In association with its 12th Biennial Bushfire Conference Cool, Warm, Hot: the burning questions, the Nature Conservation Council of NSW’s Bushfire Program held a field day on the 4th June at North Head Sanctuary. The in-person event brought together over 60 people from a range of different organisations to discuss and learn about fire management and environmental protection.

Bob Conroy from NCC’s Bush Fire Advisory Committee facilitates the panel discussion.

The day began at the North Head Quarantine Station with an introduction by Bushfire Program Coordinator Evelyn Chia. Phil Hunt from the Northern Sydney Aboriginal Heritage Office provided a thought-provoking Acknowledgement of Country, and Judy Lambert from the North Head Sanctuary Foundation gave an overview of area, its history and management stakeholders. A facilitated panel discussion with eight local experts set the scene for fire management on this multi-tenure site.

Participants on the site of the recent hazard reduction burn

Participants[ then headed out into the field on two guided walks, hearing from local experts about on-site applications of fire and land management, as well as ecological and heritage works. Members of NCC’s Bushfire Advisory Committee facilitated discussions throughout the day.

Topics discussed included:

  • Managing fire on a multi-tenure site
  • How to use fire for different objectives including life, property, and community values
  • Fire management processes including the structure and processes the of Bush Fire Management Committee, and hazard reduction burn logistics
  • Fire history including recent hazard reduction burn, lessons learned, and new methodologies following the Bushfire Inquiry recommendations
  • Applying fire in Coastal Heath: the importance of local knowledge
  • Threatened species management, including Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub Endangered Ecological Community, and post-fire monitoring of wildlife such as the Long-nosed Bandicoot
  • Current environmental and heritage management practices at North Head
  • Fire and flora considerations: restoration principles and weeding pre and post-fire
Vegetation regenerating after the fire

Organisations involved included: NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, North Head Sanctuary Foundation, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, Northern Sydney Aboriginal Heritage Office, Northern Beaches Council, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and Garigal Landcare.

Participants said they appreciated:

“Learning about the positive and negative effects fire has on native flora and fauna.”

“Learning from a wide range of experts with relevant experience.”

“Collaborating and strengthening partnerships with all agencies involved, to plan burns more effectively”

To learn more about the Bushfire Program and the work that they do, head to:


Please send us an email and we'll reply within three working days. Regards, NCC Fire and Restoration team


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Acknowledgement: This site has been developed with support from The Norman Wettenhall Foundation

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