When to use fire to manage grazing lands
It's important to pick the right time to use fire on your grazing lands. Generally, winter is the safest season for controlled burns; however, you should always consider the goal for burning to work out when to burn and the intensity of the fire.
While you may prefer a controlled burn early in the dormant season or growing season, you must plan around the weather.
Choose the right weather conditions for fire
Before deciding on a time to burn, you should check the weather forecast to ensure you will be able to control a fire.
When conditions are windy
A wind that changes direction can cause a fire to become dangerous and unpredictable.
When conditions are hot and still
A burn conducted on a hot, still day is risky because the fire may become so intense that it generates its own wind and sends small puffs of fire off in many directions. This can cause other fires to break out, especially if conditions are dry.
When to burn Mitchell grassland
Burning Mitchell grassland is usually done to manage feathertop wire grass infestation - when pasture has become unproductive or weeds are encroaching into open grassland.
Burning to remove rank Mitchell grass pasture is often carried out after the first storms of the wet season to encourage pasture regrowth. A moderately hot to cool fire is best.
For feathertop control, the best time is July or early August. If there is moisture in the top 30cm of soil, or rain within 6 weeks, the feathertop may reshoot.
Apply for a permit to light fire
You must obtain a permit to light fire from the local Fire Warden of the Queensland Rural Fire Service before you burn.
- Read tips on how to manage fire on the Meat and Livestock Australia website.
- Read managing grazing lands in Queensland (PDF, 641 KB) to learn more about fire management practices.
- Find out about fire management in the rangelands.
- Watch the webinar Fire - master or servant? Your call! on the FutureBeef website.
- Learn more about the use of fire in grazing country on the FutureBeef website.
- Find out about managing fire in Australia's tropical savannas.
- Get up-to-date fire information for north Australia.