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Fire is an essential part of natural and cultural management activities,
infrastructure protection, wildfire mitigation and landscape health
in the Northern Territory.


Aboriginal people have used fire for thousands of years to maintain
species and habitats. However, changes in land use and species have
meant that fire cannot be managed as it was in the past.


Fuel loads have decreased in some areas because of grazing by
domestic and feral livestock, but increased in areas where exotic grasses have become dominant. Late dry-season fires in the north can burn out hundreds of square kilometres of native vegetation and pasture. In Central Australia extensive summer fires burn out the country in years following good rainfall. These large-scale fires can eliminate species such as mammals, reptiles and ground-dwelling birds from vast areas. They can also have a devastating impact on pastoral enterprises. Rarely life threatening in the past, fire hazard is now dangerously high in some areas that have been invaded by introduced grasses, particularly gamba grass. 


Within ten years all regions in the Northern Territory have an appropriate fire regime over more than 75% of their area.


  • Establish landscape scale fire management programs with greater integration and collaboration between landholders.

  • Increase the application of fire management techniques that promote biodiversity and ecosystem function and minimise risk to infrastructure and production values.

  • Increase use of spatial fire management tools, knowledge systems, safe burning practices and equipment.

  • Promote policies and market-based approaches such as carbon credits, that promote fire management approaches that provide social and cultural benefit.


  • The Northern Australian Fire Information Service is a valuable tool to monitor fire in the Northern Territory.

  • With greater collaboration and analysis of information (i.e. from NAFI) multiple landowners, managers and agencies can be more proactive in fire management.

  • A greater understanding of the effects of fire regimes according to different habitat and ecosystem type and the level of adoption.

  • Number of carbon credits produced in the Northern Territory.

  • Number of active carbon abatement and sequestration projects.


Managing Fire aims to support coordinated fire management to strengthen culture, protect biodiversity, maximise production and abate greenhouse gas emissions. 


There is a different emphasis relevant to its people, environments and industries for the four major regions in the Northern Territory.


Click on your region to see your regional fire plan.


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