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Hotspots Fire Projects

Hotspots Fire Project is a community fire management workshop program which provides an opportunity for neighbouring landholders to improve their knowledge and skills on how to plan for and implement safe and appropriate fire management strategies within and across their properties for the protection and enhancement of biodiversity conservation. Hotspots is delivered through the coordinated efforts of the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.

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Gradys Creek Hotspots Project

The Gradys Creek Hotspots Project provided an opportunity for local landholders to improve their knowledge and skills, including how to plan and implement safe and appropriate fire management strategies. The program included two workshop days and follow-up from relevant agencies to support local landholders to develop:

  • knowledge of fire behaviour
  • knowledge of who is involved with fire management in the local area and their roles
  • understanding of how to plan and conduct a safe burn
  • understanding of how to undertake fire management that is ecologically sustainable
  • confidence in implementing a safe planned burn on their property.

Participants discussed the range of native vegetation types at Gradys Creek and how fire frequency and intensity influences biodiversity and other ecological values in their local area. A survey of small native mammals was undertaken as part of this project, finding a small population of the Hastings River mouse at the burn site and five other species of small mammals. The community were delighted to have the opportunity to closely observe some of these species and learn more about local threatened species including the Eastern Bristlebird, Hastings River mouse and the Eastern Chestnut mouse. As a result of this interaction participants discussed ways that landholders could become involved in undertaking fire management, including working together for the Eastern Bristlebird. This included strategies on improving property preparedness for fire and how to undertake collaborative burns (including how to apply for hazard reduction certificates).

Participants also had the opportunity to be part of a demonstration of environmental weed management. This involved the strategic application of herbicide using splatter gun techniques to control large thickets of lantana, which is a prolific weed in the Border Ranges area. The relationships between weeds, disturbance, fire regimes, and Bell Miner Associated Dieback (BMAD) were also discussed. Importantly, many landholders who participated in the workshops completed Fire Management Plans for their properties. These plans were developed in collaboration with neighbours and with advice and support from the Hotspots team and local experts.

Bungawalbin Hotspots Project

The Objectives for the Bungawalbin Hotspots workshop series was:

  • Discuss strategies to manage fire to reduce risk whilst improving biodiversity and cultural values.
  • Introduce landholders to fire management planning for their own properties
  • Address the fear of fire and potential barriers for landholders to conduct planned burns
  • Address any confusion regarding procedures and regulations for planned burns
  • Explore opportunitiesfor neighbours to collectively create a mosaic of fire strategies to reduce risk and improve habitat for the endangered North Coast Emu population.

Over 30 landholders attended the 2 day workshop series including the opportunity to be part of a demonstartion burn. Other achievements of the project include camera traps deployed at the demonstartion burn site has produced excellent results including a rare shots of a family of Emus. This record is of particular importance as it confirms recent breeding activity in the area.

Funded by    Local Land Services North Coast logo