THE Forestry Corporation of NSW (formerly Forests NSW) has begun a hazard reduction burns program south and east of Bombala which started on Sunday, March 10.
At the time of planning, Forestry Corporation regional manager, Mark Chaplin, said the burns would be conducted in Bondi State Forest (near Bombala), Craigie State Forest (near Delegate) and Towamba State Forest (near the township of Towamba).
“Sunday will see the start of a burns program in these pine plantations that will run through to May and involve just under 1000 hectares,” he said.
“The current hazard reduction burning program is vital to reduce the threat of a bad fire season in future years.
“The burning program is carried out from autumn through to early winter when the weather is milder and fire behaviour is more manageable and predictable.
“The burning program will mostly take place in areas that have been recently harvested to remove fuels such as leaves and small limbs from logging residues.
“When the burns are conducted we will have the appropriate staff and equipment on hand.”
Mr Chaplin said this year’s program would build on the burning program completed last year.
“While a number of areas are planned for hazard reduction burning each year, not all planned burns are carried out,” he said.
“The actual conducting of burns depends on getting the right combination of weather and fuel moisture, and with having the appropriate resources on hand.
“Burning is strategically planned to provide a mosaic of different fuel loads across the region and to reduce fuel loads adjacent to rural communities.”
Mr Chaplin said further broad scale burns were also planned as part of a coordinated program involving the Rural Fire Service and National Parks and Wildlife Service, as well as cooperation from cross border fire fighting agencies.
Meanwhile the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Rural Fire Service began separate hazard reduction burning in the Bombala region last week.
A burn of approximately 1400 hectares was ignited last Friday, including private property and woodland within the Merriangaah Nature Reserve, 25 kilometres west of Bombala.
At the time of lighting, NPWS Regional Manager for the Far South Coast Tim Shepherd said the burn was over a large area and would take several days to complete.
“Crews will be using both ground ignition and aerial ignition to reduce fuel loads and improve plant diversity in the area,” Mr Shepherd said.
“Communities to the south and west of Merringaah may experience smoke or inconvenience.
“Smoke will be visible from Delegate and Dalgety, and we remind everyone to prepare properties and drive to the conditions.”
Between July 1, 2012, and February 28, 2013, NPWS completed 136 prescribed burns, treating an area of 36,576 hectares.