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Community protection fuel reduction burns continue


This past week saw the Parks and Wildlife Service complete another four asset protection burns to provide protection for communities around the State, with another burn going ahead today. 

On Wednesday an 1153 ha burn was completed on the western side of Strahan.  The next day a 32 ha burn was completed at Lynch Street, on the northern side of Stahan.  Northwest Region acting operations manager, Brendon Clark, was pleased with the result, noting that the combination of these two burns significantly reduced the fire risk to the Strahan community.

Recently appointed Northwest Region fire operations officer, Linda Walker, had additional burns planned to be undertaken on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but conditions in the northwest had become too dry to burn safely, with the result that these burns have been postponed until after the next rain event. 

In the Southern Region a 25 ha asset protection burn was undertaken at Hobart College at Mt Nelson on Friday.  Southern Region fire operations officer Kent McConnell, said that this burn had a much smaller window of opportunity to conduct as the Department of Education had requested the burn to be undertaken when there were no students in attendance at the college, in order to reduce the smoke impact.  Regional fire management officer Paul Black added that this burn on Crown Land was particularly important, as the area was in the extreme fire risk category and was the part of the pathway of the 1998 Tagg Street fire that impacted Mt Nelson.  This burn is the first to be undertaken of those identified in the Tasmania Fire Service Bushfire Mitigation Plan for Mt Nelson and The Lea. 

On Saturday a 40 ha asset protection burn was undertaken at Knopwood Hill Nature Recreation Area to the north of Hobart eastern shore suburb, Howrah.  This area was also in the extreme risk category identified by the Bushfire Risk Assessment Model (BRAM).  An assessment using the BRAM would now probably return a result of low to moderate.  This burn was a good opportunity to work with other partner agencies that the PWS will be working closer with over coming years as many more difficult burns are undertaken in urban areas.  The Tasmania Fire Service provided the Mornington Fire Station as a staging area for the morning briefing and seven volunteer class 5 fire units were in attendance. 

Northern Region staff are today conducting a burn at Wentworth Hill, Greens Beach. Fire operations officer Garth Bennett noted that the burn will provide protection for the Greens Beach community. It’s been a difficult burn to schedule so that any smoke didn’t affect the community and nearby vineyards.  Incident controller, John Duggan advised that conditions for the burn are perfect today, which should see minimal smoke, with any smoke produced dispersing out to sea. 

This week will be fairly quiet on the burning front as strong winds on the coast in the south will prevent scheduled burns being undertaken at Pirates Bay and Doo Town.  Dry conditions in the North-West will also prevent burns being undertaken around Sisters Beach and Peggs Beach.  Rain forecast for Wednesday and Thursday will moderate conditions which should see burning recommence over the coming weekend or following week.  In the meantime crews are busy with pre-burn preparation works on two burns in the Bicheno area and a further burn at Mt Nelson. 

Story and photos courtesy of Paul Black.


Community protection fuel reduction burns continue

Hobart College and Mt Nelson in the background.

Community protection fuel reduction burns continue

Power lines and a pump station were among the assets to be protected at the Hobart College, Mt Nelson burn. A helicopter became hung up on the power line in the foreground during the Tagg Street fire in 1998.

Community protection fuel reduction burns continue

Knopwood Hill burn incident controller James Shaw (right, foreground) briefing PWS and TFS crews at the Mornington fire station.

Community protection fuel reduction burns continue

TFS volunteer crews enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in asset protection burns.

Community protection fuel reduction burns continue

Sector commander Andrew Cargill gives directions to a volunteer fire fighter.

Community protection fuel reduction burns continue

TFS Fire Crew manager John Duggan inspects progress at the Knopwood Hill burn.

Community protection fuel reduction burns continue

The Knopwood Hill burn with Howrah to the right.