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staff discussing a planned burn on private land
Discussing a planned burn on private land

The State Government’s Burning on Private Lands Program is a collaboration between National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and private landholders to strategically reduce fuel in high-risk areas across the state.

Reducing bushfire risk is an ongoing and shared responsibility and everyone has a role.

What is the reason for prescribed burns?

Where an area of high bushfire risk is identified, fuel reduction techniques, including prescribed burns, are used to reduce the amount of fuel available for bushfires, to manage native vegetation and to protect biodiversity across strategic areas of South Australia.

Reducing fuel is important as it can reduce the speed and intensity of bushfires which makes them easier to control, provides a safer environment for firefighters, and ultimately saves lives and property.

As fire doesn’t respect property boundaries, fuel reduction programs must also work beyond them. This is critical in areas where assets have been built in high fuel areas on private land, particularly in the urban fringes.

How areas are identified

High bushfire risk locations are identified in Bushfire Management Area Plans developed by 9 bushfire management committees across the state. Once high bushfire risk locations are identified in the plans, the CFS, NPWS and local councils work with private landholders to determine the best way to manage the risk, including using prescribed burning.

What is expected from private landholders?

Unfortunately not all properties are suitable for burning or may not present a big enough risk to make it worthwhile. However, if your property is considered suitable, and you're happy to proceed, you'll need to sign a letter of consent to allow NPWS staff onto your property to undertake environmental assessments, prepare for and conduct the burn.

Preparation of the site and maintenance of the land following the burn will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

How you can be involved

Private landholders can receive help in the following ways:

  • If your land is in a high-risk area, and is in a strategic location, you may be approached by NPWS to discuss options to reduce your bushfire risk to help protect the community. Priority is given to properties near populated areas.
  • If you own land that you think may pose a bushfire risk to the wider community and you are not able to manage the fuel yourself you can contact NPWS. They will let you know whether your property has been identified as a risk and discuss options to manage it.

Burning on private lands

Further information

  • If your property is in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region contact NPWS Fire Management Officers Tim Groves, phone 0427 018 654; or Derek Snowball, phone 0417 010 358.
  • If your property is on Kangaroo Island contact NPWS Fire Management Officer Paul Cory or phone 0447 726 664.
  • Find out how a burn on private land helped protect Port Lincoln
  • Take a look at what goes into conducting a prescribed burn in this guide.