PWs staff member lighting up with a drip torch for a planned burn.  PWS vehicle in the background.
Scamander fuel reduction burn (photograph: Chris Emms)

Why we burn

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​​​​Why we Burn

​​Manage bushfire risk

One of the ways to manage bushfire risk is to manage the fuels. Fires with higher fuel loads burn hotter and faster than those with lower loads. By managing the fuel load, we have a higher chance of suppressing the fire safely before it impacts assets and communities.  

Asset protection

We undertakes burns to protect a variety of assets. These assets include townships, critical infrastructure such as communication towers,walking tracks, huts, and campgrounds so visitors can enjoy our parks and reserves as well as natural assets that can be destroyed by bushfire.  

To provide protection for this wide range of assets we undertake fuel reduction burns across the landscape. Burns directly adjacent to assets can reduce the likelihood of radiant heat, direct flame contact or embers impacting them. 

Sometimes burning directly next to assets is not always feasible and so we also undertake burns strategically in the landscape further away from assets. These burns provide areas of reduced fuel which decreases long range spotting and moderate the speed and intensity of bushfires, providing firefighters with the opportunity to stop a bushfire when it is smaller, before it gets close to assets. ​

Ecologically resilient ecosystems 

We also undertake burns to help maintain ecologically resilient ecosystems. In fire adapted vegetation communities, a healthy ecosystem is dependent on being burnt at a certain fire frequency and intensity. 

Many of the ecosystems across the PWS estate are fire dependent, meaning that in the absence of fire they will cease to exist, eventually transitioning to a different vegetation community ​