A serious business these days, with early season burning now a fixture on the business scene for those trying to offset carbon emissions.
The science is well established: - in summary, by organising and entering into a medium to long term business arrangement to conduct organised early season burning that well over 100000 tonnes of CO2 can be prevented as an emission, a scenario that had occurred previously with late dry season wildfire burns. The work is done by local indigenous people, creating a win-win situation of job creation in indigenous communities across the Top End, and a business win by the companies investing in the business of actually getting the job done, and saving them costs of carbon emissions - a carbon offset.
[more here about it - http://www.nailsma.org.au/walfa-west-arnhem-land-fire-abatement-project and there are other articles ]
The early season burn is usually a patch type burn, slow and smouldering, and much lower CO2 emissions. It is easily controllable, and has less damage on wildlife and trees /shrubs as well, effectively burning the grass vegetation, and not much more.
In contrast late season fires are typically wild, driven hard by strong late season winds often from the SE, consume the whole landscape, kill trees and shrubs as well as grass vegetation, and are essentially uncontrollable. They also have more potential to inflict damage on infrastructure, including fences, buildings and utilities.
Most recent weather forecasts indicate little chance of more rain, and indigenous communities and their rangers will be out soon.
The tell tale signs will be smoke across the horizon on the outskirts of Darwin, Katherine and Nhulunbuy.