Wildfires – fires that occur in the late dry season, burning at high intensity across large areas – are a major threat to biodiversity in the Kimberley. If not managed, such fires can cover 1 million hectares.
Fire management at Artesian Range involves prescribed burning in the early dry season (usually April-May) and, if required, fire suppression in the late dry (August – December). Prescribed burning is delivered by aerial incendiary operations – dropping incendiaries from helicopter – with supplementary ground burning operations.
Prescribed burning is intended to break-up country, creating a patchwork of fuel loads of different ages. This limits the spread of any wildfires later in the year (they go out, or can be put out, when they reach country which was burnt in prescribed operations) and, importantly, ensures that the landscape contains patches of vegetation that is old growth (which many animals need for food and shelter).
AWC’s fire management at the Artesian Range is implemented as part of the EcoFire project.
In the Artesian Range, AWC has halved the extent of late season fire scars in the Artesian Range since EcoFire began.
AWC has increased the proportion of the property that is “long unburnt” vegetation from 5% to 22%.
A ground-breaking partnership between the non-profit Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and Australian Capital Equity (ACE) is set to deliver a win for conservation and the regional economy in Australia’s remote Kimberley region.
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