Hazard reduction burning continuing in Hunter State forests this week

03 May 2004

Please note - This news release has now been archived and may contain outdated information.

State Forests of NSW will continue hazard reduction burning across the Hunter this week, with hazard reduction to be undertaken in Wallaroo and Olney State Forests.

State Forests Hunter Region acting fire management officer, Andrew Bennet, said that forest neighbours, visitors and highway travellers should not be alarmed to see smoke over Wallaroo State Forest, near Clarence Town, and Olney State Forest, in the vicinity of the township of Bucketty.

Mr Bennet said a smaller exercise, across 125 hectares, in Wallaroo State Forest will commence on Tuesday morning (May 4) adjoining the Pacific Highway and Italia Road.

On Wednesday (May 5), a larger exercise covering 400 hectares and using incendiary devices dropped from a helicopter will be undertaken in Olney State Forest near Lynch’s Fire Trail.

“Hazard reduction burning is an important management activity, used to reduce fuel loads and manage bushfire risk across the landscape,” Mr Bennet said. “It is important we do these burns while environmental and weather conditions are suitable.

“In the past few weeks, hazard reduction has been undertaken across 450 hectares of the State forests in the Hunter. Reducing these fuel levels now means firefighters have a greater chance of suppressing any wildfires that occur in summer.”

State Forests’ hazard reduction burning activities are carefully planned to minimise any potential impacts on flora and fauna, particularly threatened species, and other forest values, including soil and water quality.

These burns are authorised under the Rural Fires Act 1997 and are approved by the Bush Fire Management Committees of Wyong, Lake Macquarie, Cessnock and Great Lakes.

Media contact: Andrew Bennet on (02) 4927 2900.