Territory Stories

Desert fire : fire and regional land management in the arid landscapes of Australia



Desert fire : fire and regional land management in the arid landscapes of Australia

Other title

edited by GP Edwards and GE Allan


Edwards, Glenn P; Allan, G. E.


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; DKCRC Report 37




Date:2009; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Executive summary -- 1. Introduction and overview of Desert Fire -- 2. Managing fire in the southern Tanami Desert -- 3. Aboriginal burning issues in the southern Tanami: towards understanding tradition-based fire knowledge in a contemporary context -- 4. Pastoralists’ perspectives on the costs of widespread fires in the pastoral lands of the southern Northern Territory region of central Australia, 2000–02 -- 5. A review of fire management on central Australian conservation reserves: towards best practice -- 6. The fire history of Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve 1984–2005.




Fire Management -- Australia, Central

Publisher name

Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre

Place of publication

Alice Springs


DKCRC Report 37


iii, 338 p. : col. ill. ; 30 cm.

File type



1741581125; 1741581109





Copyright owner

Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

Desert Knowledge CRC Desert Fire: f i re and regional land management in the ar id landscapes of Austral ia Ch 2: Managing fire in the southern Tanami Desert pp. 8 Two meetings were hosted by Desert Fire for the southern Tanami region group of pastoralists at Tilmouth Well in May 2004 and May 2005. The first meeting provided an important opportunity to introduce both the DKCRC and the Desert Fire project. The pastoralists were unanimous in endorsing Desert Fire and willingly provided information on fire and permitted field work to be undertaken on their properties. The second meeting was an opportunity to provide feedback to the pastoralists on the progress of Desert Fire and to discuss issues associated with fire management in the region that needed to be addressed in the progression toward a regional fire management strategy. Bushfires NT holds biannual meetings for the Alice Springs East and West Regional Committees. Presentations to introduce and summarise the progress of the Desert Fire were given at three successive meetings: October 2004, March 2005 and October 2005. The meetings also provided the opportunity for the pastoralists on the committees to identify issues of concern. One specific issue, the impact of the 20012002 fires on mulga country, was considered significant to the pastoral community. As a result, a new Desert Fire subproject, Mulga woodland dynamics influenced by fire and rainfall during the 2000 02 period in central Australia (DF-3g), was initiated. Members of the Regional Committees invited a Fire/Land Management officer representative from the CLC to be a regular guest at the biannual meetings and to present a summary of CLC fire-related activities. Kirsten Macleans PhD project titled Creating spaces for negotiation at the environmental management and community development interface in Australia (Maclean 2007) was linked to this Desert Fire subproject. Macleans work was a social perspective on community engagement in land management activities and contrasted the processes of engagement of local community conservation groups in rural Victoria with the involvement of pastoralists, Aboriginal communities and park managers in fire and land management issues in central Australia. Information on fire and land management was collected through interviews and meetings with pastoralists, park rangers, land management officers and Aboriginal community members. Also, information on the planning and engagement process will be valuable to the process of developing a regional fire management strategy. The CLMAs EMS project involved 15 pastoral properties across central Australia. The properties involved were Aileron, Alcoota, Amburla, Andado, Erldunda, Hamilton Downs, Lilla Creek, Lyndavale, Mt Ebenezer, Mt Riddock, Murray Downs, Palmer Valley, Temple Bar, Tieyon and Umbeara. Natural resource information was collated for each property, with support from NT government agencies, and individual interviews were conducted with all pastoralists. A specific component of the interviews focused on fire, based on a series of questions and maps of the stations fire history prepared by Grant Allan, Bushfires NT. The questions were: Are the locations and boundaries of the fires accurate? What and where was the likely source of ignition? Which direction did the fire/s travel? Would it be useful to know how much country was burnt per paddock/grazing area? Did we suffer loss of infrastructure or stock? To what value? What are the short-term and long-terms effects of fires on our pasture management? What has been the response of the country since the fires? How is this influenced by pre- and postfire rainfall? Do we think fire is good or bad? Why? Do we use the hotspot website? Do we need more information and training to use this? Are the hotspot maps faxed by BFC [Bushfires Council] accurate and useful? How could they be improved? Would we use an on-station Geographic Information System? Would we be interested in developing a fire management plan with BFC?

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