Cultural burns

Cultural burnClr. Saville proposed the following motion:

That Willoughby City Council officers bring back a report to council to discuss feasibility of introducing ‘cultural burns’ as part of bushfire management within the LGA. The report should include discussion regarding relevance, risks and potential benefits from introduction of cultural burns to the LGA.

It should also outline funding, training and resources required to implement these practices locally.

Background – ‘Cultural burning’ as distinct from ‘ hazard reduction’ ‘back burning’. Cultural burning: much of this fire was lit by Indigenous Australians who lit small fires as they moved around. This helped them hunt for food, clear pathways and regenerate the bush.

Officer’s comments – Council has been planning and implementing ecological burning practices in conjunction with hazard reduction prescribed burning in bushland reserves for many years. Based on the principle of burning relatively small areas in a mosaic pattern and carefully considering and optimizing vegetation and landform, this work shares many of the principles of ‘cultural burning’. Council’s work conforms to the Regional Bush Fire Management Plan and is co-ordinated by Fire and Rescue NSW.

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