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Controlled burn: Emails to DEPI

Dear Planned Burning at DEPI and Damien Drum,

Re: Fire operations plan for the Murray Goldfields Fire District
Proposed planned burning site: MGFCASO28 Chewton, Bushmans Road (12Ha)

We live in Miners Hut Road at just under a kilometre due south of the proposed burn site.

We acknowledge that controlled burns can play an important part in contributing to the safety of human settlement in areas such as Chewton Bushlands… if they are properly planned and conducted on sites that meet the established scientific criteria for selection.

With the DEPI’s Code of Practice for Controlled Burns/Asset Protection Burns requiring supply to the public of reliable information on these Burns, can I get answers to the following questions… before you proceed with the burn?

• Which of the criteria for selecting a proposed burn site are met by this site… besides being public land?
• Is it the case that there are no adjacent sites for proposed burns over coming years that would be a part of any effective fuel reduction/asset protection strategy?
• What are the specific ways in which burning this site will contribute to achieving human safety and ecological resilience … the two primary objectives for bushfire management on public land?
• Will you rake clear around old trees to prevent “laddering”?
• Will you be felling any trees prior to the burn? If so which?
• What specific vegetation will be burnt? What level of burn will be undertaken?
• I have taken photos of the site including a record of the existing vegetation (coffee bush etc), and will monitor the site after the burn. If highly flammable coffee bush regrowth, greater than currently recorded, returns to the site after the burn would the burn be recorded as counter productive?
• In what specific ways will burning in this way encourage the return of native flora and fauna?
• In which year is the proposed burn planned? The colour coding of the site on the Interactive map on your website page  Proposed Fire Operations (attached) indicates the year 2015/2016. Can you please notify me of the date for the planned burn so that I can attend and monitor the burn… at a safe distance?

…looking forward to hearing from you.

Mark Carter
38 Miners Hut Road
Chewton 3451

One Response

  1. Abirken says:

    Re: Proposed burn – MGFSO28 – Chewton Bushland Reserve

    I have a number of concerns about three major issues: the protection of wildlife, vulnerable plant species and the risk of wildfire.

    As there are reservations about the necessity and efficacy of this form of land management, I would like to begin by asking these four questions.

    1. Is the intention or any part of the intention of the proposed burn to remove or thin out the trees on the reserve, as ranger David Majors suggested in 2009, when he gave a recommendation to improve the environment in the reserve?

    2. What fire management strategies does the DEPI intend to use to start and then control the fire?

    3. Does the DEPI plan a series of cool mosaic burns over a period of time or a single major fire?

    4. Is there a plan for attending to wildlife injured or disturbed by the activity, including the timing of the event so that it does not interfere with breeding seasons of the local wildlife, including birds?

    Thank you for offering us this forum to discuss this issue and give feedback to our community,

    Antoinette Birkenbeil

    Home: PO Box 5
    CHEWTON 3451
    Tel: 03 54611196
    Mob: 0414802738

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