28 March 2019

Smoke warning as autumn prescribed burn program begins

| Ian Bushnell
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A total of 38 burns are planned over autumn. Photo: George Tsotsos.

The ACT Parks and Conservation Service begins its autumn program of prescribed burns across the Territory today at four separate locations, with another three scheduled for Friday.

It says the burns are being undertaken to reduce fire hazard, protect property and infrastructure and for ecological and cultural reasons.

A total of 38 burns are planned over autumn affecting 6000 hectares. Most burns will be designed to reduce bushfire fuel loads, while some smaller ecological burns will also be conducted to increase native vegetation and decrease weeds.

The burns are part of a comprehensive fuel reduction program ACT Parks and Conservation conducts each year. This also includes physical fuel removal, slashing, grazing, training for staff and fire trail maintenance and upgrade.

A total area of 60 hectares will be burned over two days at the following locations:

Thursday 28 March:

15.43 hectares at Jarramlee Nature Reserve, 17.39 hectares at Jerrabomberra Grasslands, 9.34 hectares at Gungaderra Grasslands, 7.3 hectares at Dunlop Grasslands.

Friday 29 March:

2.17 hectares at Mulanggari Grasslands, 4.24 hectares at Kama Nature Reserve, 5.01 hectares at Crace Grasslands.

Experienced Parks fire managers will conduct and oversee the burning operations, subject to suitable weather and fuel moisture conditions.

Parks says every effort will be made to minimise the impact of smoke but temporary smoke cover is possible and is likely to be visible across parts of Canberra.

Staff will continue to monitor the burn site until smoke has not been visible for 24 hours, and a buffer zone of up to 20 metres is also created around the complete perimeter of every prescribed burn.

People with asthma, other chronic respiratory and/or chronic cardiac diseases should not perform vigorous exercise and should stay inside if affected by the smoke. People with asthma, in particular, should continue their medication and consult their general practitioner if they have any difficulties.

To see where the burns will be conducted go to the location map of the burn sites.

Information and health advice for dealing with outdoor smoke can also be found by visiting ACT Health.

For tips on how to stay safe if there is smoke in the area, visit the Asthma Foundation website.

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