (including divine providence) should have come to furnish them with ready-made grazing runs. In fact, the Australian landscape’s benign aspect was the cumulative consequence of millennia of Indigenous management, in particular the use of fire to reduce undergrowth and to contain spontaneous conflagrations within local limits. Within a few years of Europeans taking over the country and discontinuing Native fire-management practices, the current cycle of massive bushfire disasters was set in train. The land that settlers seize is already value-added. There is no such thing as wilderness, only depopulation.
Patrick Wolfe, Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race