On Wednesday the 22nd June a prescribed burn was carried out on a Casino Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) property located at Busbys Flat. The burn has been planned and implemented by members of Casino Boolangle LALC Green Team, Gudgin Guddaba LALC, Ngulingah Nimbin Rocks Rangers and Minyumai Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) rangers with support from the Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) Firesticks Project staff, Rural Fire Service Brigades from Woodburn and Sextonville and neighbouring landholders.


Gugin Guddaba LALC head ranger Andrew Johnston with a neighbour of the Busbys Flat LALC property Lisa Rose Oliver. Prescribed burn supervisor Greg Banks briefs the rangers with on the burn plan.

The burn is part of an ongoing collaborative project between Casino Boolangle LALC, neighbouring landholders the NSW Nature Conservation Council NCC Firesticks Project and the Northern Rivers Fire and Biodiversity Consortium (NRFABCON). It is part of a three-year project the NRFABCON is delivering, “Protecting the high ecological and cultural values of Busbys Flat” and is funded under the NSW Environmental Trust with in-kind support from the NCC Firesticks Project.


A test burn was conducted to assess the effect of ground moisture and wind on the fire. Rangers ready to work the control lines to maintain the fire.

The Busbys Flat property contains significant ecological and cultural values that are important to the local Aboriginal community to maintain and protect. Through integrated fire and weed management the project is aiming to restore and protect native vegetation communities and cultural sites. The 24-hectare burn that was commenced this week is part of a broader initiative through the NCC Firesticks Project to re-instate low-intensity burns into the landscape to protect important cultural sites, restore native plant communities and associated habitat and reduce the likelihood of wildfire.


Rangers from Casino Boolangle LALC and Belinda Gomes from Minyumai IPA maintaining the control line. Minyumai IPA Coordinator Daniel Gomes and Andrew Johnston watch the progress of the burn.

A Casino Boolangle Aboriginal Green Team has been established and have been working alongside a bush regeneration team from EnviTE on removing Cats Claw Creeper and Lantana, Weeds of National Significance. The team have also been working with NCC Firesticks staff to develop a fire management plan for the property to assist them to gain further support from other local Government agencies in implementing prescribed burns.


Emma Wilson and Daniel Wilson from Minyumai IPA maintain the control lines.

The Busbys Flat property forms part of a broader cultural landscape and Aboriginal pathway that connects the coast to the ranges and therefore contains a significant amount of important cultural sites. The property also features as an important wildlife corridor in a predominantly cleared and fragmented landscape. Busbys Flat contains a number of endangered ecological communities including Subtropical Coastal Floodplain Forest, Freshwater Wetlands on Coastal Floodplains and Lowland Rainforest all at risk from wild fires. These communities also provide important habitat for a large diversity of threatened species including the Black Necked Stork, Comb Crested Jacana, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Yellow Bellied Glider, Squirrel Glider, Koala and Giant Barred Frog.


Minyumai ranger Lilly Wilson maintains the control line. Gugin Guddaba ALAC ranger Andrew Johnston applies fire with RFS/NCC Greg Banks happy to see the burn is going ahead safely.

The weather conditions prevented the whole block from being burnt in one day, with unpredictable wind gusts from every direction proving too risky to work in a safe and confident manner. As a result a reduced 2 hectare area was burnt once the wind had subsided to a manageable level. There are plans to finish burning the block over the next few weeks, if the conditions are agreeable. The completion of the burn and reduction of fuel loads will enable the ranger teams to more easily access and eradicate areas of lantana that pose a fire risk to many of the older habitat trees on the block.



This story was also published by the Northern Star newspaper, you can view it using this link: