Environment SA News

Autumn prescribed burns about to start following summer fires

The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has today launched its annual autumn prescribed burn program which aims to reduce the risk and impact of bushfire across the state.

Autumn prescribed burns about to start following summer fires
The prescribed burn program aims to reduce the risk and impact of bushfire across the state.

The department delivers an annual prescribed burning program, working closely with the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS), SA Water and ForestrySA.

DEW spokesperson Brenton Grear said reducing fuel loads across public land remains a major priority for the State Government in an attempt to reduce the likelihood and impact of bushfire on communities and the environment.

“Prescribed burning is an important tool in our bushfire hazard reduction strategy, and it is important that we continue to conduct burns where and when it is safe to do so,” Mr Grear said.

“Reducing fuel loads has been proven to reduce the speed and intensity of bushfire, and this can reduce the risk to lives, homes, assets and the environment.

“However, as this past summer demonstrates, even the best fire prevention activities cannot stop bushfires occurring during extreme fire weather events.

“I acknowledge there are still high levels of distress amongst communities which have been severely impacted by bushfire this summer, and people in these communities may be concerned by smoke in the sky.

“But this needs to be balanced against requests from other areas of the community for more prescribed burns to be conducted, particularly on private land.

“This autumn 32 prescribed burns are planned, covering 6564 hectares of public and private land across the state. Fifteen of these burns, including seven burns on private land, are planned across 336 hectares in the high risk Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges region.

“We will also be taking into account potential smoke taint of grapes, and, in consultation with the wine industry, we will delay burns adjacent to vineyards to later in the season wherever possible.

“Strategic fuel reduction has significant benefit for communities and the environment, particularly now with our changing climate and an increase in the intensity and frequency of bushfires.

“Prescribed burning is also important ecologically, to maintain and protect animal habitats and to enhance biodiversity within parks and reserves.”

The autumn prescribed burning season is due to start today on Eyre Peninsula if conditions are suitable.

Factors such as weather conditions, dryness of vegetation and site geography are carefully assessed ahead of every prescribed burn, to manage risk.

Click here for further details of planned burns.