NPWS plans burns

THE National Parks and Wildlife Service has begun its annual hazard reduction burning program across the North Coast.

NPWS North Coast region manager Alan Jeffery said that the aims of the burning program are to reduce fuel loads and therefore reduce the risk of wildfires impacting on local communities.

"Our hazard reduction burns focus on the protection of neighbour and community assets including houses, sheds, fences, timber plantations and picnic areas," Mr Jeffery said.

"We also have a number of ecological burns planned to maintain biodiversity using appropriate fire regimes to improve habitat for plants and animals.

"A seventy hectare burn is planned in Jaaningga Nature Reserve west of Urunga, and is expected to take three to five days.

"This prescribed burn will be undertaken in cooperation with local Rural Fire Service brigades and aims to reduce high fuel loads on a north-facing slope close to the village of Brierfield," Mr Jeffery said.

"The burn will also provide a strategic advantage in the control of wildfires, reducing the risk to neighbours and helping to protect valuable timber plantations in Newry State Forest to the east."

All NPWS hazard reduction burns undergo rigorous environmental assessment and are planned in detail before approval by local Bush Fire Management Committees.

NPWS will be notifying neighbours and local media before these prescribed burns begin.

Other hazard reduction burns planned include the following strategic village protection burns:

in the Yuraygir National Park at Minnie Water and Wooli

The Moonee Beach Nature Reserve

Ebor Falls

Larger scale prescribed burns are proposed for the Nymboi Bin- deray National Park (561 ha) and Guy Fawkes River National Park (4,000 ha).

Mr Jeffery said that the NPWS will be working closely with local Rural Fire Service volunteers on many of these operations as part of its commitment to cooperative fire fighting and integrated bush fire management.

For more information on the NPWS North Coast Region hazard reduction burning program contact Julie Bourne, Acting Fire Management Officer on 6641 1500.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the Department of Environment and Conservation in NSW.

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