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Upcoming burns

Upcoming burns - the new webpage goes live

The Autumn prescribed burn season has begun, and this year a new interactive Upcoming Prescribed Burns webpage on the DEWNR website can help to keep you informed.

The page displays a map with the locations and areas of prescribed burns scheduled for the upcoming season.  Symbols on the map show the status of each burn, ranging from proposed, to planned within 7 days, ignited, patrolled, safe and completed.

Below the map a table shows the burns, and each column can be sorted to help you find what you need. When you zoom in on the burn you are interested in on the map, the symbol changes to a shape of the proposed burn boundaries so you can see more detail around the location.

This webpage provides another way for people to stay informed about activities in their local area. It was developed in response to requests from the community for more publically available information regarding upcoming prescribed burns.

So be sure to check the page and find out what is happening this season near you!

Please note that the prescribed burn program is reliant on a number of factors including weather and the details can change on short notice.

Insider Guide: Managing fire

Go behind the scenes to discover the unique jobs and passionate people that care for South Australia’s environment.

Learn about Tony Pratt, a Senior Project Fire Fighter in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region. The story can be found on DEWNR's Good Living Blog.


Remnant vegetation at Deep Creek Conservation Park

Burning a win for restoration at Deep Creek Conservation Park

With so many factors at play to determine the appropriate timing of a prescribed burn, it’s a real win when it can be done at the perfect time to benefit a dominant plant species in the area.
Xanthorrhoea semiplana, commonly known as Yaccas or Grasstrees, is an iconic plant species in Deep Creek Conservation Park. They play an important role in the natural ecosystem, and burning the plants at the right time stimulates flowering and seeding.

In Autumn 2016 a 270 hectare prescribed burn was conducted in the south-western end of Deep Creek Conservation Park. The burn carried well through the thick vegetation, and was extinguished in the late afternoon as the predicted sea fog rolled in and dampened the conditions down.

This particular burn stimulated a mass flowering of the many Xanthorrhoea semiplana in the burn area, which is now providing benefits not just for this piece of land, but also for a large scale restoration project on degraded land within the Park.
Seed availability can be a challenge for such projects, as direct sowing of seed requires large quantities to be collected. Seed collectors are regulated by permits and are careful not to collect too much from and given area, being sure to leave plenty there for both the creatures that eat the seed, and hopefully, for the next generation of plants. The issue with Xanthorrhoea semiplana and the reason this burn was so beneficial is that usually there is not a large enough quantity of seed for large revegetation projects.

The inclusion of Xanthorrhoea semiplana seed in this restoration project will provide benefits for local fauna; these plants produce a valuable source of nectar for birds, as well as shelter for small mammals, birds and lizards. Yaccas are very slow growing plants, but they do germinate readily from seed.

Yaccas are not the only species that benefit from fire. Fire stimulates many native plants to flower and seed, release stored seed and germinate. Most South Australian ecosystems have evolved with fire over millions of years and for some species, fire plays an important part in their life cycles. Recently burnt areas are often a great source of seed for restoration projects, and fire continues to play an important role in regenerating plant communities for flora and fauna.

More about Xanthorrhoeas
Yaccas can live for a long time, and their “trunks” are actually accumulated leaf stems stacked on top of each other. It can take around 30 years before a significant trunk is achieved. They are also an important plant for Indigenous people, parts of the flower spikes were used in spear making, as a sweet nectar to make drinks from and as a resin to bind tools.

Mount Lofty Ranges Chestnut Rumped Heathwren (Photo: Danny McCreadie)

Habitat for heathwrens - biodiversity burns

DEWNR fire ecologist Kirstin Abley has been getting the word out there about how we are trying to help one of our rare and endangered birds in the Mount Lofty Ranges through the prescribed burn program.

Check out the full story here:

Image Caption if needed

Ahead of the front - how spot fires happen

In the wake of the devastating 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria more research is being done into spot fires, how they happen and the role they play in the spread of bushfires.

Find out more in this recent article from the CSIRO here:

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