A record number of prescribed burns on private land are planned this season as the Department for Environment and Water prepares to reduce bushfire risk in strategic areas across the state.
As part of a rolling program, 65 burns have been planned in spring and autumn to treat about 7300 hectares of bushfire fuel loads on National Parks, Crown land, council and SA Water land and private properties.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the State Government is working with landholders to prepare for the upcoming season.
“Preparation is the most important thing when it comes to bushfire season and the State Government is focussed on helping to reduce the threat this summer,” said Minister Speirs.
“It is crucial all landholders are armed and ready with a bushfire survival plan.
“We have been working closely with primary producers, councils and community members to plan a record number of strategic cross-tenure prescribed burns that include private land to help landholders limit bushfire risk.
“DEW fire management staff are in constant communication with the Bureau of Meteorology and the CFS to find the right conditions to burn in different areas across the state.”
Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Corey Wingard said it was important that landholders work with government to reduce bushfire risk.
“The warmer weather should serve as a reminder for everyone to start preparing for the fire danger season which is a few weeks away,” said Minister Wingard.
“Everyone has a responsibility to be ready by having a bushfire survival plan and reducing fire hazards around their properties.
“This includes simple tasks such as mowing lawns, trimming over-hanging trees or branches and clearing gutters of leaves and shrubs.”
Large parts of South Australia have experienced drier-than-average conditions since the beginning of 2018.
The current BOM outlook is for dry conditions to persist through spring and summer, and for parts of the state to have an above-average fire season.
DEW undertakes a range of activities throughout the year to prepare for the fire danger season and help protect the state against the ongoing risk of bushfire.
This includes the recruitment of 92 seasonal project firefighters, medical fitness testing for all operational brigade members and pre-season - as well as specialist - training.
Seasonal project firefighters also continue to complete maintenance and verging of fire tracks in National Parks to ensure safe access to fight bushfires and prepare for prescribed burns.
DEW works closely with the CFS, SA Water and ForestrySA to do what they can to protect communities across the state, but landholders are still ultimately responsible to prepare their properties and be ready with a bushfire survival plan.
Environment Protection Authority Program Manager Legislation and Policy Steven Mudge issued a public reminder that anyone intending to burn on private properties should contact their local council first.
Information about upcoming prescribed burns can be found here https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/fire-management/upcoming-prescribed-burns
Information from the EPA about burns on private properties can be found here
More information about why prescribed burns are conducted can be found here