Prescribed burns at Gluepot Reserve
The prescribed burns at Gluepot Reserve are in accordance with the Bookmark Mallee Fire Management Plan.
The prescribed burns currently performed at Gluepot are intended to:
- create firebreaks that reduce the spread of wild-fires;
- allow firefighters safely fire fires on Gluepot Reserve; and
- increase safety for visitors, rangers and scientists in the event of wildfire.
Will the firebreaks stop every fire?
No. What they will do is stop fire in mild conditions, and allow fire crew to safely perform fire suppression activities even in more severe conditions. These two factors will reduce the frequency of fire on Gluepot which is crucial for the survival of a number of threatened mallee bird species.
Are these ecological burns?
No. They are fire breaks, where the main fuel -spinifex- is removed. To a degree they are sacrificial areas but they amount to a only a few % of the total area of Gluepot.
How the prescribed burns work.
Volunteers on foot use flamethrowers to light up individual spinifex clumps in strips 100m wide along the boundaries and at strategic locations. This removes the main fuel that carries wildfire in Gluepot, thereby creating a barrier to wild-fire. The mallee trees are mostly left intact, as are shrubs and herbaceous plants. In this way, the burning is very selective. We do not light it up and ï¿½let it goï¿½. This method of fuel reduction is very targeted, but also very labour-intensive.
When will we stop performing prescribed burns?
Probably never. This is one of the many long-term maintenance programs preformed at Gluepot to protect its priceless environmental assets.