IF YOU’VE seen smoke on the horizon in the Nambucca Valley this week, be assured it’s not an early start to the bushfire season but controlled burns undertaken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The hazard reduction heading into summer has meant four burns in as many days.
NPWS Coffs Coast area manager Glenn Storrie said the conditions had allowed crews to complete burns in Ngambaa Nature Reserve north of Collombatti and in Valla Nature Reserve.
“Other burns completed earlier last week included one at Yarriabini National Park protecting communication towers on Mount Yarrahappinni, extended over three days,” Mr Storrie said.
“Another in Jaaningga Nature Reserve reduced the risk to rural residential communities and provided protection to the threatened Newry Golden Wattle known only from this reserve.
“Further burns are planned for Garby Nature Reserve near Arrawarra, in the Halfway Creek area of Yuraygir National Park and at Bongil Bongil National Park near Sawtell.
“These burns are just some of many hazard reduction burns that will take place in national parks across NSW this year.”
The NPWS conducts controlled burns in many of its reserves over winter for a range of purposes including asset protection, strategic fire control, maintenance of biodiversity and research.
In 2009/2010 the NPWS undertook 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, cyclical fire trial maintenance, equipment upgrades and community education are all important elements of preparation for each fire season.