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Major fuel reduction burn to protect North-East towns


A large strategic fuel reduction burn today across public land, Forestry land and private property will reduce bushfire risk to Gladstone, Eddystone Point and Ansons Bay in Tasmania’s North East.

PWS general manager Peter Mooney said 62 personnel from TFS, PWS, Forestry Tasmania and local volunteers will be involved in the 4000 hectare burn at the Big Boggy Creek area between Gladstone and Ansons Bay ,which will begin today, Tuesday, April 28, weather permitting.

Mr Mooney said the burn was part of the Fuel Reduction Program, which is a joint program between Tasmania Fire Service, Forestry Tasmania and the Parks and Wildlife Service.

‘Fuel reduction is a major tool in reducing bushfire risk,’ Mr Mooney said.

‘This burn will assist in the protection of communities and property at Ansons Bay, Eddystone Point, Deep Creek and Policeman’s Point campgrounds as well as private farmland in the area.’

TFS Chief Officer Mike Brown said the Big Boggy Creek burn complements several other North-east burns completed recently, including Rossarden, Akaroa (St Helens) Scamander and Bicheno.

‘These strategic burns are very much about providing protection for small communities that would be devastated by a damaging bushfire – and Tasmanians have seen that in the summer of 2013,’ Mr Brown said.

He said, weather permitting, the burn will begin today with edge lighting of the planned burn area. Central ignition will occur tomorrow, Wednesday, April 29 and the area will be patrolled from Thursday to ensure it the burn is contained within secure boundaries.

Smoke will be visible during the burn and fire vehicles will be on tracks and nearby roads, including North Ansons Rd. Access to the burn area is restricted and tracks into the Mt William National Park and Mt Cameron Regional Reserve may be closed.

While planned burns are aimed at being low intensity, at times there may be significant smoke, flames or ash. People with medical respiratory conditions are advised to obtain advice from the Department of Health and Human Services website, www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/alerts/air/precautions.

Further information about burns planned as part of the Fuel Reduction Program is available on the TFS website at www.fire.tas.gov.au