Cape York NRM

Traditional Fire Management

fire book cover


Cape York NRM received $300 000 in 2012-2013 from Caring for our Country for a traditional fire management project (TFMP) which aimed to extend the coverage of traditional fire management practices and regimes across Cape York Peninsula.


The project has seen significant benefits to Cape York as a whole, by improving fire management skills and knowledge of Indigenous and non-Indigenous land managers, improving governance arrangements, raising awareness through improved communications and promotion materials, strengthening partnerships, and developing strategic fire plans.


In particular, burning and improved traditional fire management regimes were implemented on three areas of Cape York: Kings Plains station, Wunta traditional lands (Palinjii country) and Melsonby traditional lands – an area of over 120 000 ha.


The Kings Plains Fire Workshop (July 2012) was attended by 52 people from across Australia. Participants learnt and shared information on identification of ecosystems, burning strategies, cultural connections to country, placing ignition points, timing burns, regrowth, reading the health of the country, applying fire for different purposes and research of fire.  A film from the workshop can be viewed at


Other outcomes of TFMP included Cape York Traditional Owners invited to Victoria to exchange fire knowledge, and the production of a hard cover book “Fire and the story of burning Country”.


Cape York NRM also undertake extensive engagement with Wunta Aboriginal Corporation, including returning old people with younger family members to Nesbit Country to share and record traditional knowledge and develop a fire management plan. See more at: