Friendly Fire Ecological Consultants

Specialists in prescribed burning and land management training

Located in Far North Queensland, FFEC provides expertise in establishing fire regimes and providing practical solutions to implementing fire management at the landscape scale for all property types Australia-wide. We are unique in that we provide an integrated approach for organisations to train their land managers and rangers in culturally appropriate planned burning, developing skills and confidence in all aspects of fire application while achieving outcomes in burn management programs. Applications include wildfire mitigation, ecological maintenance burning, weed control, infrastructure protection, arson mitigation and pasture improvement.

What is “friendly fire?”

Our fire heritage

Upon European settlement Australia had an array of flora and fauna throughout each climatic zone incomparable with any other continent as a result of fire. The landscape was a cultural one shaped by Indigenous owners over thousands of years employing highly developed and intricate systems of land management using fire. Ecosystems were vastly modified but maintained to support profound heterogeneity and complex compositions of native species.

Aborigines using fire to hunt kangaroos‘Aborigines using fire to hunt kangaroos’,
Painting by Joseph Lycett, c1820, courtesy of the National Library of Australia

The discontinued use of this “friendly fire” in our recent natural history means many of our landscapes are losing richness in diversity due to fire dependant species declining and invasive and pest species invading habitats previously managed with fire.  The difficulty in determining what ecological state to aim for is experienced by land managers nation-wide. But what we do know is that Australian ecological diversity is dependent on spatial and temporal heterogeneity that is maintained with fire. “Friendly fire” continues to be Australia’s only broad-scale land management tool.