Barmah forest fuel reduction underway: DSE

Barmah forest fuel reduction underway: DSE

17 December 2008

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Australia — The Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) says fuel reduction measures have been carried out in the Barmah forest, north of Shepparton, despite claims from some Barmah residents.

DSE staff are this morning removing cattle that were released into the forest almost three weeks ago by locals, in protest of a ban on grazing this summer.

The DSE says the forest cannot sustain cattle because of the drought, but Barmah residents say there is a high fire risk because of high grass in parts of the forest.

The Rivers and Red Gum Alliance says the DSE has not carried out any fuel reduction work so the community has not removed the cattle.

The DSE’s north-east land and fire manager, Peter Farrell, says that is untrue.

“Those works have commenced and a lot of them have been completed,” he said.

“We’ll continue to undertake those works that, because of weather and so on, we haven’t been able to complete at this stage, but to say that nothings been done is totally disingenuous.”

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