DSE chiefs defends burn-offs

     DSE chiefs defends burn-offs

28 May 2008

published by wimmera.yourguide.com.au 


Australia — A Department of Sustainability and Environment fire expert has defended its Grampians National Park burn-offs.

Department fire controller Geoff Evans said staff considered national park flora and fauna when planning controlled burns.

He said conditions for the Griffin’s Track burn warranted a burn- off. He said the area had received 10 millimetres of rain in the lead up to the burn.

He said the department burnt half of the intended 2043 hectares in the Griffin’s Track burn on May 4.

“Of the area which burnt, some burnt more intensely, some burnt less intensely,” Mr Evans said.

“The overall burn result was a desirable mosaic of burnt and unburnt areas.”

Mr Evans said it was difficult for the department to guarantee no wildlife would be caught in burn- offs.

“While it is unfortunate that some wildlife has been burnt, it’s very difficult to guarantee the safety of all wildlife within a planned burn area,” he said.

The department has invited the Hamilton Field Naturalists Club to inspect Grampians burn-offs.

Mr Evans said the club was arranging a suitable date.

The department uses burn-offs to reduce bushfire risk and protect communities.

Mr Evans said burn-offs helped the community account for climate change challenges by reducing the risk of destructive bushfires.

He said when carrying out a burn, department staff considered ecological aspects and overall fuel hazard of the area.

“The ecological aspects look at such things as rare and threatened species of plants and animals as well as the status of the various ecological vegetation classes represented on the area,” he said.

“We also look at the time since the area was last burnt and consider whether the full range plants have capacity to regenerate.

“Overall fuel hazard measures how intensely an area would burn and what damage it could do if it were to burn as a bushfire during summer.”


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