Department of Primary Industries:
Regeneration Burning Commences In Gippsland
The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) is currently preparing to commence the annual regeneration burning program in State forests across Gippsland.
By Department of Primary Industries - 13th March 2003 - Back to News
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The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) is currently preparing to commence the annual regeneration burning program in State forests across Gippsland. Recent rainfalls and the current mild conditions mean conditions are becoming suitable for these specialised burning operations.
Regional Fire Manager, David Tainsh said that regeneration burning is an important part of the commercial forest management cycle. For a number of forest types in Victoria, fire is the best option for helping to ensure new forests are successfully established after harvesting.
Following the harvest of timber, much of the bark, foliage and timber unsuitable for sawing and/or chip products remain on the forest floor. This debris is burnt to create an ideal seedbed for future germination.
Mr Tainsh said that burning not only provides an ideal seed bed for germination, but it also helps the regenerating forest to maximise access to nutrients and water.
"Each of the sites scheduled for burning has been prepared with fire breaks and access tracks and specially trained crews are allocated to each burn. The burn sites average around 20 hectares in size and are generally widely scattered within those areas of State forest that are available for harvesting".
As most harvesting occurs during the summer months, the opportunity for the safe conduct of prescribed burns is limited. The day of the burn needs to be warm enough to burn, while avoiding humid conditions that hamper efforts to burn. Windy conditions and days when it is too hot and dry are also avoided.
To be successful in high intensity regeneration burning operations, Mr Tainsh said that officers responsible must utilise all their skills, knowledge and experience in weather, forest fuels and fire behaviour.
It is not an easy task but highly rewarding. At the end of the day's operation you know that you have helped create a highly receptive seed bed that allows the cycle of regenerating our commercial forests to continue.
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