How we do our burns
- Is there a plan for each burn?
- How many people are needed for a burn and what sort of equipment is used?
- How does DEPI do the burn?
- Want more information?
- Want to print this information?
Is there a plan for each burn?Before a planned burn can go ahead, DEPI compiles detailed information about the burn. This is called a burn plan. It includes the reason for the burn, the fire history of the area and any cultural sites or habitat to be protected from the fire.
The plan also covers notification, the likely impact of smoke on traffic and nearby communities, maps of the burn area and operational information.
How many people are needed for a burn and what sort of equipment is used?Planned burns vary in size and complexity. Simple burns need 20-30 people to manage the operation, but others, such as those in high-risk areas, may need up to 70 people. The CFA often provides extra people and equipment to assist DEPI particularly when planned burns are carried out near towns and settlements.
The range of equipment and vehicles includes drip torches to light the burn, 4-wheel-drive vehicles with water tanks, large and small tankers, dozers and earthmovers.
DEPI may use a small or medium sized helicopter to light a large burn and a fixed-wing plane for observation or mapping. Refuelling crews and an airbase manager will be needed if aircraft are assisting at a burn.
How does DEPI do the burn?
Before the burnIn the days leading up to a burn, trained firefighters prepare the control lines that form the outside edge of the burn. The officer in charge of the burn makes sure that the correct approvals are in place. Weather conditions are monitored regularly, and safety checks are carried out.
On the dayOn the day of the burn, the burn officer checks the weather, wind, fuel moisture and other conditions. If everything is suitable authorisation is requested. The public is notified by radio and if traffic control is necessary, signs are put in place on local roads and tracks.
At the burn siteBurn officers lead briefings for trained firefighters at the burn site. These cover the burn tasks, any likely hazards and contingency plans. The burn is then lit according to a special lighting plan or pattern. Lighting may take three to four hours for a small burn or two or more days for a very large burn.
After the burnAfter the burn, trained firefighters patrol and monitor the area for several days, putting out or removing smouldering material, and the burn is eventually declared safe.
Want more information?
Want to print this information?Planned burning information sheet 8 - How we do our burns
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