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Fire management experts focus on the Cape


December 7, 2021 


Fire management experts focus on Cape York

A who’s who of Far North fire management experts are in Cairns today and tomorrow to present the latest information, techniques and hands-on workshops at the 2021 Cape York Fire Forum.

It is the third in a successful series of fire forums coordinated by Cape York Natural Resource Management and has attracted some 150 land managers, Indigenous Rangers, pastoralists and conservation estate managers from all over the Cape.

They will share their stories and knowledge, and examine the practical applications of the many fire management tools used for monitoring, detection, planning, risk management and data recording.

“Fire in the Cape York Peninsula is a fact of life, whether it be from lightning strikes, planned biodiversity or hazard reduction burns, or the burns which have been carried out by Traditional Owners for centuries,” Cape York NRM CEO John Gavin said.

“By bringing scientific and traditional knowledge together in the one forum, we can work to reach a balanced, united front to ensure the best outcomes for the land, the community and the flora and fauna unique to this beautiful region.” 

Among the many highlights at the Forum will be the eight presentations by Indigenous land manager and Traditional Owner groups, and information about carbon farming. 

One of the key themes for the Forum is Tools for Fire Management, whether it be for controlled burning or for combatting random spot fires caused by lightning strikes or by deliberate ignition. 

“We have some amazing technology available,” Forum Coordinator Alex Debono said. “Digital mapping tools, real-time satellite imagery and mapping of fire hot spots or gaps in fire breaks allows landowners to react quickly and effectively.”

There are more than 40 presenters attending this year’s Forum, among them, Craig Weldon from the Qld Fire and Biodiversity Consortium based in Brisbane, Andrew Edwards and Rohan Fisher from Charles Darwin University; Leasie Felderhof from Firescape Science, who has played a major role in coordinating the last two fire forums; and Mick Blackman from Friendly Fire Ecological Consultants who has worked across fire management on state, federal, indigenous and private estates for the past 40 years and will share his personal “Ten Commandments” of fire management in Northern Australia.  

The Fire Forum is being held at the Cairns Colonial Club and is supported through the Australian Government’s Reef Trust Program and The Nature Conservancy Australia.

For more information contact

Andree Stephens Cape York NRM

P: 0438 082 939