“Getting back country, looking after country and getting control of the future...”


Ranger expertise on fire ground

Oct 11, 2016

At least 30 Kimberley Land Council (KLC) rangers and staff have been involved in the fight against a massive bushfire that has been burning in the Central-East Kimberley.

Indigenous rangers from across the Kimberley have been at the site protecting country, people, habitat and infrastructure.

Kimberley Land Council Deputy Chief Executive Officer Tyronne Garstone said KLC rangers and staff are working in conjunction with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Indigenous Land Corporation and pastoralists to contain the fire, which is believed to have been caused by lightning.

“This is a very large fire which has now burnt through more than a million hectares,” Mr Garstone said.

“We have rangers and KLC staff on the ground working in collaboration with DFES to create and join up existing fire breaks to help control the movement of the large bushfire.

“Our rangers are highly skilled in fire operations and regularly requested by pastoralists, government and non-government agencies to assist in managing the risk of wildfire.”

Mr Garstone said KLC rangers work closely with stakeholders across the Kimberley to conduct traditional fire management early in the year which reduces the risk of late season wildfire across the Kimberley.

“KLC rangers play an integral role in the lead up to the bushfire season, undertaking traditional fire management to reduce the risk of out of control fires,” he said.

“By conducting low-intensity, early dry season fires KLC rangers create fire breaks and reduce fuel loads across the landscape, significantly reducing the risk of fire.

“Ensuring ongoing and increased support for organisations, such as the KLC rangers, to undertake strategic fire management is critical to managing risks from wildfires in the future.”

Ranger groups involved in fighting the fire include, Wunggurr rangers together with Nyaliga casual rangers, as well as Balanggarra, Nyikina Mangala, Nyul Nyul, Gooniyandi, Karajarri, Dambimangari, Bardi Jawi, Bunuba and Kija ranger groups.

Anyone seeking bushfire advice should visit the DFES alerts page www.dfes.wa.gov.au/alerts.