Three prescribed burns have been successfully completed in the Southern Flinders Ranges, covering an area of approximately 400 hectares in Mount Brown Conservation Park and Mount Remarkable National Park.
The burns, conducted by Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) staff from the Northern and Yorke Region and Adelaide, are part of a state-wide programme of prescribed burning that is carried out in spring and autumn when conditions are favourable.
DEWNR Fire Operations Officer Jacob Beinke said strategically placed burns in the landscape help reduce the chance of fire spreading in large areas of native vegetation and minimise the impact of bushfires on communities.
“Burns that have been carried out in the Spring Creek area, west of the Mt Remarkable Range, will help protect the township of Melrose in the event of a large fire,” Mr Beinke said.
“Prescribed burning also provides a valuable training opportunity for local firefighters who work in the steep and dangerous terrain of the Southern Flinders every fire season.”
The objective of the burns is to reduce fuel loads in public land, prevent the spread of bushfire within Mount Remarkable National Park, minimise the impact of fire on the landscape and protect assets and communities.
About 30 firefighters attended and monitored the fires which were lit by a helicopter and contained to established boundaries within the parks by DEWNR firefighters, with assistance from SA Water, Forestry SA and local volunteers from Wilmington CFS.
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.
DEWNR Fire Management Officer Ken Anderson said environmental factors are taken into account before burns are carried out and often fire boundaries are moved if there are any environmental issues.
“While a prescribed burning in these hills is very challenging and has risks, we believe that a proactive approach to fire management is best in the long term,” Mr Anderson said.
The prescribed burning programme has been undertaken across government land in the Southern Flinders Ranges during the last ten years, with more burns planned for next spring and autumn.
Prescribed burns are funded by the State Government, through DEWNR Fire and Flood Management.