Wind erosion after fire - frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Page last updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2016 - 7:23am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Farmers have asked the questions below after serious fires in the agricultural areas of south-west Western Australia. Staff of the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), agronomists and other farmers with experience have contributed to the answers.

Please note that these answers are general in nature, and farmers wanting advice for a specific property will need to ask local professionals or experienced land managers.

For more information about recovering from fire see DAFWA's Fire information page.

See wind erosion management for more information.

Land management recommendations

How much does fire increase wind erosion?

Fire will significantly increase erosion risk on loose, sandy soils, and slightly increase the risk on stable clay soils. Dust will blow from any soil if the surface has been loosened by livestock, vehicles or cultivation.

What should we do on burnt, erodible farming land?

  • Remove livestock immediately and prevent them from returning
  • Minimise vehicle traffic which loosens the topsoil making it more vulnerable to wind erosion
  • Protect valuable or highly sensitive areas using soil treatment (spray, claying, gravel or old hay or straw to give a full cover)
  • Leave weeds germinating after summer rainfall; these will help stabilise soil
  • Soil test and seek the advice of an agronomist on fertiliser rates
  • Grow a cover crop — if possible — where the soils are at risk.

Farm planning

Is there support for farm planning after a fire?

DAFWA can provide direct advice and support for farm planning areas affected by fire. Private consultants can provide more detailed advice and there may be support from the Western Australian Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA).

Contact information

Paul Findlater
+61 (0)8 9956 8535