Prescribed burning is the controlled application of fire under specified environmental conditions to a predetermined area and at the time, intensity, and rate of spread required to attain planned resource management objectives. It is undertaken in specified environmental conditions.
The Department of Environment and Conservation uses prescribed fire to maintain the biodiversity of the wide range of ecosystems in the State, to reduce fuel loads so that wildfires are not as destructive or extensive, to rehabilitate vegetation after disturbance such as timber harvesting and mining and to undertake research on fire and its interaction with our environment.
Prescribed burning involves:
- Determining the outcome that is needed in terms of the extent and patchiness of the fire (what vegetation needs to be burnt and what needs to be left unburnt), the desired fire intensity (affects the patchiness and the quantity of flammable material consumed) and the season of burn (affects fire intensity, patchiness and the germination conditions present after the burn).
- Studying and measuring the quantity, arrangement and moisture content of fuels that are to be burnt.
- Using knowledge about fire behaviour to determine the most appropriate weather conditions to ignite the burn.
- Monitoring and forecasting weather conditions to select the best time to ignite the burn.
- Using knowledge of fire behavior to ignite the burn at the best time of day, in a specified pattern and sequence to achieve the desired outcomes and to prevent the fire from escaping.
- Monitoring the results of the burn to determine how well the operation met the objectives set for the burn.
- Using the knowledge gained and the lessons learned to improve future prescribed burning operations.
Fire Management Documents
- Bushfire CRC 2012/13 Fire Outlook
- Heads of agreement between DEC and FESA
- A review of the ability of the DEC WA to manage major fires
- Bridgetown Complex Post Incident Analysis
- Burning The Bush - to prevent big fires
- Guidelines for People in Cars During Bushfires
- FMS Code of Practice
- Managing Fire Brochure
- Managing a Fiery Change
- Fighting Fire With Fire Brochure