Spring prescribed burn program wraps up

Date posted: 22 December 2017

One of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources’ largest-ever spring prescribed burn programs has wrapped up, with 37 out of 49 planned burns completed.

Late season rains meant a number of the planned burns had to be postponed as the fuel was not dry enough.

Out of the completed burns, 18 were in the high-risk Mount Lofty Ranges region, on public land including Cleland Conservation Park, Morialta Conservation Park, Belair National Park, Little Para Reservoir Reserve and Mount Crawford Forest. Another 10 were carried out on private land on behalf of landholders in the Mount Lofty Ranges.

DEWNR Director, Fire and Flood Fiona Gill said the postponed burns would be rescheduled for autumn, or the next available opportunity.

“The number of prescribed burns that we can complete in any season is always subject to a window of very specific climatic conditions,” Ms Gill said.

“The prescribed burn program operates on a rolling multi-year plan, and needs to be flexible to accommodate the variable weather and fuel conditions we see every season.

“Prescribed burns only take place when vegetation is dry enough and during suitable weather conditions, and DEWNR conducts as many strategic prescribed burns as are safe to perform within this window.”

Prescribed burns are a vital part of the state’s fire management plan, and are used to reduce bushfire risk to assets, manage native vegetation, and protect biodiversity on strategic areas of public and private land across the state.

Burns are used to create strategic fire breaks, and reduce the rate of spread and the intensity of bushfires by creating areas with less fuel.

Some are also planned for environmental outcomes, such as stimulating regeneration or controlling weeds.

The State Government carries out prescribed burns on public land, such as national parks and reserves, SA Water land, and state forest reserves.

As of last year, it also began conducting burns on private land to allow for strategic fire management across the broader landscape.

For more information on fire management, visit http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/fire-management