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Planned burns around the State


The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has advised that small and large planned burns are taking place around the State this week while weather conditions are suitable.

PWS Fire Operations manager Adrian Pyrke said staff are taking advantage of the fine conditions this week to conduct planned burns from the East Coast to the Peter Murrell State Reserve in suburban Hobart and the south-west wilderness area.

Among the planned burns scheduled for this week or the near future are Diana’s Basin near Scamander, Peter Murrell State Reserve near Kingston, Melaleuca in the Southwest Conservation Area, Gunfight Creek at Port Davey, Towterer Creek and Elliott Hill in the Southwest National Park, the West Coast between the Pieman River and Temma and Cape Sorell in the Southwest Conservation Area.

“The burns are conducted for two reasons; to reduce fuel levels and for ecological reasons,” Mr Pyrke said.

“For example the planned burn of 900 hectares at Mt Paul in Coles Bay Conservation Area currently under way has the objective of providing protection for the Coles Bay community in the event of a wildfire by reducing fuel loads.

“While fuel reduction burns do not solve the problem of wildfires by itself, reduced fuel levels will slow the rate of spread of a fire, reduce the risk of spot fires and proved safe places from which fire crews can fight the fire.”

The ecological burns are aimed at maintaining biodiversity. For example, burns at Melaleuca are aimed at assisting the orange-bellied parrot recovery program.

The PWS is advising that while planned burns are aimed at being low-intensity burns, at times there will be significant smoke and flame heights and that ash may settle on nearby properties.

“We would also advise people with medical conditions that may be affected by smoke to have a personal plan for avoiding smoke,” Mr Pyrke said.

“We also strongly advise people intending to visit remote national parks or reserves in the coming weeks to check with local PWS offices to get the latest information on the burning schedule so that they do not travel into an area where a burn is planned.”

 For detailed information on planned burns go to the PWS website www.parks.tas.gov.au