Reply To: Fire Management

Rachel Alford

    Hi Sharmayne,

    Thank you so much for your patience – Dawul Wuru were finalising their fire management booklet and wanted to ensure that the information we provided to you was correct. We’re hoping to add a PDF version of this booklet to the website resources in the next couple of days.

    To answer your questions:

    Q: Is there a specific process with how the Yirrganydji community does cultural burning?
    A: There is no specific process – it varies depending on the fuel (plant matter) used during the burning.

    Q: What kind of materials are used?
    A: Typically, they will use matches used to light fires (not drip torches), fire uniforms to be worn by those performing the burning. There is also transport needed to and from the sites.

    Q: How many people usually conduct the fires?
    A: This depends on the area. Cultural fires are small, with approximately 2-3 elders with knowledge teaching a few others as they go about the burning process. Dawul Wuru encourages as many rangers as possible to attend these events as they like to learn from the elders.
    National Parks burns however may have approximately 10 people, but again depends on the size of the burn, for example if there are hotter patches which need more people to monitor.

    Q: How long does it take?
    A: Again, this depends on the size of the area, but for example the Dungarra site (which you can explore in our interactives) can be done in one day. 

    Q: How much does it cost?
    A: It is the cost of the materials listed above and the time of people doing the burns. In general, it is quite low cost, as there is not a need to pay for processed fuel accelerants like petrol. Also as Yirrganydji Country is quite urban in many places, the areas of land being burned are relatively small so there is no need to hire equipment (for example, helicopters –  in other parts of Australia, such as Cape York, larger expanses of land and helicopters are often used to drop incendiaries).

    I hope these help, and again I appreciate your patience in waiting for these responses! Please let me know if you need any further information.