There is no evidentiary record of this being "successful for centuries." After all, there are no written records.
On the face of it, if you start a fire in a bushland which is 100s of kilometres in breadth, how are Aboriginal people going to communicate and control such a blaze? They don't have access to:
- water pumps
There's some mythmaking going on at the moment in Australia about this.
I find it hard to take the claims at face value.