Before fire season begins, you can help prepare vulnerable landscapes for another long, dry summer.

Australians don’t have to look back very far to remember smoke-filled skies and large uncontrolled wildfires. Those memories are still all too painful.

With a predicted return to El Niño conditions, it’s vital we prepare for summer early.

My name is Rhys Swain, and I’m responsible for planning and implementing fire management on Bush Heritage reserves. Sitting here at my desk, I’m surrounded by maps and forecasts, reserve locations, and budget constraints. I know I have a big job ahead of me – but I also know what needs to be done.

That's why I’m asking for your help.

Recently, I attended a prescribed burn in the Fitz-Stirling region, Noongar Country, in south-west WA. Like many places in Australia, the landscape is lush and green after three seasons of above-average rainfall.

As all that vegetation dries over summer, it can be the perfect fuel for fire.

Controlling the timing and conditions can mean the difference between a fire that destroys nature and a fire that heals it.

In the Fitz-Stirling region many species need specific fire regimes. Some like to forage in recently burnt country, and others need long unburnt vegetation for both shelter and food. Burning this way, creating burnt and unburnt patches, known as mosaic burns, creates areas to support different species, reduces fuel and provides fire breaks.

For tens of thousands of years, Traditional Owners would walk country burning regularly to achieve this.

Fire training in the Fitz-Stirling region.

Fire training in the Fitz-Stirling region.

As the weather warms up across our reserves, we’ll be completing small-scale burns, creating fire breaks, and meeting with our neighbours and the fire authorities to discuss fire plans and tactics.

We need boots on the ground, fire training, vehicles, and equipment for ground and aerial prescribed burns.

In Australia, bushfires are an expected part of landscape management. That’s why so many resources go into preparing to manage their impact and control their severity.

Please help spark hope for a bushfire-resilient landscape.

Donate today!
Rhys Swain

Rhys Swain
National Fire Program Manager
Bush Heritage Australia

See our annual Impact Report for details, including financial statements.

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Financial Institution: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Bank Branch: Hobart
Account Name: Bush Heritage Australia
BSB Number: 067-000
Account Number: 1006 0311
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