The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is putting the final preparations in place for three fuel reduction burns over the next few weeks to increase fire protection for assets adjacent to and within Bundjalung and Broadwater National Parks, near Evans Head.

NPWS Richmond River Area Manager Mark Pittavino said that the burns will help to reduce risk to property and protect the natural and cultural values of the national parks.

“The purpose of the burns is to provide fuel-reduced areas which will help to prevent the spread of wildfire,” Mr Pittavino said.

The burns are as follows:

  • Twenty hectares in the Evans Head Defence Air Weapons Range in Bundjalung National Park to help stop the spread of fire from military activities and protect assets.
  • Seven hectares in Broadwater National Park off Wallum Drive, near Evans Head to protect properties.
  • Five hundred hectares in Bundjalung National Park (West) adjacent to the Pacific Highway, fifteen kilometres south of New Italy, in order to provide a hazard reduced area to reduce the spread of wildfire across the landscape.

During the burns, roads will remain open but drivers should be aware of the potential for smoke across the roads.

“Strategic wildfire control is a high priority and this hazard reduction burning will lower fuel loads in the areas in order to reduce potential wildfire intensity in summer,” Mr Pittavino said.

“The area identified for strategic burning is a result of fire modelling as part of the NPWS’s fire management planning process.”

“The burns will commence in the middle of the day and be completed by nightfall. People should avoid the area where the burns are being conducted.

“The burns will be conducted by NPWS staff with the assistance of the Rural Fire Service.”

To allow these hazard reduction burns to proceed with a minimum of inconvenience, nearby residents are asked to undertake the following precautions and preparations before and during the burn:

  • Ensure all windows and doors are closed, especially if you will be absent from your home at any time during this period.
  • Ensure all children are supervised during the burn operation.
  • Ensure pets are secured
  • It would be best to not leave washing on the line if you will be absent from your home during this period.
  • Do not create vehicular or pedestrian congestion near the operation.
  • Only authorised personnel are permitted on the fire-ground for the duration of the operation.