Tasmanian Farmers. Preparing for a bushfire summer after spring growth

10 January 2023

Seasonal fire forecast


The Tasmania Fire Service is reminding all landholders that despite a wetter and cooler start to summer, farmers and land managers should ensure they are bushfire ready with survival plans prepared.

The national summer bushfire outlook is for ‘normal’ fire potential for much of the state, however parts of western Tasmania are forecast as ‘above normal’.

The southwest has been drier than the rest of the state for some time and this coupled with forecast below average rainfall and above average temperatures will increase the fire danger in these areas.

The potential for both bush and grass fires remains across Tasmania.

With increasing warmer weather, farmers should also be vigilant to the risk of accidental fire ignitions due to the use of some farm machinery and remain aware and follow current permit requirements and fire risk conditions.

Be bushfire ready – plan ahead

The Tasmania Fire Service encourages all farmers to be bushfire ready. This includes having a written bushfire survival plan for the property. Central to a bushfire survival plan for farmers is protection of livestock and crops, safe and maintained machinery, and completion of preparation works around property

The Tasmania Fire Service 5 MINUTE Bushfire Plan https://bushfire.tas.gov.au/my-bushfire-plan is an easy, 3 step tool designed to help prepare people and properties for bushfire.

Red Hot Tipshttps://www.sfmc.tas.gov.au/RedHotTips is a FREE fire and vegetation management program available for farmers and rural landholders. The program educates, engages and supports landholders in rural Tasmania to manage their bushfire risk through:

  • Farm visits to discuss fuel reduction options and advice on treatments (e.g. fire to protect property, control fuel, weeds, improve pasture productivity)
  • Planned burn training and on-ground mentoring
  • Permit and burn plan assistance
  • Rules and regulations – navigating the red tape
  • Providing opportunities for community to come together to achieve coordinated and effective burning
  • Phone and online support:
    Statewide: Andrew Cargill - 0417 635 164;
    Southern - Frank Bishop - 0459 908 539;
    Northern – Sam Tacey 0417 153 620;
  • Practical bushfire management materials and resources

Registration and/or interest in Red Hot Tips can be sought here https://www.sfmc.tas.gov.au/node/121

Red Hot Tips - what farmers can do to be prepared

Red Hot Tips provides landholders with a range of vegetation and fire management options to be bushfire ready:

  • Autumn is probably the best time of the year to burn. Having a bushfire plan goes a long way to assisting when the best time is to burn for your property.
  • Reduce and/or change the structure of fuel close to your property and/or in your bush. The intensity of a fire can be manipulated by changing the structure and type of fuel levels. Low intensity burning, grazing, mechanical removal (e.g. strategic slashing), or a combination of these can be effective methods for reducing or changing fuel structure and increasing bushfire protection.
  • A 10m radius around a building should be kept clear of flammable material.
  • Target removal of weeds.
  • Reduce dominant tussock grasses with burning. This helps promote smaller grasses and herbs to grow, creating diversity and healthier landscapes.
  • Promote new growth of palatable species with burning.

Where to get information

Practical bushfire resources are available via the State Fire Management Council website and Red Hot Tips, including:

The Tasmania Fire Service encourages farmers to visit the Tasmania Fire Service website for information (some links are included below) and to get in touch.

We provide a united voice

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Contact our Membership Manager, Kellie Morris