Article by Guy Morgan, fire management officer, Sunshine Coast Council
Council fire management staff, with the assistance of a local Kabi Kabi representative and a fire management trainer, took advantage of a narrow window of suitable burn weather to complete a prescribed burn at the Maroochy regional bushland botanic gardens on Sunday 5th of July 2020.
This burn complements an adjacent burn undertaken on the site 2 years earlier. The burn provides hazard reduction and ecological outcomes within the Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pillularis) tall open forest.
The last burn on this part of the site was in 2009. This burn was in line with recommended ecological prescriptions for this forest type. Good conditions on site saw the retention of an ideal layer of forest litter on the ground and a patch mosaic of burnt and un-burnt areas. As anticipated, the wetter plant community on the lower slopes saw the fire self-extinguish in the late afternoon along the forest ecotone.
The burn also had human benefits, with six fire management recruits completing their fire training and practical assessment on the day. Kerry Jones, a local first nations Kabi Kabi representative, was one of the fire management recruits, with traditional owner representation now well on the way to becoming a reality on council’s fire management program.