Burning desire for fire smarts
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
“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.