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Planned burn program resumes this week


The Parks and Wildlife Service will take advantage of favourable weather conditions to conduct a number of planned burns in the northwest and south of Tasmania this week.

Parks and Wildlife Service Acting General Manager Stuart Lennox said that although the burns had been planned for some time, unfavourable weather during most of April and early May had delayed their implementation.

"We have a weather window of a few days this week with fine, settled conditions and will do our best to conduct these burns during this time," he said.

The planned burns are aimed at providing protection for assets within and adjacent to reserves and for ecological reasons, such as maintaining the habitat of the orange-bellied parrot.

The planned burns include:

Coal Mines Historic Site (Lime Bay)
About 30 hectares of dry forest will be burned in conjunction with the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority and Tasmania Fire Service. The burn is aimed at providing protection for assets at the site.

Peter Murrell State Reserve and Conservation Area (Kingston area)
The planned burn will provide protection for houses adjoining the reserve and regenerating orchids.

Melaleuca in the Southwest National Park
At Melaleuca a burn of four blocks totalling 15 hectares is aimed at providing protection for assets, visitors and regenerating orange-bellied parrot habitat.

Rocky Cape National Park
A burn of 32 hectares is aimed at providing protection for shacks.

Arthur Pieman Conservation Area
Burns aimed at shack protection will be undertaken at a number of locations this week, including Couta Rocks, Nelson Bay (south), Bluff Hill Point, Sarah Anne Rocks and Arthur River township.

Derwent Bridge
A burn of 146 hectares at King William Creek Bridge is aimed at providing a strategic break for the Derwent Bridge area.

As part of the service's fire management strategy, further burns are planned around the State in the coming weeks as weather permits.

Stuart stressed the PWS does everything possible to minimise the impact of smoke on communities.

"We manage the timing of burns and ensure that weather conditions are favourable for the least smoke impact," he said.

"While planned burns do cause smoke, it should be recognised that the vast majority of planned burns undertaken by the PWS are aimed at protecting assets and reducing fuel to minimise the potential risks to life and property during wildfires."

Further information about the program of planned burns can be found on the PWS website at http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/features/planned_burns/index.html or from the PWS Southern Region office on 6233 6560 or Northwest Region office on 6429 8719.