Managing Fire

Much of the Australian environment is shaped by fire. Aboriginal people harnessed the potential of fire by developing systems for managing fire which are now called patchwork, fire-stick and mosaic burning. They aimed to control the intensity of dangerous wildfires, improve hunting success by attracting animals to re-sprouting grasses and flushing out small game, and promoting the growth of valued plants.

These traditional fire management systems are now valued by modern science for encouraging environmental diversity, and reducing both the danger from and carbon output of more ferocious wildfires.

Around 85 per cent of ranger groups conduct fire management activities. In many areas being managed by Aboriginal people, traditional patchwork burning is integrated with contemporary objectives such as asset protection and habitat management. Commercial opportunities have also been created through the carbon market.

Read about how fire defines a desert landscape

Learn about biodiversity benefits of burning