FORECASTED conditions remained favourable and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Far South Coast region was set to begin an ambitious hazard reduction program at the time of our deadlines on Monday, with a 47 hectare burn midway between Pambula and Bombala.
This hazard reduction burn, called “Apogee”, was to be immediately north of Mt Darragh between Cathcart and Wyndham.
Ignition was to occur shortly after midday, and local roads including the Mt Darragh Road were expected to be smoky. Motorists are reminded to drive to the conditions at all times.
NPWS Regional Manager for the Far South Coast Tim Shepherd said the region’s hazard reduction program would treat around 25,000 hectares in some 35 to 40 burns between now and winter.
“A series of wet autumns has limited our hazard reduction opportunities and while mid-February is early to begin our program, the forecast is favourable and we have an ambitious program,” Mr Shepherd said.
“In the coming weeks and months, we have large back country burns planned the National Parks of Deua, Wadbilliga and South East Forests, the largest of which will be 4,700 hectares in the Brogo area of Wadbilliga.
“We also have small coastal burns planned in the National Parks of Eurobodalla, Mimosa Rocks, Bournda, Ben Boyd, as well as Nadgee Nature Reserve and the smallest of these will be a five hectare hazard reduction burn called “Jewfish”, near Wonboyn in Nadgee Nature Reserve.”
Every effort is made to minimise the impact of smoke, however residents between Pambula and Bombala should take basic precautions and motorists should drive to the conditions.
The risk to properties during this burn is considered low, however to ensure your property is well prepared:
* Remove leaf litter from gutters.
* Ensure pets are secure within your property and have an area that provides protection for them.
* Close all windows and remove washing from clothes lines.
* Stay well clear of fire operations during the burn.
* If you have asthma or a lung condition it is recommend that you stay inside or leave the area during the burn.
This hazard reduction activity is part of the NSW Government’s $62 million package to boost bushfire preparedness and just one of many undertaken by NPWS across NSW.
During 2011-12, the National Parks and Wildlife Service completed 204 prescribed burns treating an area of nearly 50,000 hectares. As well as prescribed burns, hazard reduction includes slashing, mowing and other ways of manually reducing fuel loads.
NPWS works closely with the Rural Fire Service and State Forests to reduce the risk of wildfires in the years ahead. All hazard reduction burns are determined and agreed through joint District Bushfire Management Committees.
For more information on planned hazard reduction burns, visit the Rural Fire Service website: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au