SA settles on bushfire management plan

South Australia has finalised a bushfire management plan to operate across the state until 2025.
South Australia has finalised a bushfire management plan to operate across the state until 2025.

Fuel management and identifying areas most at risk feature heavily in a new bushfire management plan to operate across South Australia for the next four summers.

Development of the strategy to enhance bushfire resilience and safety was a key recommendation of an independent review sparked by devastating fires on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills two summers ago.

Emergency Services Minister Vincent Tarzia said the bushfire management plan provided a roadmap for the delivery of the review's findings.

"The plan builds the foundation for a collaborative approach to bushfire management and will engage and build understanding of shared responsibility for bushfire management in the community," he said.

"Protecting lives and property is a top priority for the government. We will continue doing everything possible to strengthen South Australia's bushfire resilience."

The four-year plan includes clear guidelines for fuel management and property preparation to assist local government and private landholders.

It also comes after a record year for fuel load management with 96 burns across 6200 hectares.

In response to the bushfire review, the state government has committed $97.5 million for additional support and resources for volunteers, including extra staff and equipment, better protection for critical assets, enhanced communications, state-of-the-art technology and improved mental health assistance for the emergency services sector.

Country Fire Service acting Chief Officer Georgie Cornish said all landholders and community members had a part to play in managing bushfire risk.

"It's only through collaboration and joint effort that we'll be able to reduce the impact of large-scale bushfires in the future," Ms Cornish said.

"We now have a clear roadmap for the way forward, and we'll be commissioning high-level research to help identify major risks and identify the areas where we are most vulnerable as a state.

"The actions we take now can dramatically affect the impact of bushfires on individuals, businesses and communities when they occur."

Australian Associated Press