Burn­ing de­sire for fire smarts

Tasmanian Country - - CROSSWORD -

MORE than 80 farm­ers at­tended the state’s big­gest field day on planned burn­ing so far.

State Fire Man­age­ment Coun­cil chair­man Ian Sauer said the event at High­frith at Wat­tle Hill in the South-East must have “hit a but­ton” to at­tract strong in­ter­est.

“We want farm­ers to man­age their bush­fire risk ahead of sum­mer, and we want them to do that safely, with the right skills and the knowl­edge us­ing re­sources avail­able to them,” Mr Sauer said.

He said win­ter was a good time to con­duct burns and an in­crease burn-offs in the pri­vate sec­tor would sup­port the State Gov­ern­ment’s fu­elre­duc­tion pro­gram.

“We will never stop bush­fires, but hav­ing ad­e­quately pre­pared prop­er­ties will give us a good head start.”

Mr Sauer said over the past 25 years new peo­ple had moved to farm­ing ar­eas and every­one needed an un­der­stand­ing of fire risks.

Bush­fire fu­els in­clude fallen bark and leaf lit­ter, grass, tus­socks, heath and shrubs.

The field day was run by SFMC, Tas­ma­nia Fire Ser­vice, Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice, Tas­ma­nian Farm­ers and Gra­ziers As­so­ci­a­tion and Sus­tain­able Timber Tas­ma­nia, for­merly Forestry Tas­ma­nia.

Not-for-profit Rapid Re­lief Team sup­ported the day and team leader Matthew Cox said the or­gan­i­sa­tion had 150 volunteers in Tas­ma­nia.

TFGA chief ex­ec­u­tive Peter Skillern said the field day was a great ini­tia­tive.

Nu­gent beef and sheep farmer and East Coast SFMC chair­man, Lindsay White, said fire was a tool for the farm.

We need to keep the whole process sim­ple

LINDSAY WHITE

“We need to keep the whole process sim­ple to keep peo­ple in­formed,” Mr White said.

“We want it sim­ple for farm­ers to work with TFS and get a fire per­mit, maybe for TFS to have a reg­istry of ac­cred­ited farm­ers to look af­ter their own prop­er­ties.”

SFMC ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer De­bra Pope said the field day had been a chance for farm­ers and agen­cies to share their knowl­edge.

The Fed­eral and State Gov­ern­ments have also announced fund­ing for eight projects around the state aim­ing to re­duce the risk and im­pact of bush­fires.

Fact sheets on fuel re­duc­tion are avail­able on­line at www.fire.tas. gov.au. For de­tails call the TFS fuel-re­duc­tion unit on 1800 000 699.

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