Common questions for landscape recovery post fire

April 2020

Leesa Kelly, Land Services Officer

Post fire property walk

Much of the South Coast was impacted by the recent southern bushfires and many land managers are now wondering what steps they need to take to help their lands recover.

We recently held an event in the Milton area where we did a walk through of a fire affected area and highlighted things to look out for and answered questions from the land managers in attendance.

The below is a summary of some of the key issues that came up throughout the day:

  • Give the bush time to recover. What appears to be dead and ‘gone’ may still come back. Many species of natives in Australia need the fire to germinate seed.
  • Establish two or more photo monitoring sites on your property or project area to monitor changes. Use an outlook that has a point of reference and install a star picket at each site. Record the date and direction the photos are taken in and repeat in the same place – every 4, 6 or 12 months. It is useful to take four photos, facing N, S, E and W.
  • Monitor threats such as weed invasion, erosion and grazing of new growth
  • Utilise expertise to identify and conduct weed control, so to not harm surrounding native plants that are also likely to be germinating.
  • Best way to protect soils from erosion is to allow the natural regeneration of native plants. If a lot of black wattle is coming up, it may serve a purpose to provide shade and nitrogen to the soils in the short term.
  • The fire has done primary weed control in many places and has provided access to weed infestations.
  • The next 6-8 months is a great opportunity to capitalise on the germination of weed seed by undertaking weed control before new seedlings produce the next generation of seed.
  • Control pest animals to help reduce grazing pressure on regenerating native plants.
  • Leave some fallen timber as it is an important refuge for local wildlife.
  • Consider an ecological/ plant survey on your property in the first spring post fire.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and every property will be different but these are some good starting points for further research or discussion.

If you have questions about managing native vegetation after fire you can contact your nearest Local Land Services office and ask to speak to the Land Management team or find more information here.

You can also find more information on post fire landscape recovery here or by contacting your nearest Local Land Services office.

Related information