Home' Smart Farmer : February 2015 Contents Smart bushfire recovery
SmartFarmer • February 2015
The Sampson Flat bushfire in January had a widespread impact on many
northern Adelaide Hills areas.
Handy pointers to help
with bushfire recovery
THE recent Sampson Flat
bushfire has had a serious
impact on landholders and
natural resources in the northern
area of the Adelaide and Mount
These bushfires affected people
in many ways, from those whose
homes were damaged or destroyed
to those who have lost property,
stock, crops, water supplies, soils or
Natural Resources Adelaide and
Mount Lofty Ranges provides sup-
port and advice to property owners
impacted by the fire.
This ensures the recovery of natu-
ral resources and ongoing sustain-
able management of properties.
Pastures and livestock
Allowing time for your pastures to
recover and protecting productive
land is critical for future sustain-
ability of your property.
Exclude stock from areas affected
by fires, particularly areas which are
vulnerable to erosion such as hills,
sandy soils and slopes.
Consider reducing your stocking
rate by destocking through selling or
agisting stock, or by placing stock in
Reduce grazing pressure by con-
trolling feral animals such as foxes
In some areas kangaroos can also
hamper regeneration, particularly
without natural predators to keep
their numbers in check.
Natural Resources district officers
are available to discuss kangaroo
control and to obtain destruction
permits if necessary.
Protect surface run-off areas and
waterways from stock movement.
Use this opportunity to review
the location of your fencing and
Containment areas for livestock
are recommended if you choose to
keep or return your stock to the
land soon after fire. It allows for
closer monitoring of stock health
Temporary fences can be used, giv-
ing you time to fix or replace them.
Only one water point needs to be
functional, giving you time again to
fix other water points.
Containing livestock to one area
of your property provides time for
the rest of your property to recover.
Pasture can germinate and
establish, and this reduces erosion
potential and gives you the ability to
Feed stock in a confined area to
reduce likelihood of weeds being
Monitor containment areas and be
suspicious of unfamiliar plants that
Ensure vehicles and equipment of
contractors and advisers are clean
and free of weeds before entering
Fire will often cause a mass ger-
mination of weeds. Utilise the weed
identification skills of your local
Natural Resources district officer or
an agronomist to identify suspect
plants and options for controlling
Replacing fences is often seen as a
priority after fires and there will be a
significant demand for local fencing
But refencing followed by restock-
ing burned land too soon will
significantly slow recovery.
Your Natural Resources district
officer can provide advice regarding
when to re-stock.
Fencing may not be as urgent as
You now have the opportunity
to review your property's fencing
For example, fence to landclass,
fence-off watercourses and regener-
ating native vegetation, and arrange
laneways and access points for
stock, fire appliances and machinery
movement within your boundary.
Your Natural Resources district
officer can assist with this planning.
Fire-affected soils are extremely
prone to wind and water erosion.
Steep terrain is particularly at risk in
the early months of the year.
Retain soil structure and reduce
soil loss by minimising soil distur-
bance in all areas affected by fire.
Good management practices may
assist the recovery of pasture after
a fire and promote native grass
Encourage regeneration of native
pastures and perennial pasture areas
by containing stock and controlling
Utilise hay bales, shade cloth and
fallen limbs by placing on the soil
surface to reduce surface water flow
and loss of soil in critical areas.
A cover crop may be appropriate
in some situations to reduce top soil
loss and erosion.
Use this time to consider the lay-
out of your property.
Consider fencing to landclass and
protect regenerating paddock trees,
native vegetation and watercourses.
Think about suitable placement of
stock watering points.
Consider attending a land man-
agement course, seek the assistance
of an agronomist or contact your
local Natural Resources Centre for
information on property planning.
You are not alone in your recov-
ery. Share your knowledge and work
collaboratively with your neighbours
on issues such as weed manage-
ment, pest animal control and water
Those impacted by the Sampson
Flat Bushfire are invited to call 08
8523 7700 to register and a Natural
Resources district officer will arrange
a time to visit your property to work
through specific natural resources
issues at no cost.
Post-fire natural resources man-
agement information is available
from your local natural resources
centre and at ww.naturalresources.
• Need to know more?
In the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
region, contact your local Natural
Resources Centre at Gawler, 8 Adelaide
Rd, 08 8523 7700; Lobethal, 1 Adelaide-
Lobethal Rd, 08 8389 5900 or Willunga,
5 Aldinga Rd, 08 8550 3400.
Project focus on native vegetation fire responses
By KIM THOMPSON
SINCE 2012, with funding support from the Native
Vegetation Council, the Upper Torrens Land
Management Project has been working with Upper
Torrens landholders who have remnant vegetation
on their properties.
On-ground works included undertaking fencing
to exclude stock from these areas in addition to
animal and plant pest control.
During the recent fires, many properties with
remnant vegetation were affected.
In coming seasons, we will see a big response
to the fire, with the first signs of recovery from the
bush already starting to show.
Properties in the Upper Torrens catchment
around Gumeracha and Forreston will be moni-
tored closely to track change in the next few years.
Staff will set up photo points on private proper-
ties next month to assist landholders with their
An eight-week course on rural land management
aims to help landholders recover from the impacts
of the recent fires and plan well to cope with future
Landholder education -- a practical guide to rural
land management will run at Mount Pleasant for
eight weeks, starting Wednesday, February 11.
It has been organised by the UTLMP on behalf of
the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board,
and is subsidised by the NRM levy.
Course participants will meet each Wednesday
evening from 7.30-9.30pm.
Workshop coordinator Gerry Butler -- also project
manager of the UTLMP -- said while fire damage
to some rural properties had been extensive, time
spent in planning would help improve the recovery
of pastures and on-farm native vegetation.
He said managing denuded soils and planning
where to put in new fencing could help degraded
areas recover, and reduce soil erosion.
Straw bales, for example, when placed appropri-
ately, can reduce erosion by diverting water away
from areas of bare or denuded soil, and prevent
contamination of water resources.
Apart from offering a whole evening on bushfire
planning with many practical tips, the course pro-
vides advice on pasture management, pest animal
and weed identification and control, watercourse
and dam management, biodiversity and property
Participants will also do a site visit to a farm one
At the end of the course, rural landholders will
be able to make better NRM decisions about their
• Need to know more?
Kim Thompson, 0438 639 353, Gerry Butler, 0707
972 149, or email email@example.com
Photo point for monitoring purposes.
Upper Torrens landholders
undertaking a farm walk.
FIRE SEASON SPECIAL
Best way to stay safe
during fire season is
with a fire fighting pump
and backup generator
Davey & Finsbury Pumps
Honda Powered Generators
Phone: 8351 7971
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