The prescribed burning season in the Warren Region of Western Australia usually winds down this time of the year during the early summer months. Their wildfire season typically extends from October to May.
The official designations of the seasons south of the equator in Australia are laid out like this:
- Summer: December – February
- Autumn: March – May
- Winter: June – August
- Spring: September – November
In addition to telling us about the prescribed burning video (below), Dr. Lachlan McCaw, Senior Principal Research Scientist with Western Australia’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, sent us an overview of of their prescribed burning program in the Warren Region:
The Region is situated in the southwest part of Western Australian and features extensive areas of native vegetation, including designated wilderness areas and the state’s tallest forests. The region is also home to iconic tourism destinations, a rich and diverse agricultural industry, and unique conservation values associated with the highest rainfall area of Western Australia.
Public lands within the region are managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Parks and Wildlife Service and include 0.65 million hectares (1.60 million acres) of national parks and nature reserves, 0.25 million hectares (0.617 million acres) of state forest and timber reserves, and a lesser area of unallocated crown land and unmanaged reserves.
Southwest Western Australia has a Mediterranean type climate with warm dry summers and the fire season typically extends from October to May. Open forests and heathlands become dry enough to burn in early spring whereas tall dense forest types may retain moisture into the early months of the austral summer.
Prescribed fire is an important tool for land management in southwest Western Australia and in the Warren Region the annual burning program undertaken by the Parks and Wildlife Service may vary from 30,000 ha (74,000 a.) to 70,000 ha (172,000 a.). Prescribed burning is undertaken for a number of purposes including:
- To mitigate the risk and severity of bushfires and assist in the protection of lives, property and infrastructure by reducing the build up of vegetation fuels;
- To maintain biodiversity and habitat diversity;
- To reestablish vegetation after timber harvesting and disturbance by mining operations;
- To understand the behaviour of fire and its interactions with the environment.