In the news around the country …

Port News report Hazard Reductions burns have commenced on the Mid North Coast.

Forestry Corporation commenced a 350 hectare burn in Bellangry State forest over the weekend (April 25-26) and another will commence tomorrow, Tuesday, in Ballengarra State Forest.

Mick Wilson, protection forester for Mid North Coast, said these forests weren’t impacted by fire over the summer season and mild and controlled hazard reduction burning is important to reduce the fuel and help protect the surrounding communities of Bellangry, Rollands Plains and Smiths Creek.

“Part of the burn program also takes in recently harvested timber plantations and will aid in the re-establishment of these plantations where we will re-plant seedlings to grow for timber supply in the future,” Mr Wilson said.


Hazard reduction burn for Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area is reported by Mirage News

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Fire and Rescue NSW completed a hazard reduction burn Friday 24 April in Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area (SCA), east of Morrisset.

Read more …

Tathra Brigade are on a Recruitment Drive

Check out their website …

‘Fundamental change’ needed in fire preparation and response: Lapsley

The Brisbane Times reports on Craig Lapsey’s submission to the federal Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

Improved firefighter protection, more use of emerging technology to fight blazes around the clock and prescribed burns on private land are among priority changes proposed by former Victoria emergency chief Craig Lapsley.

“Bushfire risk and response will need a change of horizon to a more proactive mitigation, early detection, improved suppression and building community resilience,” Mr Lapsley says. Submissions to the commission close on Tuesday.

Extreme landscape-scale drying of the soil and vegetation as seen last season were not yet captured by fire danger indices, nor was the “aberrant” fire behaviour triggered by large pyro-convective columns that create “erratic, unpredictable and completely uncontrollable” blazes.

Read the full story here:

Bushfire inquiry sparks new insurance affordability debate

Insurance News writes:

Insurers have pushed back against a leading consumer group’s assertion that climate change could make insurance unaffordable for many Australians.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) argues that if governments act to mitigate risk then “no area of Australia should have unaffordable insurance”.

Read the full story here:

Anzac Day fireworks start grass fire near Princes Highway, North Narooma

Narooma News reported:

Fireworks started a grass fire near the Dalmeny Drive and Princes Highway intersection, North Narooma, on Anzac Day evening, RFS says.

Narooma RFS captain Sophie Taylor said they received a report of a “very small grass fire” created by fireworks at 7pm, Saturday, April 25.

By the time the RFS crew arrived to the fire on the side of the highway, it was nearly extinguished, Captain Taylor said.

There were no threats to property.

Sophie Taylor was again busy when a pile burn escaped. Read the full story here …

If you see smoke on Tuesday it is likely to be hazard reduction burn in the Bulli and Stanwell Tops area

The Illawarra Mercury News reports that the NPWS will be conducting a hazard reduction burn as part of a program planned for 2020.

The fire prevention initiative is focussed on undertaking essential burns in areas close to neighbours and important assets and protecting significant habitat to ensure ongoing recovery of the State’s wildlife that was impacted by the summer bushfires.

Around 44 hectares will be treated in the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area in the Bulli and Stanwell Tops areas.

Read more …

Bushfire waste dump on track, says council

About Regional reports that

Bega Valley Shire Council says it is a step closer to opening a new emergency landfill cell and resource recovery sorting pad at the Central Waste Facility, at North Wolumla, after the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment asked for further technical details of council’s submission.

“We’re hopeful the department will now move quickly to complete the necessary technical assessment, allowing the [bushfire] clean-up to commence in earnest” said Anthony McMahon, assets and operations director, Bega Valley Shire Council.

The emergency landfill cell and associated resource recovery sorting pad will be able to accept 47,000 cubic metres of asbestos-contaminated material, and 74,000 cubic metres of non-asbestos contaminated material which is expected to come from more than 2000 burnt structures, including homes, sheds and outbuildings.

Read the full story here ….

National park campgrounds may have closed, but many walking trails remain open

Bega District News reports:

During this time of social distancing and coronavirus restrictions, the chance to escape the indoors for exercise outside is a welcome relief.

The question that has been on some people’s minds is whether or not they can still go for walks or hikes in the state’s national parks during this COVID-19 emergency.

The short answer is yes, but it depends if the park has been closed due to another factor, for example bushfire damage.

In March, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) announced in a media release that the National Parks and Wildlife Service had closed its campgrounds, visitor centres, high-visitation areas and historic sites in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

The closures remain in place until further notice, but national parks will “remain open to the community”, the media release states.

Importantly for hikers and wildlife-lovers, most walking tracks and trails will remain open.

Full story here …

Port Stephens RFS crews have Taylors Beach bushfire under control

The Newcastle Herald Sun reports:

Rural Fire Service crews on Monday had a bushfire under control at Port Stephens, which has burnt 242 hectares.

The blaze started in the Taylors Beach area on Saturday, with firefighters working through the weekend to contain it.

Part of Nelson Bay Road, between Gan Gan Road and Frost Road, was closed for a few hours on Monday morning because of the fire – but the road had re-opened by the early afternoon.

The RFS said there was a large amount of smoke in the area on Monday morning. In an update on social media, RFS said easing conditions meant there was “no immediate threat to properties”.

Read the full story here:

The Port Stephens Examiner also reported on the fire:

News Roundup April 28
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