Prescribed burns begin in the ACT/Weston 16-18 Jan 15

The ACT Parks and Conservation Service wishes to advise the public that a number of prescribed burns will take place in the ACT over the coming days (16-18 Jan 16).

Tomorrow, Saturday 16 January 2016, a six hectare prescribed burn will commence near Shakespeare Crescent and Rogers Street, Fraser. In addition two small burn areas (eight hectares and seven hectares) will commence at Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve in Chapman.

On Sunday (17 Jan 16), crews will continue the burns at Cooleman Ridge as well as monitor and patrol the burn site in Fraser.

If weather conditions remain suitable on Monday 18 January 2016, a 41 hectare prescribed burn will commence near the Mount Arawang walking track at the Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve, Chapman. It is acknowledged that Monday will be the anniversary of the 18 January 2003 bushfires, however fire fighters need to make the most of the current weather conditions to implement the fuel management burn program.

All of these burns will help protect the suburbs and residences by reducing fuel loads and limiting potential fire spread.

The very hot weather experienced this summer means grass is now sufficiently cured, which allows for maximum consumption of grassland fuels. This, coupled with the recent rain and a drop in temperatures, provides a perfect window of opportunity to undertake prescribed burning.

Members of the public can find out more information about upcoming burns by following TAMS and ACT Parks and Conservation Service on Twitter @tamsmediaroom and @ACT_Parks, or visiting the TAMS website for a list of upcoming burns including maps and the option to opt into an RSS feed to stay up to date. The website also includes information about the ACT Parks and Conservation Service’s fuel management program and a video about prescribed burns.

People with asthma, other chronic respiratory and/or chronic cardiac diseases should not perform vigorous exercise and should, if possible, 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. Every effort is made to conduct the burns in weather conditions that will minimise the impact of smoke on residents of the ACT and surrounds.

Like in all prescribed burns, safety is of paramount importance. Highly experienced Parks fire managers, supported by trained Parks fire-fighters, will conduct the burning operations. Staff will continue to monitor the burn site until smoke has not been visible for 24 hours.

Before any burns are undertaken major stakeholders, including the Emergency Services Agency, the Australian Federal Police, Air Traffic Control, Roads ACT and the Bureau of Meteorology are advised. For more information, please call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

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