Managing fire at Kakadu

Early burn at Kakadu

Our visitors are very interested in fire management – and why wouldn’t they be? It’s an important part of our cultural heritage and a fascinating sustainable practice.

Fires in the early dry season are generally small, cool, patchy and less likely to damage fire sensitive habitats. A mosaic of small cool fires allows animals to escape to unburned habitat. On the other hand, fires in the late dry season are often large, hot, and much more destructive, damaging fire sensitive habitats and wildlife.

Kakadu manages fire to reduce fuel loads early in the dry season. We progressively light small, cool fires as the country dries out. These early burns form strategic breaks to stop the spread of late season fires. In this way we are following traditional Aboriginal burning practices.

For more information see the North Australian Fire Information website at This website illustrates how many fires are burning across the north of Australia.