Following a challenging bushfire season, fire authorities have commenced their autumn fuel reduction burns program to work to ensure Tasmanian communities will be safer from the threat of bushfires.
State Fire Management Council Chair and spokesperson for the Fuel Reduction Program, Ian Sauer, has explained to David Wood there is extensive planning involved in each season’s fuel reduction burns, to ensure maximum efficiency .
Planning and conducting burns has resumed following an unprecedented summer bushfire season which delayed the commencement date of the autumn program. The planned burns, under the fuel reduction program, aim to minimise the risk of future bushfire damage and make it easier and safer for firefighters to control.
These burns are being conducted on both public and private land with a focus on areas which pose the greatest risk of bushfire to communities.
Autumn is the peak season for fuel reduction burning with the majority of burns completed during this season. The program aims to protect homes, businesses, critical community infrastructure, and the natural environment by strategically selecting priority areas for fuel reduction burning, regardless of who owns the land.
The TFS will provide a regularly updated schedule of fuel reduction burns through local media and online via the www.fire.tas.gov.au website, which features a map of planned and current burns.
Historically, autumn is the safest time of year for fuel reduction burns and due to the still, cooler and shorter days, the conditions are the least likely to produce a lot of smoke. The program also follows the EPA’s Smoke Management Guidelines which lets the effects of the smoke predicted due to weather conditions dictate the burning schedule.
Every effort is to be made to reduce the impact of smoke, and the Fuel Reduction Unit works closely with the Asthma Foundation of Tasmania and the Department of Health and Human Services to communicate all fuel reduction burn information.