Re­gion’s bush burns on track

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Holly Thomp­son

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.

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