Rhonda Toms-Morgan and Lynda Hardwick look at conditions on the land north of Mitchell.
Rhonda Toms-Morgan and Lynda Hardwick look at conditions on the land north of Mitchell.

Maranoa farmers manage fire risk

A NEW project is aiming to change the way landholders look at fire management as our summers get longer and hotter.

The Queensland Murray Darling Committee has been working with landholders for its Landscape Fire Plan Project.

Specialists from QMDC have been in talks with landholders in the Upper Maranoa to find the best way to manage fire.

Project manager Rhonda Toms-Morgan said a big part of the problem was that many landholders were reluctant to talk about fire.

“It can be a very controversial subject if someone has had a bad experience,” she said.

“So we are trying to create a conversation to share about what works and doesn’t work.”

Over the last four years they have chatted with more than 70 landholders across 300,000 hectares of land in the Maranoa.

“It’s really about supporting land managers to look at appropriate fire regime,” she said.

Working with the CSIRO and other project partners, the project managers have looked at vegetation, climate and other conditions the affect landholders.

With expert research and years of data, they hope to be able to give landholders the information they need to make appropriate decisions on fire management.

“We are trying to support people’s planning so it doesn’t cost their business,” she said.

Part of the challengers with fire were changing conditions, longer and hotter summers and more extreme temperatures.

“The extreme climate variability is challenging people to get the outcomes they might have once expected,” she said.

The project will continue research and consultation for another 12 months and wrap up in June 2017.

Landholders can phone Rhonda on 0428759235.


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