Fired up on Dorrigo Plateau

THE iconic Dorrigo National Park will be ablaze next week during hazard reduction burns planned for the Plateau.

The 440 hectare burn will be on McGrath's Hump in the national park on Tuesday.

"Ground crews will be assisted by a helicopter using aerial ignition to establish the burn on the drier north facing slopes of McGrath's Hump," said NPWS acting area manager Tony Prior.

"Local residents should expect to see smoke. People with asthma or those susceptible to respiratory problems are advised to keep clear of the area or stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed.

"The objective of the burn is to help maintain ecological values of the area and reduce the risk of wildfire travelling through this area. The burn will also assist with control of lantana on the lower slopes".

This is one of many hazard reduction burns in national parks across NSW this year.

The NPWS conducts controlled burns in many of its reserves in winter for a range of purposes including asset protection, strategic fire control, maintenance of biodiversity and research.

In 2009/2010 the NPWS carried 269 hazard reduction burns covering more than 92,000 hectares.

Hazard reduction burns are one of the many effective fire management tools used by firefighters.

Ongoing firefighter training, fire trail maintenance, equipment upgrades and community education are all important elements of preparation for each fire season.

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