Researchers and bushland staff at Kings Park successfully carried out a scientific research burn in a section of Kings Park bushland earlier this month.
The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority research is part of a wider project underway to determine the best management approaches to reducing bushfire hazards and maximising the conservation of native biodiversity on the Swan Coastal Plain.
Project lead Fire Ecologist Dr Ben Miller said the research would examine the effects of weed management and fire management with different rotations and treatments on the recovery of fuels, fire hazards and weeds.
“This is a long-term experiment we have been undertaking since 2014, with one experimental burn implemented in autumn 2015,” he said.
“This year we burned a three-hectare area which was half of the site of the 2015 burn.
“As well as examining management needs, this experiment is aimed at understanding the appropriate timing between fires.
“Monitoring conducted as part of this study has already begun to inform our understanding of fire ecology in urban bushlands and the importance of weed control in maintaining local biodiversity.
“Fire in the absence of weed management definitely increases weed loads and fire with weed management helps native species to recover much better.”
Future findings from the study will inform decision making about prescribed burning and other bushfire management techniques.
The research project is being coordinated through the Fire Science Program within Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Science area in collaboration with staff from BGPA, and Parks and Wildlife (both also within DBCA), and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
The low flame height and low intensity fire was held in a south-western bushland area in Kings Park and was ignited by hand.
Fire crews were in place for the duration, with BGPA staff remaining to monitor the site for 48 hours following ignition.
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