Burning way forward as hazard reduction tool

Wodonga Council and Burraja Cultural Centre staff participated in a planned buring training in Baranduda.

The training is an important tool for reducing fire hazard and keeping the environment healthy. Aboriginal cultural burning practices are increasing being recognised as having an important role to play in environmental and fire hazard management.

The project has upskilled local land managers and traditional knowledge holders by providing access to accredited training in the preparation for and implementation of planned burning.

“By building basic skills and local capacity, this project is the first step in bringing together diverse perspectives, knowledge, and interests to address local fuel hazard management in new ways,” Wodonga Council Natural Resources Planner Claire Coulson said.

“This project will allow for collaboration in fuel management activities that are not currently occurring locally.

“Beginning to incorporate planned burning into the fuel management regime for local reserves, as seasonally appropriate. This will be scaled, starting with small and simple burns to build experience and knowledge and burn complexity will increase over time.

“This approach can target areas of highest risk reduction potential according to existing management plans and strategies.”

The project also aims to increase the capacity of local Aboriginal representatives to contribute to burning activities, and in the longer term to share cultural burning practices in the region in partnership with current non-Indigenous practices.

This training is supported by the Victorian Government through the Safer Together Local Government Fuel Management grants program.

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