Controlled cool burns have been conducted in the Boorowa area as part of an Australian National University (ANU) research project.
The cool burns at Boorowa, Dalton and Yass in November were a collaboration between the Onerwal Local Aboriginal Land Council, South East Local Land Services (SELLS) office, Rural Fire Services (RFS) and the ANU.
The Onerwal Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) initiated the cool burns within three Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs) and one LALC owned property, all on Ngunnawal Country.
The ANU received funding for the project with the primary objective of the collaboration to measure the cool burn response to reduce bushfire risks, and to explore the ecological advantages of cool burns within Box Gum Grassy Woodlands.
Monitoring of the sites by ANU staff took place before the burns and immediately after them, with further monitoring of the sites in the future to gauge the effectiveness of the cool burn.
The SELLS as managers of TSRs helped to identify the sites within their area for the burns.
Local spokesperson, Melissa Henry, of Boorowa said the burn sites chosen had very distinctive features.
"The sites are adorned with microlena, kangaroo grass, and wallaby grass, accompanied by a majestic overstory of white box, yellow box, and blakley's red gum. This combination of green and dry grasses created an ideal scenario for a controlled cool burn." She said.
Site access was another important consideration in site selection and the cool burns took place at the following locations: Coffeys Bridge TSR (Boorowa), Jerrawa Creek TSR (Dalton) and Kangaira TSR (Yass), as well as a specific site within Bowning village (Yass), owned by Onerwal LALC.
Ms Henry said, "Cool burns offer a multitude of benefits as they advance slowly, preserving green grass after the flames have passed through. Importantly, these controlled burns do not harm the smaller or larger trees, as they generate minimal heat.
"The moisture content of the soil remains undisturbed on the surface, setting the stage for the natural regeneration of native grasses, which, in turn, hinders the growth of non-native species ill-suited to fire."
Ms Henry added ANU are seeking funding to continue the research on cool burns next year.
The Riverina Local Land Service has also participated in the project with cool burns conducted at Monteagle, near Young and at Wagga.