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Cooperative fuel reduction burning planned


A series of fuel reduction burns will be conducted this month in Tasmania's North-East and on the West Coast.
Parks and Wildlife Service Operations and Performance Manager Mark Bryce said the fuel reduction program will see the State's three fire fighting agencies - Forestry Tasmania, the Tasmania Fire Service and the PWS - combine their expertise to reduce fuel loads around the state.

"The program began in autumn and these spring burns will be completed as soon as fuel and weather conditions permit," Mr Bryce said.

"The objective of the inter-agency Fuel Reduction Burning Program is to create corridors of low fuel loads to help prevent large bushfires. Bushfires are more easily controlled if fuel is not allowed to accumulate to high levels."

A fuel reduction burn in State Forest at St Helens began this week. Another burn is scheduled for the Lake Leake Road that includes State Forest and the Wye River State Reserve. A third is planned for the Ansons Bay - Gladstone area.

Mr Bryce said the burns are being undertaken for strategic wildfire control and to provide asset protection for communities.

Three large burns are planned on the West Coast. The Trial Creek Track (east) burn of 4000 hectares of Crown Land is intended to provide protection for the town of Zeehan. Two large burns totalling about 4000 hectares in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area are intended to provide breaks in the large expanse of buttongrass plains to limit the impact of wildfire.

Mr Bryce said fuel management is a fundamental responsibility of all land managers.

"It assists in reducing the potential for damaging bushfires and in making them easier and safer for fire fighters to control," he said.

"Fuel reduction burns improve public safety by reducing the risk and severity of bushfires.

"This type of burning is low-intensity and smoke can affect ground-level air quality. However efforts will be made to limit the impact of smoke on populated areas. "

Information about planned burns can be found on the Parks and Wildlife Service website at www.parks.tas.gov.au and on the Tasmania Fire Service website at www.fire.tas.gov.au/.