Fuel reduction season begins

TASMANIA’S bushfire season has officially come to an end and with shorter days and cooler nights, autumn in Tasmania is fuel reduction season.

Tasmania Fire Service (TFS), Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) are all partners in the state’s Fuel Reduction Program, which covers areas of both public and private land, to mitigate bushfire risk across the state.

“Our Fuel Reduction Program strategically reduces the risk in areas that provide the most protection to our communities,” program manager Dr Louise Mendel said.

“It also reduces the risk to our critical infrastructure and valuable natural assets.

“Since this collaborative approach was developed after the devastating Dunalley bushfires in 2013, our fire agencies have conducted more than 600 strategic burns across Tasmania.”

This season, 78 strategic burns have been planned by TFS, PWS and STT, weather permitting.

“When we conduct a fuel reduction burn, we have to ensure the conditions are just right, so not every burn will be completed this season,” Dr Mendel said.

“We aim to have a large number to choose from so we can make the most of weather opportunities when they arise.”

Before doing a fuel reduction burn, agencies make sure the fuel is as dry as possible to minimise the amount of smoke being generated.

“Smoke modelling and consideration of wind direction is undertaken for each burn to minimise community impact,” Dr Mendel said.

“However, as some smoke is unavoidable, we try to provide as much warning as possible.”

Stay up to date by monitoring the TFS website and Facebook page for fuel reduction burns near you.

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