The estate was divided into 6 Burn Management Areas (BMA), each ranging from 250 – 3800 hectares. Ignition and implementation was constrained in each BMA by varying boundary, mine sites operations, access and containment issues. The burn strategy requiring a combination of aerial and on-ground ignition techniques was developed with consideration of 18 vegetation types, various fuel load ratings and significant floral species.
- Comprehensive fire management across the lease to reduce the risk of wildfire on unburnt country having impact on infrastructure including the Barkly Highway.
- Prevention of fire escaping onto nei ghbouring pastoral leases causing harm.
- Establish the strategic burning of the lease on a rotational basis to maintain ecological values by burning between 25 and 60% of the landscape.
- Protection of rare and threatened species from wildfire.
The project required demonstration of skills in collaboration with neighbours to achieve a successful holistic burn implementation program. FFEC liaised with all neighbouring properties including State Departments, to establish burn plans to coincide with burning conducted on these adjacent properties.
The outcome was broad-scale wildfire hazard mitigation in the area. The threat to Xstrata infrastructure from wildfire was greatly reduced with fuel removed successfully and without incidence around: accommodation, mine vents and munitions storage areas.
The timing of burns ensured that fires were of low intensity with low scorch height protecting significant species and preserving sufficient habitat. No impacts on significant species were recorded and photo monitoring shows that aerial incendiary burns were within the targeted 25-60% of the landscape.