With another late growing season for our industry, there will be focused management on minimising potential smoke taint impacts to unharvested winegrapes in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Region, while attempting to maximise completion of prescribed burns for the protection of the general community and environment.

National Parks and Wildlife Service SA (NPWSSA) has agreed that a similar approach to 2022 be taken in terms of working with the wine industry.

Vinehealth Australia’s Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin and Adelaide Hills Wine Region’s Executive Officer Sarah Carlson, recently met with NPWSSA Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Senior Regional Fire Management Officer, Brett Williams, and Manager – Fire, Ian Tanner, to discuss the upcoming prescribed burns season.

This week, Vinehealth has sent a communique to all growers and operators who may be potentially impacted by an autumn prescribed burn this year. This will be based on proximity to a planned prescribed burn.

The communique will include how you can proactively stay informed about the burns and when and how you might be contacted by Vinehealth to understand your harvest status in the lead up to the scheduling of a prescribed burn.

Vinehealth urges all identified growers to ensure that contact details (mobile, landline, email) held on the Vinehealth Register are up to date, including if you have contact details for a Manager/Operator.

NPWSSA plans their prescribed burns months in advance, however, only locks them in 2 to 3 days prior if the conditions are right. These conditions are informed through discussions with the Bureau of Meteorology on a range of factors including wind direction, wind speed and absence of potential inversion layers.

NPWSSA advises that if they know you still have grapes to harvest, then they’ll only proceed with a prescribed burn if they are confident that they can manage the risk.

2023 marks the sixth season Vinehealth will use its Register to act as a conduit between NPWSSA, regional wine associations and grapegrowers around the autumn prescribed burns program in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region.