Dudley Peninsula fire management plan finalised

The Penneshaw 24 fire appliance on show at the cruise ship markets in January just after the fires on the western end of the Island were extinguished.
The Penneshaw 24 fire appliance on show at the cruise ship markets in January just after the fires on the western end of the Island were extinguished.

A fire management plan has been finalised for the eastern end of Kangaroo Island aimed at increasing the bushfire resilience of the Dudley Peninsula.

The plan covers fuel reduction strategies and the maintenance and enhancement of fire management infrastructure, including fire access tracks, water points and fire breaks.

And it comes just as Penneshaw residents' calls for hazard reduction in Baudin Conservation Park east of the town were raised in the KI Council this month.

The state government says the plan will reduce the risks to people, property, and environment from the impact of bushfires, while maintaining and enhance the Island's natural ecosystem.

The Reserves of the Dudley Peninsula Fire Management Plan will guide the Department for Environment and Water's fire management activities across public reserves and selected private lands on the peninsula for the next 10 years.

Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs said the new plan incorporates the Baudin, Cape Willoughby, Dudley, Lashmar, Lesueur, Pelican Lagoon, and Simpson Conservation Parks, along with selected Crown lands and privately held Heritage Agreements.

"The state government delivers a prescribed burning program to minimise the risk of bushfire to the community and the environment," Mr Speirs said.

"These burns help reduce the intensity and spread of a bushfire, and provide safer access corridors for fire fighters."

The new fire management plan has been developed by DEW with significant input from the SA Country Fire Service (CFS), and complements the Kangaroo Island Bushfire Management Area Plan, which is based on local community knowledge and input.

The Dudley Peninsula fire management plan area.

The Dudley Peninsula fire management plan area.

DEW National Parks and Wildlife Service manager on KI, Mike Grieg said the plan recognised the importance of land and fire management on KI and Dudley Peninsula in particular, which was not affected by last summer's bushfires.

"The department takes its responsibility as a land manager very seriously and we want to increase the bushfire resilience of this landscape," Mr Grieg said.

"The plan provides guidance over the next 10 years for the delivery of strategic and achievable bushfire mitigation activities across Dudley Peninsula.

"It sets strategic priorities about where, how and why we need to burn to reduce the risk of bushfire and manage the environment.

"This includes reintroducing fire regimes that much of the flora and fauna depend on, protecting critical habitat for a number of key species, and minimising the bushfire risk to land uses such as cropping, livestock grazing and tourism.

"The department appreciates that the KI community experienced significant traumatic bushfire events last summer and will ensure that the Dudley Peninsula community is well aware of any major fire management works, including prescribed burning, before these activities occur.

"This winter our fire management activities will focus solely on fire access and infrastructure maintenance and improvements."

CFS regional prevention officer Niall Stephen said the DEW plan complemented CFS plans and activities and the KI Bushfire Management Area Plan, enhancing the co-operative nature of fire and land managers across the Dudley Peninsula.

"The DEW plan will be incorporated into the KI Bushfire Management Area Plan and supports the planning that the CFS undertakes both across the Island and locally across the Dudley Peninsula," Mr Niall said.

Community members are encouraged to read the plan in conjunction with the KI Bushfire Management Area Plan, and see how they can contribute to shared responsibility across the Dudley Peninsula.

For interactive maps and more detailed information on the Dudley Peninsula Fire Management Plan go to: https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/fire-management/bushfire-risk-and-recovery/fire-management-maps

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