Waru planning for 2016

Every year, before the field season starts, it is important to plan where we are going to do our work. This is particularly important with waru (fire), because if we are not smart about where we go to burn, we will not get much done.

Martu and KJ have been keeping a track of which areas have been burnt by rangers or hot summer wildfires for several years now. There is also a good idea of the areas that are important to protect, such as black-flanked rock wallaby habitats or great desert skink burrows, cultural sites and communities. This information all goes into the fire plan for the year. Rangers can use this fire plan as a guide for their work, and other organisations can use it to know what KJ rangers are doing in the desert.

Waru man (Gareth Catt) has been working on this plan with the help of the Department of Parks and Wildlife, who map all the fire scars in the desert every year. He will be visiting communities soon with maps to help everyone with their burning. These plans will be discussed with the community to make sure that the old people are happy with them, and everyone can burn safely through the cooler months of the year. Here is hoping we have another safe and productive fire season in 2016!

From top: RR burning spinifex near Punmu; Waru man discussing potential burn plans with elders and rangers at the Parnngurr ranger station;  Nyurnma (freshly burnt ground) around Kaalpi that protects Mulga and important rock wallaby habitat