Burn­ing con­cern

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

I EN­DORSE the re­marks of Rob Craigie (let­ters, Whit­sun­day Times, June 27) re burn­ing off the is­lands.

As boat­ing vis­i­tors, we were caught in the smoke haze of the June 20 fires then again in the burn-off at the north­ern end of Hook Is­land on June 26.

On the lat­ter oc­ca­sion, thick smoke and ash de­scended on our boat caus­ing a hasty evac­u­a­tion of Stone­haven Bay, along with sev­eral other boats.

The smoke not only en­gulfed the north­ern end of the is­land but crept its way south­ward to again swamp White­haven Beach.

To time th­ese burn-offs in the Whit­sun­days dur­ing the first week of school hol­i­days (when there was a no­tice­able in­crease in boat­ing fam­i­lies) is ap­palling.

To do them at all de­fies logic. Th­ese are rel­a­tively small is­lands. If, dur­ing a light­ning strike in the wet sea­son, a fire should break out on one of the is­lands, chances are pretty high that a mon­soonal down­pour will put them out.

I would think that the un­in­hab­ited is­land’s na­tive wildlife would fare bet­ter in this sce­nario than the one in­flicted by the bu­reau­cratic ra­tio­nale that ap­plies main­land fire­con­trol method­olo­gies to is­lands.

On marine parks own web­site there is men­tion of the neg­a­tive ef­fects of smoke and ash on sea­grasses, the feed­ing grounds for tur­tles and dugongs.

Well, con­grat­u­la­tions for con­tam­i­nat­ing th­ese and the air that we all breathe.

En­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tors? More like en­vi­ron­men­tal van­dals. Janet Webb Townsville

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