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Wildfires – fires that occur in the summer months, burning at high intensity across large areas – are a major threat to biodiversity in central Australia.
Fire management at Newhaven involves prescribed burning in the cooler winter months (usually April-August) and, if required, fire suppression in the summer months (October-February). Prescribed burning is delivered predominately by ground burning operations. This work is supplemented by aerial incendiary operations – dropping incendiaries from helicopter.
Prescribed burning is intended to create a patchwork of fuel loads of different ages. This limits the spread of any wildfires (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).
In 2014, AWC staff: