Rod Campbell, Forestry Corporation of NSW, Media Release, 23 March 2021
Forestry Corporation of NSW is about to commence small-scale strategic hazard reduction burns in up to 2,000 hectares of State forests near Narooma and Eden to protect against wildfires.
Autumn is one of the key times to reduce the forest’s fuel load and help protect communities and the environment against bushfires, said Forestry Corporation Protection Supervisor, Julian Armstrong.
“In contrast to 2019-20, we were pleased to see a very mild fire season, which has recently wrapped up; it’s now time to start preparing for next summer,” Mr Armstrong said.
The coastal strip between Nowra and the Victorian border is one of the most fire-prone regions of Australia and managing fuel levels by completing hazard reduction burns is critical to Forestry Corporation’s capacity to manage wildfires over summer.
“There’s a narrow window of opportunity to safely complete hazard reduction burns — when it’s not too hot or damp and the wind conditions limit the impact of smoke on neighbours,” Mr Armstrong said.
“So we will be taking advantage of favourable conditions over the coming months to reduce fuel in local forests.”
Hazard reduction burns are planned strategically with local Rural Fire Service Bushfire Management Committees and focus on strategically important areas around assets and communities.
Forestry Corporation firefighters will carefully monitor all controlled burns to ensure the weather is suitable and the burns stay within containment lines.
The organisation is asking people to pay attention to any signs in the forest or instructions from staff, and stay away from any burning or recently burnt areas for their own safety.
“Forest firefighters play an important role in fighting fires in the region’s forests, but fire prevention is a fundamental part of our role and is a vital way to mitigate the threat of a bad fire season in future years,” Mr Armstrong said.
“Over the winter months we will also be investing in training firefighting staff, maintaining and upgrading equipment, improving key forest roads for rapid access and maintaining fire towers to aid rapid fire detection and quick response next fire season.”
Forestry Corporation is responsible for more than 2.2 million hectares of native and planted forests and has been formally involved in firefighting in NSW for 100 years.
For more information about hazard reduction burns, contact the Forestry Corporation Batemans Bay Office on 1300 880 548.