Forestry Corporation plans extensive hazard reduction burns in central tablelands

Forestry Corporation is about to embark on an extensive program of 38 hazard reduction and site preparation burns around the central tablelands this autumn totalling 6000 hectares.

Forestry Corporation resource and protection manager John Whittall said the main objective of the burning was to reduce fuels at different locations around the region.

“By conducting cooler controlled burns now to reduce fuel levels, we provide a safer environment for firefighters to confidently control wildfires, and minimise their size during summer,” he said.

Mr Whittall said that the majority of the area was in State forests.

“We will be doing some joint burning with the National Parks and Wildlife Service on a common boundary.

“We will also be assisting the Rural Fire Service by conducting some burning on private property adjacent to State forest in the Oberon area, but the majority of the hazard reduction work will be in State forests using Forestry Corporation staff and equipment,” he said.

“We make every effort to minimise the inconvenience caused by smoke. To help us achieve this, we receive special fire weather forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology to determine prevailing winds, which assists us in carrying out the burn with the least impact.

“However at times, despite our best efforts, smoke will drift into neighbouring communities and settle in low-lying areas.”

Burning will be taking place in Canobolas and Mullions State Forests near Orange , Pennsylvania State Forest near Blayney, Vulcan, Essington, Hampton , Blenheim and Jenolan State Forests near Oberon, Sunny Corner State Forest near Bathurst and Newnes State Forest near Lithgow.

“There will be two burns in particular which will be highly visible to a lot of people.

“They are a burn adjacent to Oberon in Blenheim State Forest and an extension to the burn we conducted on Mt Ovens east of Bathurst last year. Both burns will be easily seen by a majority of people in these towns.

“As usual, Forestry Corporation will be providing its considerable resources to effectively complete the hazard reduction program, including a helicopter, small earthmoving plant, water carts, fire tankers and extremely experienced fire-fighting personnel,” Mr Whittall said.

He said each burn was carefully planned and the environmental impact carefully assessed.

District Bushfire Management Committees approve all Forestry Corporation burns.

Media contact: John Whittall on (02) 63 31 2044 or 0429 449 813.