Hazard reduction burns over coming days

Hazard reduction burns are scheduled to begin on Thursday. Image: Stuart Cohen.

Hazard reduction burns are scheduled to begin on Thursday. Image: Stuart Cohen.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is planning three hazard reduction burns on the Far South Coast over the next few days, weather permitting.

The following burns are scheduled to begin on Thursday, May 15, and will be undertaken for a week in partnership with the Rural Fire Service (RFS):

- A 484ha burn at Cadjangarry, 2km south of Cobargo and 12km west of Bermagui, in Biamanga National Park;

- A 205ha burn at Nutleys, 7km southwest of Bermagui in Biamanga National Park; and

- A 206ha burn at Kings Ridge, 6km north of Tathra and 10km east of Bega, in Mimosa Rocks National Park.

NPWS Regional Manager Tim Shepherd said it has been very difficult to complete burning operations, following a wet start to the season.

“For the safety of crews and neighbours, and the ensure these burns are effective, they can only be undertaken when the weather is right,” Mr Shepherd said.

“It cannot be too wet, cold or windy – making scheduling them very tricky.

“Some parks and reserves, or areas within, may be temporarily closed to allow for the safe completion of hazard reduction operations, and NPWS asks for the community to be patient while we complete this very important work.

“People with asthma or those susceptible to respiratory problems are also advised to keep clear of the immediate area or stay indoors.

“People are advised not to visit the area and motorists in the area should drive carefully because of the possibility of smoke and emergency vehicles on the roads.”

The NPWS has so far undertaken 925 hazard reduction activities covering more than 71,000 hectares in total, including 162 hazard reduction burn operations in 2013-14.

In 2012-13 the NPWS achieved a record 208,000 hectares in 1300 separate fuel reduction activities.

This was 83% of the total hazard reduction effort for NSW, demonstrating a clear commitment by NPWS to manage fire in accordance with its Living with Fire 2012-21 strategy.

Under the Enhanced Bushfire Management Program, NPWS will pursue its plan to treat an average of over 135,000 hectares per year in 800 or more planned hazard reduction activities.

Achieving this will be highly dependent on the suitability of weather conditions given the narrow window of opportunity that exists in NSW for burning safely and effectively.

Read more about hazard reduction burns planned across all land tenures, visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

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