Textbook hazard reduction burn

Good weather conditions contributed to a textbook hazard reduction burn in Newry State Forest last week.

“The weather conditions were ideal for the kind of low-intensity burns we were hoping for,” said State Forests North East Region forest protection forester Kath Bray.

“The burn included windrows and the surrounding harvested areas, where we removed high fuel loads.

“The burning program also created ideal seed beds for regenerating coastal blackbutt forest.”

Ms Bray said the hazard reduction burns created a valuable protection buffer for hardwood plantations.

“Another pleasing aspect of these low-intensity burns in a controlled area is that the key ecological habitat requirements for threatened species remain, and that water quality is maintained,” Ms Bray said.

“In a high intensity wildfire both of these elements are compromised. If there is severe ground scorching, any subsequent rain runoff can be a problem in waterways, and any animal life is severely impacted.

“Hazard reduction burns at low intensity provide a mosaic of habitat, and animals quickly move back into burned areas.

“Water runoff is not a problem as there is adequate filtering matter left on the ground.

“Autumn conditions like we have been experiencing are ideal for hazard reduction in high fuel load areas.”

Ms Bray said heavy rain since last week had put further burning plans on hold, but when conditions were suitable, plans were approved for Thumb Creek State Forest on Cockatiel Road and Apple Tree Knob Road.

There would also be post-harvest burns in Nambucca State Forest and other forests in the Coffs Harbour area.

Media contact: Kath Bray on (02) 6652 0111