Fire, both as a natural event and its use by Aboriginal people has been a part of the Australian environment for thousands of years. It has shaped our plants and animals into the unique ecosystems we have today; its effects in many areas of Victoria are important for the health of our plants and animals. But is it good or Bad?
Well – it can depend. Most major parks in Victoria require periodic fire to ensure the survival of certain plants and animals. A number of native plants and animals have developed specific ways of surviving fire, in fact many including plants such as banksias and grass trees rely on fire to regenerate seeds and survive.
Today the term ‘prescribed burning’ refers to the use of fire to achieve planned land and resource management objectives. Depending on the environment type, some parks need more frequent fire than others. There are two main reasons that Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability conduct prescribed burns in Victoria’s parks:
Prescribed burns are usually conducted in autumn or spring when the weather is milder. Keep an eye out when you’re travelling around at this time of year for the large plumes of smoke coming from the burns.
This beautiful but deadly blue-ring octopus was photographed near Skenes Creek by Ranger Sylvia.
Rockpool rambling is a favourite Summer acitvity for many families and there are plenty of wonders to be found along Victoria’s rocky shores. Just remember to keep your fingers where you can see them to prevent any nasty surprises, avoid handling any plants or animals, and leave everything just as you found it.