Recovering after bushfires

This page has tips for landholders to consider when restoring their agricultural land and properties after bushfires.

Download fact sheets:

Erosion

Take the following steps to reduce erosion damage to burnt areas with:

  • Minimise soil disturbance. Keep stock and vehicle traffic on burnt areas to a minimum.
  • Use temporary wind breaks to stop soil building up around troughs or gateways.
  • Use temporary electric fences to protect burnt areas.
  • Allow plants to grow so they provide surface cover.

Water erosion

Burnt ground is at risk of water erosion. Rain run off burnt ground rather than soak in. Be aware of potential flooding and erosion that can happen if it rains after a fire.

Wind erosion

Rip soil using a tyned implement in areas susceptible to wind sweep. A rabbit ripper or pipeline laying ripper will be suitable. This will bring clods of soil to the surface to act as a wind barrier.

Dams and watercourses

Protect dams and watercourses from runoff after a fire. Runoff can carry debris into dams and foul the water. Use sediment traps in watercourses to filter runoff. Small hay bales pegged down or chicken wire anchored across water courses can be effective runoff filters.

Re-fencing

Consider the following when re-fencing after a fire:

  • Beware of dead trees and limbs falling along fence lines.
  • Fences in creeks may have debris washed into them.
  • Replacing fences is an opportunity to change paddock layouts. Fence types can be changed and they can be put in different places.
  • Tanks, pipes, and troughs needing replacement can be put in a different location.
  • Use www.naturemaps.sa.gov.au to see aerial photos of a property for planning a new layout or checking what the layout was before a fire.

Livestock feeding

The options for managing livestock after a fire are:

  • sell
  • agist
  • confinement feed.

Beware weed seeds in hay or grain from unknown sources. Feed stock in a small area so weed distribution is limited.

Growing feed on burnt land

Consider the following when growing feed on burnt land:

  • Plants that bury their seed or have growing points below the surface are best able to survive a fire. Established phalaris, lucerne, and native grasses are suited to regenerate after a fire.
  • Beware Salvation Jane and Geranium that can grow quickly after a fire.
  • Soak an area to simulate rainfall and see what grows. This will tell you what is likely to grow in a paddock.

Feral pest control

Rabbit warrens and foxholes will be exposed during a fire. Take the opportunity to clean them up after a fire.

Page Last Reviewed: 30 Oct 2014
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