Magnetic Island North Queensland
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May 13th 2011
Magnetic Island planned burns to reduce wildfire threat

Post wet grasses will be highly flamable when they dry A series of planned burns on Magnetic Island will be carried out over the coming months by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to reduce the threat of wildfires.

Member for Townsville Mandy Johnstone said the aim of the planned burns, ahead of the next dry season, was to reduce the threat of wildfires to lives and to properties while also preserving the Island’s natural environment.

“Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Rangers have planned a strategic series of small burns to reduce fuel loads in places where wildfires are likely to originate, and to give flora and fauna a chance to recover after the cyclone,” Ms Johnstone said.

“The burns will create a buffer behind houses and along roads which will help to protect homes in the event of a wildfire.

“They are planned early in the season to take advantage of the wetter conditions.”

Ms Johnstone said there had been a varied impact on fuel loads from Tropical Cyclone Yasi but assessments of the bush land near residential areas had shown an increased fuel load overall on the island.

“There are certainly areas with a substantial increase in the amount of fallen timber which would burn more intensely and allow flames to climb higher into the surrounding trees during wildfire conditions,” Ms Johnstone said.

Opalia crt to Nerita: Post Cyclone Yasi there is an
increased amount of fallen tiber in some areas.

“Other areas of open woodland have heavy grass loads following excellent growing conditions during the extensive wet seasons in recent years.”

The burns have been developed in consultation with the Wulgurukaba Traditional Owners, expert scientists and the Magnetic Island Fire Committee.

They will be conducted as joint operations with Department of Environment and Resource Management, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, Horseshoe Bay Rural Brigade and Townsville City Council.

Photos courtesy Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service

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