National Parks and Wildlife Service plans to conduct 56 prescribed burns across South Australia this spring, ahead of a predicted above average fire danger season.
A total of 38 burns are planned for the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region and the remaining 18 in other regions across the state. Burns will start this week.
AFAC, the National Council for Fire and Emergency Services, last month released its spring 2023 seasonal bushfire outlook, urging people nationwide to prepare now.
The report found much higher fuel loads are present across South Australia, requiring greater efforts for hazard reduction throughout spring before hotter weather arrives.
Above average rainfall across much of the state throughout early winter 2023 switched to below average rainfall during July in all but the far northeast of the state.
This has resulted in the fire danger outlook increasing from below average to above average for spring across much of the southern half of SA.
National Parks and Wildlife Service Fire Management Director Fiona Gill said reducing fuel hazards was important to limit the speed and intensity of bushfires.
‘It makes bushfires easier to control, provides a safer environment for firefighters, and ultimately saves lives and property,” Ms Gill said.
“Prescribed burns play a vital role in managing our landscapes and reducing the risk of bushfires across the state.
“The majority of prescribed burns are in the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges region because of a high concentration of people and assets next to national parks.
Ms Gill said NPWS fire crews took utmost care to carefully manage prescribed burns so smoke exposure was minimised.
She said some roads and/or trails may be closed or restricted to ensure public safety.
Prescribed burns help reduce fuel loads across public and private land, and regenerate habitats for native plants and animals, but are not the only tactic to reduce bushfire risk.
They are designed to enhance and support other mitigation measures, including mechanical thinning, slashing and weed control, to help achieve the best outcomes.
Every opportunity is taken to complete as many burns as possible in suitable weather and fuel conditions during spring and autumn as part of the fire management program.
Burns that are unable to be completed due to unsuitable weather are rolled over to the following spring or autumn as part of an ongoing, rolling 3-year mitigation program.
Prescribed burns are a shared responsibility between land management agencies (DEW, ForestrySA and SA Water), Country Fire Service, councils and private landholders.
A list of planned prescribed burns is available on the DEW website.