Hot, destructive fires that cover very large areas are a major threat to the health of our country. Hot, unhealthy fires damage important cultural places, and sensitive plant communities including Allosyncarpia forest, wet rainforest, and sandstone heathland communities, as well as affecting the distribution and abundance of native animals. They also produce a significant amount of greenhouse gas and so contribute to global warming.
Large, hot fires occur in the mid to late dry season. There have always been some fires in the later dry season, usually from lightning strikes or lit by people in specific areas for specific purposes such as landowners applying traditional fire regimes on foot on country. However, if the country has not been broken up with lots of patchy burns earlier in the year, these late fires burn very hot and travel a long way.
We are continuing our effective annual early burning regime, increasing the proportion of ground burning by vehicle and on foot. We are educating young people about fire management, incorporating Learning on Country students, and we are broadening our fire education program with a wider target group. We are reducing and managing intense uncontrolled fires in the landscape.
Our long-term goal is that there will be either the same amount or fewer wildfires in the Djelk region as occurred in 2015, and healthier native plants and animals.