Skip to content

Fire fighting green team

Steve Heggie (Healthy Landscape Manager)
Published 27 Oct 2016 by Steve Heggie (Healthy Landscape Manager)

Bunuba Rangers attended the recent Kimberley mega wildfire, which has burnt over 1.5 million ha of remote county across the indigenous protected areas (IPAs) and pastoral properties in the western Kimberley.

Drawing on the strength of the Kimberley Ranger Network there was a massive indigenous ranger group response and attendance at the fire.

The Kimberley Land Council (KLC) coordinated the response from the Gibb River Aboriginal community Station, focussing efforts on reducing the fire's impact on IPA Carbon Farming projects and on high conservation areas.

Bunuba Rangers working independently of the KLC were flown into the fire and operated as a strike team, helicoptered into hot spots to carry out day and overnight suppression and back-burning operations. This was the rangers' first time undertaking this sort of fire fighting and put their training to good effect.

Working in exhausting 43ºC temperatures, they operated at a high level, seeing it as a huge opportunity and learning experience for all involved.

The cross-agency cooperation between the state fire service, emergency services, KLC ranger groups and local pastoralists was recognised by all as a game changer. Debriefing is underway already and there’s little doubt future wildfire events in this remote area will see a much more coordinated and strategic response enhanced by the lessons learnt this time around.

The Bush Heritage Australia / Bunuba partnership and the value of our investment in the Bunuba Ranger Team capacity building was clearly on display.

Together we were quickly nicknamed the Green Team. The Bush Heritage and Bunuba logos on our work shirts resulted in the partnership being recognised across the fire line.




Related stories

Prescribed burn at Pilunga Reserve, Wangkamadla Country. By Bee Stephens

BUSHTRACKS 27/10/2023

Land, bird, smoke and man

Prescribed burns on Pilungah and Ethabuka reserves, Wangkamadla Country, prepare the landscape for bushfire season and enhance biodiversity.

Read More
Bush Broadcast: Live from Tarcutta

13/10/2023

Bush Broadcast
Lighting the way to climate change resilience

In this webinar, live from Tarcutta Reserve, Rhys Swain, Vikki Parsley and Paul Hales chat about managing our reserves to create bushfire-resilient landscapes.

Read More
Woodlands at Tarcutta Hills. By Annette Ruzicka

BUSHTRACKS 13/06/2023

The first of many flames

A cultural burn at Tarcutta Hills Reserve, Wiradjuri Country, lights the way for the revival of right-way fire practices.

Read More

BLOG 10/03/2023

2023 North Australia Savannah Fire Forum

We had several Bush Heritage representatives at the annual Savanna Fire Forum on Larrakia country last month. After two years of online events, savannah fire management experts from across the country were glad to meet face-to-face this year.

Read More

BLOG 08/02/2023

Fighting fire in the dry

A recent wildfire on Yourka Reserve has revealed the benefits of best practice controlled burning in tropical north Queensland.

Read More
Cool burn at Friendly Beaches Reserve, Tasmania. Photo Michael Bretz.

BUSHTRACKS 17/10/2022

A friendly fire

Led by truwana Rangers, cool burning at Friendly Beaches Reserve plans to create the healthiest possible habitat for the vulnerable New Holland Mouse.

Read More
Paul Hales conducting a controlled burn. Photo Martin Willis.

BUSHTRACKS 14/06/2022

The art of burning in the rain

How aerial, controlled burning is utilising climatic conditions at Yourka Reserve on Jirrbal and Warrungu country in Queensland.

Read More

BLOG 21/02/2022

What has all this rain meant for our fire team?

The 2021/22 La Nina has brought significant rainfall to the eastern seaboard of Australia, while the west has seen below average conditions. Here are some weather highlights from the first few months.

Read More
Grass fire. Photo Mark Jones.

BUSHTRACKS 07/10/2021

Fiery footprints

After 10 years of the Healthy Country Plan, Wunambal Gaambera country is thriving, with right-way fire lighting the way.

Read More

BLOG 27/04/2021

Bunuba right-way winthali

On Bunuba country in the Kimberley, essential winthali (fire) work is being undertaken to prepare the land for the dry season.

Read More

BLOG 07/01/2021

A summer fire near Naree

On Monday 28 December a fire, caused by a lightning strike from a recent thunderstorm, started on a neighbouring property to the west of Naree Station Reserve on Budjiti country in north​ western New South Wales. Thankfully, it was quickly contained.

Read More
A blazing wildfire.

04/12/2020

Bushfire impact & recovery

A year on from the 2019 bushfire season, how Bush Heritage Australia and WIRES are working collaboratively to help secure the future of all native species.

Read More

BLOG 22/07/2020

A fire management first

Set between the harsh, arid desert uplands and escarpment of the Aramac range and the fertile black soil plains to the south, Edgbaston Reserve is a truly unique and diverse area. Last week Bush Heritage staff began its program of fire management activities on Edgbaston for the first time since purchase of this property.

Read More

BLOG 14/07/2020

Enriching grasslands after fire

In February this year about 73% (1006ha) of Scottsdale Reserve burnt in the Clear Range bushfire. Around 84% of its native grasslands were affected and more than 50% of the reserve’s woodlands burnt at such a high intensity that the native seed bank was destroyed.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 12/06/2020

Seeds of change

Fire can be as harmful as it is essential in the Kimberley of Western Australia. Maintaining that fine balance is at the heart of the Bunuba Rangers’ fire program, bringing right-way winthali back to country.

Read More
Raptors hunt around the edges of a burn. Photo Claire Thompson.

BUSHTRACKS 12/06/2020

Firebirds

The Mimal Rangers of central Arnhem Land are looking after country the right way, preventing damaging wildfires and reducing emissions, with a fire-spreading raptor at their side.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 12/06/2020

Six months on

Silver linings shine as Bush Heritage’s Yourka Reserve in far north Queensland regenerates following a significant bushfire last year.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 13/04/2020

The science of recovery

Two months after the North Black Range Fire swept across Bush Heritage’s Burrin Burrin Reserve in NSW, ecologist Dr Matt Appleby assesses the damage and recovery rate.

Read More

BLOG 28/02/2020

Bushfire on-ground assessments

It's been a very busy few weeks here at Bush Heritage. I have been out to our bushfire affected reserves in New South Wales to survey the impact alongside our Senior Leadership team, local reserve staff and ecologists.

Read More

BLOG 07/02/2020

Bushfire update from Scottsdale

On Saturday 1 February, the Orroral (Namadgi) and Clear Range fires swept over the Murrumbidgee River and onto the western half of our Scottsdale Reserve. This has been a tense and challenging time and we are eternally grateful for the heroic efforts of the RFS and the extraordinary people on the ground fighting for our beloved Scottsdale. Importantly, our people remain safe and our community strong.

Read More

BLOG 03/02/2020

Scottsdale under fire

As we know from this unrelenting bushfire season, a lot can change in the space of a weekend. When I wrote to you on Friday with an update, we were hopeful that our Scottsdale Reserve, located between Canberra and Cooma, would remain unscathed. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the NSW Rural Fire Service and our on-ground staff (themselves with personal property under threat), a large proportion of Scottsdale has been, and continues to be, impacted by bushfire. As you can imagine, it’s been a tense and challenging time.

Read More

BLOG 31/01/2020

Bushfires update

As we enter a new month, I would like to take a moment to update you on recent developments towards our post-bushfire recovery. The devastation wrought has been confronting. My heart remains with those affected, those still fighting fires and those on the ground beginning the long process of recovery.

Read More

BLOG 06/01/2020

Bushfires on our reserves

I wanted to personally update Bush Heritage supporters on the fire threat and impact to our reserves. At the end of 2019, our on ground staff and neighbours fought fires of varying severity on six Bush Heritage reserves in three states.

Read More

BLOG 17/12/2019

Adapting to 'black swan' fire events

Some thoughts on the Australian fire crisis and an update on Bush Heritage's fire control efforts by Richard Geddes, Bush Heritage Australia's National Fire Program Manager

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 22/03/2019

Burning the right way

Using Western technologies and traditional knowledge to keep country healthy and a millenia-old tradition alive.

Read More

BLOG 14/12/2018

Feral cats caught on camera

We've been testing the use of burn lines as a way to draw cats towards our new Felixer cat traps at Ethabuka Reserve. The results so far are super encouraging.

Read More

BLOG 10/05/2018

Preparing for Barrangga

Recently I had the pleasure of being part of the annual fire management work undertaken by the Bunuba Rangers and Traditional Landowners on Leopold Downs Station (Yarrangi) in the Kimberley.

Read More

BLOG 30/04/2018

Bringing fire back to Tassie Midlands

I was recently at Beaufront, a stunning property owned by farmer and private conservationist Julian von Bibra in the Tasmanian Midlands, working alongside University of Tasmania on an innovative new fire experiment that we hope will give us some insights into the effects of fire and grazing on vegetation composition and structure.

Read More

BLOG 23/01/2018

The raging wildfire debate

Many of you may have read an article in a recent Good Weekend magazine, debating the merits of conducting prescribed burning in Northern Australia. As Bush Heritage's National Fire Program Manager, with over a decade working in fire management and conservation in that region, I wanted to respond to some of the inaccuracies of this report.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 07/12/2017

In fiery footsteps

There are more than 6000 patches of rainforest on Wunambal Gaambera country, for which fire can be both protector and destroyer.

Read More

BLOG 27/10/2016

Fire fighting green team

Bunuba Rangers attended the recent Kimberley mega wildfire, which has burnt over 1.5 million ha of remote county across the indigenous protected areas (IPAs) and pastoral properties in the western Kimberley.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 21/12/2015

Line of fire

Out on Bon Bon Station Reserve, the heat can sear your skin and leave you breathless. And yet this massive piece of land, which rivals the size of Sydney, is home to some of Australia’s most extraordinary creatures like the southern hairy-nosed wombat and the rare chestnut breasted whiteface. Here's how we manage wildfire risk for Bon Bon’s diverse plants and animals.

Read More
Loading...
{{itemsInCart}} Items - {{formatCurrency(grandTotal)}}