Skip links and keyboard navigation

Planned Burn Program set to begin in Queensland's northern region

26 April 2017

Over the coming weeks the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) will begin its early dry season burning program across parks and reserves from Townsville to Cape York and west to the Gulf of Carpentaria. 

Principal Ranger Northern Region Chris Kinnaird said about 500,000 hectares of parks and reserves underwent controlled burns in 2016. 

“This year the annual program aims to implement controlled burns across thousands of hectares of parks and reserves,” Mr Kinnaird said.

“With a managed estate area of approximately 4.5M ha, about 15 per cent of the landscape is prescribed for low intensity cool burning this year.

“This is an ambitious but achievable objective.”

Mr Kinnaird said the strategic use of controlled burning is important for the conservation and management of many plant and animal species across the northern region.

“Burning early in the dry season creates a mosaic of burnt and unburnt patches which maintain and enhance habitat for plants and animals,” he said.

“Controlled burning helps to limit the impacts of fires moving across boundaries with our neighbours, especially late in the year when fires are hotter and more destructive.

“As well as mitigating hot, late season fires, early burning can help to conserve carbon stores in the landscape.

“We work in co-operation and close consultation with Traditional Owners, neighbours, graziers and other government departments to achieve the most desirable social, cultural and environmental outcomes for all stakeholders.”

Mr Kinnaird said Traditional Owners of two national parks in Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land have developed carbon offset projects. 

“They carry out low intensity, early season burning to prevent hot, late season wildfires and derive a financial return from the reduced greenhouse emissions,” he said.

“Traditional Owners of other parks are exploring similar opportunities to increase their involvement in fire management and reduce greenhouse emissions.

“QPWS works with its Joint Management Partners to plan early season burning to support these innovative projects.”

Olkola Aboriginal Corporation chair Mike Ross said early burning protects our country and helps prevent damaging wildfires. 

“Controlled burning helps Olkola people build strong relationships with our neighbours,” Mr Ross said.

“Carbon trading provides a long-term funding opportunity to Olkola people to keep our country healthy for our young people.”

Last updated
26 April 2017