South Australia’s autumn 2019 prescribed burn season commenced in late-March, with smoke plumes due to appear around the state over the coming months.
Forty-three burns are planned across approximately 7,600 hectares of different land tenures in strategic areas as part of the South Australian Government’s rolling prescribed burn program.
A burn on the Eyre Peninsula was the first one scheduled, while other regions around the state have been waiting for a rise in fuel moisture levels and suitable weather conditions in specific areas to begin their programs.
Department for Environment and Water (DEW) Acting Group Executive Director of Parks and Regions Grant Pelton said the department will complete as many burns as possible while weather conditions are suitable.
“We will work extensively with other land management agencies, the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) and local communities in preparing for these events,” Mr Pelton said.
“We are also working with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the CFS to find the right conditions to burn in different areas and vegetation types.
“The window of opportunity for burning in autumn can be challenging: we need to wait until there is enough moisture in the fuel to make it safe, then get as many done as possible before significant rainfall arrives and it’s too wet and cold.”
Prescribed burns are a vital part of fire management in South Australia, reducing fuel loads across strategic areas of public and private land to help limit the spread of bushfires and protect communities.
Burns are only carried out when weather conditions are considered safe, and factors such as seasonal conditions, dryness of vegetation and site geography are all carefully assessed ahead of each burn.