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2021 early dry season burn success

Savanna burning has occurred across Cape York for more than 50,000 years. In the past, traditional owners would move across Country lighting fires for a myriad of reasons throughout the year, to enhance or assist in the capture of bush foods, setting up camp, ceremony, and protecting cultural sites to name a few. Today, fire is still conducted for cultural reasons but there are also new drivers shaping fire management across the north.

Fire is quite possibly the most powerful tool in the landscape management toolbox. Today, savanna burning conducted in the early dry season can substantially reduce the risk of late dry season wildfires and threats to people, livestock and infrastructure. Importantly, it is also the basis for a new carbon economy, supplementing the incomes of pastoralists and Indigenous Landholders alike.

This June, July, Cape York NRM’s Andy Hartwig worked closely with landowners on Cape York to coordinate an aerial burning program across an area a quarter the size of Tasmania. Andy’s aerial burning work spanned 23 properties from Bonny Glen Station south of Cooktown to Wolverton Station north of Coen, an area of around 1.6 million hectares. Andy delivered a total of 37,000 incendiaries and shaped effective fire breaks and burn mosaics that will greatly reduce the risk of late dry season wildfires for the targeted and neighbouring properties, Land Trust Areas, Parks, and Nature Refuges.

Landholders and delivery partners South Cape York Catchments were really pleased with this season's results, and greatly appreciative of the support by Cape York NRM and the funding from the Australian Government’s Healthy Farming Futures and Reef Trust VII programs

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