Region’s bush burns on track
Prescribed burns aimed at minimising fire risk over the upcoming fire season have begun across the region.
Donnelly District parks and wildlife manager Duncan Palmer said so far the burns had been going well.
“For the whole area we have commenced 15 prescribed burns between October 25 and present,” he said.
Donnelly District fire coordinator Jeff Bennett said this year’s season had started later than normal.
“Initially we started about a week late and we had two or three good weeks of burning but now it has gone back to winter conditions,” he said.
“Over those few weeks we managed to burn 32,000ha of land which has been a good start.”
He said this was about half the maximum amount of land which had been set for this season.
“Overall we want to burn about 9 per cent of the total forest in the region,” Mr Bennett said.
“One of the next steps to completing this goal is the department taking on some challenging burns.”
Mr Palmer said the challenging burns meant tackling areas of forest with more than one vegetation type.
“When we do prescribed burns you have to pick the exact right time to do so because if the vegetation is too wet it won’t burn at all or it will burn partially and leave embers which could spark later on and create a proper fire,” Mr Palmer said.
He said these burns had not been done in a long time due to how challenging they were to manage, but this year they needed doing.
The department has been granted a permit to take on the burns after the normal prescribed burn season is over, so all the vegetation can dry out properly.