On an annual basis, the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) undertakes burns to reduce fuel hazards, manage native vegetation and protect biodiversity in strategic areas in South Australia.

Vinehealth Australia has received notification that the planned autumn prescribed burns season will be undertaken between mid-March to mid-May in the Adelaide Hills and Mt Lofty Ranges Region this year. The commencement date will depend on weather and fuel dryness.

DEW and Vinehealth Australia understand many of you may be more concerned than normal about this year’s prescribed burning program.

These prescribed burns do occur each year in the Adelaide Hills and Mt Lofty Ranges Region, in some years, overlapping with the tail end of the winegrape harvest. DEW is fully aware of the potential impact smoke may have on winegrapes and has adopted a risk reduction strategy as outlined in their smoke taint fact sheet.

DEW fire management staff will work to reduce any risk of smoke taint but must balance this with the need to reduce the bushfire risk to the community. This includes reducing the risk of an uncontrolled bushfire impacting on grapegrowers and other primary producers.

As in previous years, Vinehealth Australia will act as a conduit between DEW and growers and will attempt to contact growers on our Vineyard Register within 3km of each prescribed burn when we are notified a burn is scheduled. The ability of Vinehealth Australia to undertake this role effectively relies heavily on growers maintaining correct contact details in Vinehealth Australia’s Vineyard Register. Please ensure that we have current contact details for you, preferably mobile and email.

If you would like to raise any concerns with DEW about their upcoming prescribed burns, please contact Fire Management, Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges on (08) 8336 0901 or email DEWNRFireManagement@sa.gov.au.

For a complete list of planned burns and up to date timing information, please visit the interactive prescribed burns webpage regularly. https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/fire-management/upcoming-prescribed-burns.

We also strongly encourage you to sign up to receive the latest fire news, prescribed burns and research information here. https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/fire-management/stay-informed.

NOTE: At the time of publishing we are aware that the immediate status of the planned autumn prescribed burns in the Adelaide Hills and Mt Lofty Ranges Region is under review. We will continue to keep growers updated on this status.