Hon Ian Hunter MLC
Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation
This autumn, 54 prescribed burns are planned, covering about 10,500 hectares of landscape, including 450 hectares in the Mount Lofty Ranges.
Prescribed burning is the controlled use of fire to reduce fuel, manage native vegetation and protect biodiversity in strategic areas of South Australia. It is carried out during the autumn and spring months when conditions are favourable.
Environment Minister Ian Hunter said prescribed burns are a crucial measure to more easily control a bushfire, provide a safer environment for firefighters, and ultimately save lives and property.
“We work closely across government to carry out the annual fire management programme to reduce the impact of bushfires on our communities.
“A wetter than usual spring and summer means that conditions are right for prescribed burning a little earlier than usual in some areas this season. These conditions have also led to more vegetation growth, which means more fuel in the landscape,” he said.
Last year the State Government announced an extra $16.2 million to expand the programme to private lands, enabling a more effective landscape approach to fire mitigation.
This year’s burns programme will also include three burns on private land, following five other private land prescribed burns carried out last spring.
“Burning on public and now private land increases the prescribed burning programme’s effectiveness to reduce South Australia’s bushfire risk across the landscape," Minister Hunter said.
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.
Extreme weather last September and October delayed some of the spring prescribed burns, so six of the burns have been rolled over into this year’s autumn programme.
“The Bureau of Meteorology’s outlook is for a drier and warmer autumn, which if plays out as predicted, should provide an extended window to complete the burns,” Minister Hunter said.
The first prescribed burn of autumn is planned for Wednesday at Kellidie Bay Conservation Park on the Eyre Peninsula, earlier in the season than usual because of record summer rains promoting vegetation growth.
Visit the new interactive upcoming prescribed burns map for up-to-date, state-wide information. The web page also includes a location map, areas and status updates of scheduled prescribed burns.