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Prescribed burning helps protect Bungle Bungle rock art

Burning near the Bungle Bungle rock face
Burning near the Bungle Bungle rock face Bill Dempsey, DPaW

Significant Aboriginal art sites on the Bungle Bungle Range are safer from the ravages of bushfires following a special program of prescribed burning within Purnululu National Park.

 

Traditional owners, Aboriginal rangers and fire management staff from the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) have conducted vegetation clearing and ground burning along a 1km section of ancient rock art.

 

DPaW’s Purnululu World Heritage Area manager Bill Dempsey said controlled burning adjacent to the art sites would help protect the rock face from radiant heat generated by out-of-control and high intensity bushfires.

 

“We get fires caused by lightning strikes every year in Purnululu so by doing this burning now, after we’ve had some rain, we can reduce the impact of hot season fires,” Mr Dempsey said.

 

“Our next phase is to start broadscale aerial burning in the park, which is another strategy to minimise the effect of bushfires.”

 

Mr Dempsey said ground burning near rock art sites in Purnululu would be part of an ongoing program.

 

“A report prepared for DPaW in 2013 identified fire as a significant threat to rock art in Purnululu National Park, so we decided to take some action through prescribed burning to help protect the art and the park’s World Heritage values,” he said.

 

“We collaborated closely with traditional owners and our Aboriginal rangers from the local Djaru and Kija language groups and they have identified the most significant sites and participated in the burning program.

 

“The Bungle Bungle Range covers about 45,000 hectares so we plan to continue with burns like this one well into the future.”

 

The Purnululu ground burning project is funded by DPaW and a Commonwealth Caring for our Country grant.

 

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999

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Last modified on Monday, 10 February 2014 09:48