A guide to fire in the landscape
Reef Catchments Solutions staff have developed a range of fire management tools in consultation with volunteer rural fire brigades, fire wardens, fire scientists and key landholders to support their fire management activities.
- Fire management guidelines
- Brigade and property level mapping
- Fire history mapping
- Fire management expertise
Why fire management?
Fire is recognised as an essential land management tool for a wide range of purposes. It is managed on a variety of tenure types across Australia by many different people and organisations, with various levels of success.
The three piers of fire management are:
- Achieving primary production outcomes
- Protecting life and property
- Biodiversity conservation.
Collectively, there is substantial fire-knowledge to draw upon, but this knowledge is difficult to access given the size of the nation, bio-geographical variation and lack of documentation, especially where the knowledge is held by individuals more focused on operations than research.
Australia’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy identifies changing fire regimes as one of six key threats to Australia’s biodiversity. The changes to fire regimes include: too frequent burning; an absence of fire in vegetation that requires fire; burning entire patches rather than mosaics; or burning at the wrong time of year.
Fire management decisions are strongly influenced by economic market forces, societal expectations, and personal ethics. Realignment of fire management decisions to achieve biodiversity conservation outcomes will be best achieved if it also results in better economic outcomes, better balances between private and public responsibilities, and breaking down barriers to adoption of fire planning across a range of land tenures. Biodiversity considerations can be incorporated when using fire for wildfire hazard reduction and primary production outcomes.
Environmental policy and strategy development
Reef Catchments Solutions recognizes that public policy and the private sector’s responsibility and capacity to fully benefit from Government services is a highly complicated arena.
The Reef Catchments Solution team is uniquely placed to facilitate sound communication, engagement and partnerships across diverse stakeholders by virtue of our extensive experience in the public and private sectors, non-Government and not-for-profit sectors, industry peak bodies and community groups.
Our products are designed for any organization that has a need to identify and resolve conflicts between stakeholders, and aspirations to create more productive and efficient partnerships across sectors. As an independent and non-political organization, Reef Catchments Solutions offers a multi-partisan outlook that has the demonstrable capacity to craft practical and innovative solutions.
Our extensive networks within the public and private sectors provides us with the opportunity to efficiently and time effectively identify policy outlooks, changing needs and future outlooks so that our clients are fully informed of the potential solutions.
Environmental and landscape planning
Fire is one of the most useful land management tools in achieving balanced, sustainable and profitable land management. Thoughtfully applied, fire can be used to achieve both conservation and production outcomes, reduce the risks of wildfire, and to achieve reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Across Australia there are also a range of legal obligations on landholders related to the way they manage fire.
Reef Catchments Solutions provides a comprehensive range of fire management planning support products to public and private landholders who are interested in fully exploiting the power of fire management. We have an established national network of experts with extensive experience and knowledge in all aspects of applied fire management. Our team can provide customised fire management guidelines and management plans for a single landholding or an entire region.
Our products cover all aspects of fire management from pasture management, risk assessment and mitigation, management of conservation interests, training and mentoring. We specialise in building the knowledge, experience and capacity within organisations to enable them to be at the cutting edge of fire management.
Queensland Bushfire Consortium
The Queensland Bushfire Consortium is a collaborative movement formed by a number of key fire stakeholders from across the state. Private landholders and volunteer rural fire brigades are responsible for fire management across 93% of Queensland. It has been identified that a lack of effective partnerships is the most significant obstacle to improving fire management practices at a landscape scale across Queensland.
Their mission is to create statewide partnerships and agreements’, allowing for a consensus on what good fire management practice is in terms of; conservation, production and hazard reduction. This will allow for a holistic system to be created for planning and implementing fire management strategies at a landscape level.
Fire management guidelines have been prepared for the Clarke-Connors Range, Cape York bioregion, Brigalow Belt bioregion and the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation.
(See examples below)
Barratta Creek Guidelines
Cape York Fire Management Guidelines
Clark Connors Range Guidelines
Gulf Savannah Guidelines
Lantana Fire Management Guidelines
Northern Quoll Fire Management Guidelines
Rubber Vine Fire Management Guidelines
The project team have developed tools to assist with control of major weeds such as Lantana and Rubber Vine and promoting a fire regime for the conservation of Northern Quolls.