First spring burn successfully done on Lower Eyre

BURN OFF: Firefighter David Booker observes the burn off on SA Water land near Tulka last Wednesday. Photo - Jarrad Delany.
BURN OFF: Firefighter David Booker observes the burn off on SA Water land near Tulka last Wednesday. Photo - Jarrad Delany.

The first spring prescribed burn on Lower Eyre Peninsula has successfully reduced fuel loads over a 100 hectare space near Port Lincoln and Tulka, with fire danger season just around the corner.

Last Wednesday the National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia conducted the burn on SA Water land west of Tulka, in the Lincoln Basin.

Fourteen appliances were involved including an aircraft people on the ground included National Parks and Country Fire Service crews.

Following a test burn at 10.30am to assess fire behaviour the burnoff began at 11am with ground crews using edge ignition into the wind and control lines to secure the perimeter.

Once a secure edge was established aircraft ignited the remainder of the site so a high intensity fire could remove fuel loads from the site.

Mopping up at 6pm and there were crews on the ground throughout the night, mopping up continued the next day, aided by rainfall.

National Parks regional fire management officer Aaron Macumber said there was cloudier weather than forecast which reduced fire behaviour initially, but crews adjusted the ignition strategy to manage this.

"As a result of the shortened window due to the cloud cover the size of the burn was also adjusted to ensure it could be managed effectively and safely," he said.

This burn is one of a number over the past 10 years in the basin to manage the risk in the thick mallee heath vegetation and reduce fire risk to the community, wildlife and assets in the Tulka area.

Mr Macumber said it was part of a long-term strategy to create a mosaic of fuel-reduced areas to interrupt any future bushfires near Tulka and Port Lincoln.

"Mallee heath is difficult to control as it must be burnt at high intensity, under strong winds to effectively carry fire through the stands of vegetation and reduce the fuel hazard to an acceptable level," he said.

Further prescribed burns are planned for Kellidie Bay Conservation Park, adjacent to the Coffin Bay township, and another in the Lincoln Basin, adjacent to Proper Bay Road which is planned for Sunday, November 1.

The country fire service announced the start of the fire danger season for Lower Eyre Peninsula will be November 15.

This story Basin burn success ahead of fire season first appeared on Port Lincoln Times.