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Efficacy of permanent firebreaks and aerial prescribed burning in western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia

Price, O., Edwards, Andrew C. and Russell-Smith, Jeremy (2007). Efficacy of permanent firebreaks and aerial prescribed burning in western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia. International Journal of Wildland Fire,16(3):295-305.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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IRMA ID A00012xPUB33
Title Efficacy of permanent firebreaks and aerial prescribed burning in western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Author Price, O.
Edwards, Andrew C.
Russell-Smith, Jeremy
Journal Name International Journal of Wildland Fire
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 16
Issue Number 3
ISSN 1448-5516   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-34547342700
Start Page 295
End Page 305
Total Pages 11
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract We investigated the efficacy of firebreaks in the prevention of wildfires in the Arnhem Land Plateau, a vast, rugged and sparsely populated region with high biodiversity value and frequent wildfires. A total of 623 events where a fire met a permanent firebreak (cliffs, stream order, tracks and roads) in different fire seasons were compiled. Cliffs were more effective than streams at stopping fires, which were more effective than roads. Larger streams were more effective than small ones. The largest streams stop 75% of early dry season fires, but there are no firebreak types with more than 50% likelihood of stopping a late dry season fire. Geographic Information System (GIS) surfaces of the relative density of the three firebreak features in the landscape were randomly sampled and compared with the total number of fires and late dry season fires using generalised linear modelling. Several of the density variables were weakly but significantly related to fire frequency, and it appears that late dry season fires are influenced by features at a larger scale (16-km radius) than total fires (4 km). The Aerial Prescribed Burning program for 2004 was studied to identify how effective it was at stopping subsequent wildfires by dividing ignition lines into 137 5-km sections. Only 20% of sections achieved a 100% burn and where gaps occurred, a subsequent fire was 88% likely to penetrate the line. Firebreaks are not certain instruments for fire management in this area.
Keywords bushfire
fire control
fire management
wildfire
kakadu national park
fire regimes
monsoonal
savanna
conservation
landscapes
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF06039   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Mon, 08 Sep 2008, 16:16:22 CST