Spring prescribed burn season gets underway

Saturday 19 September 2020

MEDIA RELEASE

Key strategic areas across South Australia on both public and private land will be targeted as the State Government starts its spring prescribed burns season to reduce the risk of bushfires.

A total of 92 burns covering roughly 8,000 hectares are planned across the state in spring 2020 and autumn 2021.

The prescribed burns are carried out on both public and private land by National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia (NPWSSA), in partnership with the Country Fire Service (CFS).

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the locations are strategically chosen to help build a landscape-scale approach to manage the intensity and extent of future bushfires with the first burn for spring 2020 occurring last week on a private property in Carey Gully.

“Last summer’s devastating bushfires have reinforced just how important prescribed burning is in helping to reduce the risk of bushfires,” said Minister Speirs.

“Prescribed burns are done strategically to reduce fuel loads across the landscape which helps reduce the intensity and spread of a bushfire, and provide safer access corridors for fire fighters.

“This season there are 92 planned prescribed burns targeting areas deemed high risk by NPWSSA, SA Water and CFS, and which will complement the work done by individual property owners to reduce the impact of a bushfire on their land and in their community.

“They also play an important role in regenerating habitats for native plants and animals.”

Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Vincent Tarzia said it was important that landholders work with government to reduce bushfire risk.

“The warmer weather should serve as a reminder for everyone to start preparing for the fire danger season which is only a few weeks away,” said Minister Tarzia

“All South Australians have a responsibility to be ready by having a bushfire survival plan and reducing fire hazards around their properties.

“This includes simple tasks such as mowing lawns, trimming over-hanging trees or branches and clearing gutters.”

“Keep yourself and your family safe by preparing before a bushfire starts.”

Minister Speirs said the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a wetter than average spring, which could impact the Government’s ability to complete all its planned burns this season.

“The number of prescribed burns that can be safely and effectively completed in any season is always subject to a window of specific weather conditions and we will never burn unless we can achieve a safe outcome,” said Minister Speirs.

“They are part of an ongoing, rolling three-year program of bushfire mitigation that allows flexibility to move burns to another season or year according to the prevailing and localised conditions.”

The State Government is supporting the state and national inquiries into the 2019-20 bushfire season and their findings will be used for continuous improvement in fire management in national parks across the state.

If the smell or sight of smoke or the sight of fire or lightning triggers distress, please know this is a normal reaction after our recent experience of bushfires. You can seek support with regional access for free professional phone counselling on 1300 032 186 and visit the Recovery SA website for more resources.

For the most up-to-date information on prescribed burns follow @SAENVIRWATER on Twitter.

A list of planned prescribed burns is available on the DEW website.

You can also subscribe for updates on NPWSSA prescribed burns straight to your inbox: environment.sa.gov.au/topics/fire-management/stay-informed