Fire Management Planning for Private Properties
  • Last updated:
  • 26 Aug 2019

Last October about 20 Land for Wildlife landholders attended a fire management planning workshop run by council in conjunction with the South East Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium. This was the sixth time such a workshop has been offered for members.

The objective of these full day workshops is to provide an overview of fire ecology, legalities, preparedness as well as practical advice that can be applied at home. Participants leave the workshop with a better understanding of fire and the basis of a fire management plan completed for their own property.

Some participants choose not to burn and prefer to be well prepared in the event of a wildfire, while others undertake planned burns using fire as a habitat management tool, or for hazard reduction purposes (or both).

The workshop included a field walk comparing a patch of forest that had recently been burnt with a patch that was long unburnt. It was interesting to note that the recently burnt patch has seen the emergence of a Pultenaea dominated shrub layer in some areas, a species that was absent prior to the fire. The patch was a great demonstration site of how fire can be used to establish and maintain a mosaic of habitats with floristic and structural diversity.

Plenty of practical information and advice was also shared on the day by experienced fire practitioners and landholders. For example, the track mounted remote controlled flail mower can be used to create temporary fire management lines. It can work on very steep slopes and being only 1.2m wide it can weave in between most trees. It provides an alternative to conventional machinery that scrapes the ground, leaving bare earth, which can be problematic on steep slopes and erosion prone soils.

Fire management is a complex issue, especially when applied in our highly fragmented and densely populated landscape. It can also be an emotive topic which evokes strong opinions. In South East Queensland we average considerably less severe fire weather days compared with southern states, however recent bush fires at Kiamba and Diamond Valley are reminders that wildfires can and do happen on the Sunshine Coast. It is recommended that every bushland property should have a fire management plan.

These workshops are offered to Land for Wildlife participants every couple of years to assist in developing a specific fire management plan for your property. They also provide the latest science based fire and biodiversity information as well as life and property protection considerations from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. The South East Queensland Fire and Biodiversity consortium web site has a plethora of information as well as numerous free downloads. To learn more also visit the website of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Article and Photo provided by Nick Clancy