Kimberley Fire Managers

Richard Whatley - Fire Operations Manager at the Kimberley Land Council, and Kimberley Fire Managers will be presenting as panellists during Session 1.7 - Fire in Kimberley: WA Panel.

The Kimberley Land Council’s Indigenous fire management program is extremely important to the biodiversity of the environmentally significant Kimberley region.

Highly skilled Indigenous rangers use traditional knowledge and techniques, together with modern science and technology, to fight fire with fire and reduce the likelihood of large uncontrolled wildfires.

Aboriginal people in the Kimberley have been undertaking traditional fire management for thousands of years. However, with the onset of colonisation and the removal of Aboriginal people from traditional lands, traditional burning was largely stopped during the twentieth century.

 

This led to the emergence of large, uncontrolled wildfires, usually occurring late in the dry season and destroying important ecosystems and habitats. Often these late dry season wildfires impact grazing pasture, infrastructure and other assets.

In the last 25 years, with the introduction of native title and the recognition that western fire prevention methods have not been working effectively, we are now seeing a reinvigoration of traditional fire management in the Kimberley and all across northern Australia.