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Branchline, Feb 20, 2012

 

We’re working to further improve our regeneration burning

The regeneration burning program season is nearly upon us, and this morning we distributed information flyers across the State via the daily newspapers to inform the community of our plans.

More flyers will be distributed in the regional papers over the coming week.

We know regeneration burns cause concern to some people in the community, and we’re trying to provide as much information as possible prior to the season commencing.

This year, as in previous years, our key concern is to ensure we do not breach the national air quality standards with any of our burns.

We now have a number of tools at our disposal to help us meet that aim.

We are continuing to implement the improvements we introduced during the 2011 regeneration season, which were effective in reducing the number of smoke complaints received.

These improvements are:

  • the commencement of the regeneration burns season when conditions are suitable, rather than on the previous years’ start date of 15 March, with the intention of, where possible, extending the season and thereby reducing the number of burns on any one day;
  • the voluntary declaration of ‘no burn days’ when smoke dispersion is likely to be poor;
  • morning media advisories (before 11:00am) before the commencement of any FT burns;
  • evening media advisories containing smoke management appraisals of the outcome of the day’s FT burns; and
  • notifications to alert residents when Forestry Tasmania believes one of its  burns may have contributed to air pollution.


We will also continue to participate in the Coordinated Smoke Management Strategy, which is managed by the Forest Practices Authority, and to upload information daily to the Tasmanian Forest Industry’s planned burns website,
www.plannedburnstas.com.au


Under the Forestry Innovation Plan, our vision is to see waste wood, which is left on the forest floor after harvesting to be burnt and turned into renewable energy.

An electricity generating plant using these biomass residues could reduce particulate emissions from our planned burns program by up to 70 per cent.

But some degree of burning will always be essential to ensure harvested forests, especially wet eucalypt forests, will regrow.

As fire-adapted ecosystems, eucalypt forests need the mineral soil seed bed, abundant light and reduced competition from other plants that is provided by fire in order to establish.  In this regard, regeneration burns have similarities to the natural cycle of wildfire and regeneration.

Low intensity burning for the management of fuel loads also generates smoke but is essential for the protection of both communities and forest assets against bushfire.  Forestry Tasmania will continue to undertake low intensity burning whenever conditions permit.

 
Until next time,
Bob Gordon


Managing Director
Forestry Tasmania

 

 


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