The North Australian Fire Management Group met at the Kimberley Grand Hotel in Kununurra from 15-16 June. It was hosted by WA Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) the WA Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and the Bushfire CRC.
It was also attended by representatives from Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management, NT Fire and Rescue Service, Bushfires NT, Charles Darwin University, University of Western Australia, Bureau of Meteorology, WA Landgate, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and the Bushfire CRC.
The meeting was convened under the following terms of reference and also considered the northern Seasonal Outlook for the coming fire season.
Purpose of the Group
The tropical north of Australia is one of the most fire-prone regions on earth with over 37,000,000 hectares being burnt annually. In practical terms however, most fire management policy and practice in Australia is generated in the southern jurisdictions, due to the profound impacts of fires on areas of higher population density and economic activity.
Accepting these practical realities, but recognising that a great deal of southern Australian fire management policy and practice is poorly matched to the needs of northern Australia, the North Australia Fire Managers Group (NAFMG) was established in 1999. The functions of the NAFMG are to assist key decision makers involved in fire management in northern Australia to:
- Access relevant, up-to-date information and research outcomes;
- Share information across jurisdictions and between agencies;
- Identify issues of mutual importance and interest and, where appropriate, to act collectively on those issues. Such issues include national policy, research priorities, training and equipment; and
- Promote the understanding of fire in northern Australia, and the role that fire plays in achieving land management objectives.
The NAFMG provides direct advice from fire management agencies to the Bushfire CRC and other research and information providers.
The NAFMG concentrates on fire management as it relates to the savanna regions of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Typically, 80% or more of the area affected by wildfire in Australia every year lies within this region.
To identify, develop and promote best-practice fire management tailored to the needs of northern Australian communities and environments.
Core Members of the NAFMG are:
- The senior officers with responsibility for fire management in the northern (savanna) regions from Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (Rural Operations), Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (QPWS), Fire and Emergency Services Authority WA, Department of Environment and Conservation WA, Bushfires NT and NT Fire and Rescue Service; and
- Bushfire CRC (Chair).
Agenda for the meeting