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Small Experimental Rainforest Burns at Geeveston


The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) advises that it will undertake a number of small experimental research burns in State Forest lands at the junction of Arve and Edwards Road near Geeveston beginning on Tuesday 26 March.

PWS Fire Operations manager Adrian Pyrke said the burns are part of a research program being undertaken by a University of Tasmania student and is supported by funds from the PWS, Forestry Tasmania and the Tasmania Fire Service through its Tasmania Fire Research Fund.

They were to have occurred in February but were postponed because of unsuitable weather.

“The project is aimed at understanding the conditions under which Tasmanian rainforest will actually burn,” Mr Pyrke said. “This will improve our capacity to predict when a fire such as the recent Giblin River fire in the Southwest National Park will actually burn through rainforest.

“We are fortunate that the Giblin River fire did not burn into rainforest, due to key factors such as fuel dryness and rainfall, but we are not able to predict how long a dry period would be required for such a fire to burn through rainforest.”

“Research such as this helps us to better understand how factors such as fuel moisture, wind speed, temperature and relative humidity, slope and soil moisture affect the potential of rainforest communities to burn during bushfires.”

More than 30 burns of two metre by two metre research plots will be undertaken at different times in late March 2013, weather permitting. During the burns PWS fire crews will be positioned in the area and both the Arve and Edwards roads will remain open, although there may be smoke at times.