Hazard reduction burning in Watagans and Myall River State Forests

State Forests of NSW will be conducting hazard reduction burning in Olney and Myall River State Forests this week.

State Forests Hunter Region fire management officer, Peter Crichton, said that forest neighbours or visitors should not be alarmed to see smoke over Olney State Forest, in the vicinity of Walker's Ridge Road or Cut Rock Road, six kilometres west of Cooranbong.

He said State Forests firefighters will also conduct a simultaneous operation in Myall River State Forest, east of Stroud.

“Hazard reduction burning is an important management activity, used to reduce fuel loads and manage bushfire risk across the landscape,” Mr Crichton said. “It is important we do these burns now, while environmental and weather conditions are suitable, with the burns controlled to achieve fires of low intensity.

“It is mostly the ‘kindling’ type fuels, such as leaves and sticks on the forest floor, that will be burned,” Mr Crichton explained. “These are the fuels that generate the intense heat in a bushfire. Reducing these fuel levels now means firefighters have a greater chance of suppressing any wildfires that occur in summer.

“In other words, there'll be a greater chance of protecting life and property.”

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: Peter Crichton on (02) 4927 2900.