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Hazard reduction program

Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

Read more about Hazard reduction program

A hazard reduction burn is a fire ignited by management and controlled to burn in a predetermined area under specific weather conditions to attain planned fuel management outcomes. Hazard reduction burning – sometimes called planned burning or prescribed burning – reduces the overall fuel hazard in strategic areas of a park and can significantly reduce fire behaviour, aiding fire suppression efforts and helping to protect life and property.

Through the Enhanced Bushfire Management Program (EBMP), NPWS will treat over 135,000ha per year in 800 or more planned hazard reduction activities. Achieving this is highly dependent on suitable weather conditions, given the narrow window of opportunity that exists in NSW for burning safely and effectively.

While it’s vital that planned burning is done for the protection of the whole community, these burns can have temporary impact on visitors through smoke and road and park closures. NPWS keeps the community updated via the NPWS Alerts page, and offers several informational videos about the hazard reduction program, including videos on capability and training, and relationships with the community.

The NPWS hazard reduction program includes both burning and mechanical works, such as slashing and mowing. It’s important to remember hazard reduction isn’t the same as back-burning, which is a fire-suppression tactic used during active bushfires.

Parks related to this program

Kinchega National Park. Photo: John Spencer