Fuel reduction burns to reduce the risk of bushfires

Mount Isa Mines (MIM) has completed controlled burn activities in March for the 2022 Prescribed Burns Program, to help reduce the intensity of potential fires around Mount Isa in future.

The program is part of the five-year Fire Management Plan for the MIM site, and forms a crucial component of the site land management and risk reduction.

The Prescribed Burns Program is just one activity our Environmental teams implement to protect our community and surrounding environments.

The initiative reduces fire fuel load in the landscape to minimise the size, impact and intensity of any future bushfires to the local community, mining operations and environment, while maintaining ecological function and habitats.

The MIM Environmental team had identified six zones for fuel reduction burning in March, including areas adjacent to George Fisher Mine (GFM) on the eastern side of the Barkly Highway, areas surrounding Lake Moondarra and north of May Downs Road, between GFM Haul Road and the Mount Isa Water Board.

Precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the public on nearby roads.
Three of the six planned burn zones have been completed in March.

Specialists in bushfire management and hazard assessment, Fireland Consultancy, were contracted to undertake the planned burns. Three zones were completed before activities were postponed because of unfavourable weather and ground conditions.

The burns were undertaken in strict accordance with our safety protocols and did not go ahead unless weather conditions were favourable at the time of the planned activities.

Signage placed at each entry point of burn zones provided notice to any potential passers-by of entry requirements.
The prescribed burns were undertaken by specialised contractors.

Senior Environmental Advisor, Sarah Jory explains that the burns only take place if it is safe to do so, to ensure they remain under control and smoke does not affect the community or businesses.

“Prior to the initiation of any prescribed burn activity, a detailed assessment of the on-ground conditions and predicted weather patterns is completed.”

Specialists ignite and control the flames to achieve a low intensity burn and achieve an intermittent mosaic pattern in the landscape.
The completed burn zones result in decreased size and intensity of potential future fires.

“During planned burns, controls are in place to ensure awareness and restrict access for the public.” Sarah says.

The burns go a long way to achieving land management outcomes and reducing risk in 2022.