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Fuel reduction burn prevents disastrous fire at Conical Rocks Point


A potentially disastrous bushfire has been avoided recently because of the actions of Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) fire crew on the West Coast last Saturday, on one of Tasmania’s hottest weekends.

PWS incident controller, Geoff Coles, offered praise for fire-fighters and said that what started as a vehicle fire late Saturday afternoon in the Four Mile Beach Regional Reserve was contained to just 62 hectares burnt, on one of the worst fire weather days for some years.

The fire at Conical Rocks Point, bounded by the sea on the west, was largely contained on the eastern and southern flanks as a result of a large fuel reduction burn carried out by the Parks and Wildlife Service in May 2011.

“This highlights the importance of the Parks annual planned burning program,” Mr Coles said.

“Planned burns reduce fuel loads and also reduce the risk of a wildfire getting out of control. It was only because the fuel reduction burn had been successfully carried out last year that we managed to get this recent fire under control so quickly.”

The fire destroyed vegetation to the north-east that had not been burnt since 1998, but favourable winds and a prompt response by fire crews, including two helicopters which helped douse the edges of the fire, prevented the fire from threatening shacks at the Pieman Heads.

The initial attack on the ground was undertaken by fire-fighters from the PWS and the TFS from Zeehan and Rosebery.

PWS crews have spent the last two days blacking out peat burning on the fire edge. The fire is now contained and will continue to be monitored.

Information on planned burning is available on the PWS website: www.parks.tas.gov.au