The Southern Gulf Natural Resource Management Group (NRM) in outback Queensland is calling for an Indigenous burning program it runs to be adopted in other parts of the country. The NRM group adopted an Indigenous burning program to conserve the endangered Carpentarian grasswren which lives in old tussocks of spinifex grass. Now there are calls for the burning program to be used elsewhere in Australia to prevent catastrophic wildfires.
For the past three years, a helicopter has been dropping embers into remote landscapes to start a series of small fires before the grass dries out.
“The logic of our fire management program is to break up those fuel loads, to get a patchwork of old and not-so-old spinifex,” Southern Gulf NRM CEO Andrew Maclean said.
“We often hear about the benefit of introducing fire regimes that traditional owners would’ve implemented before European settlement, and I see this project as doing just that.”
The local Kalkadoon people in north-west Queensland have been using the technique, known as mosaic burning, for thousands of years.
Dr Murphy said mosaic burning could be applied in other parts of the country that were subject to catastrophic fires earlier this year.