The difficulty of controlling fires

Subject: The difficulty of controlling fires
From: Laurence and Leanne Knight <>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 18:35:31 +1000
I think there is a bit of history of intentional fires getting out of
control in Tassie [I seem to recall that is how Lake Rhona got burnt in
the mid 80s].  Still, this latest excursion was all in a good cause ...

SW tracks closed as fire escapes control


 A PARKS and Wildlife Service fire designed to help the endangered
orange-bellied parrot has escaped, burning more than 7000ha of World
Area moorlands.

 An alert last night warned walkers that two popular wilderness walking
the South Coast track and the South-West Cape track, were closed.

 It is understood there are no bushwalkers on the tracks in the area of

 The service yesterday morning strengthened its original six-man fire
crew in
the area and another 12 firefighters were flown into the remote
South-West site.

 A service spokesman said yesterday efforts would be concentrated on
buildings at Melaleuca, including bushwalking facilities and private

 The spokesman said the fire was lit on Tuesday as part of a
program to improve food resources for the parrots, which feed in the

 The fire leapt across a creek boundary, spread outside the control area
and by
mid-morning yesterday was burning on a 30km perimeter.

 The spokesman said none of the migratory parrots had returned to
Melaleuca from
their northern winter journeys.

 Wilderness Society acting co-ordinator Tim Graham said it was a shame
the fire
had escaped.

 "I would hope that it can be brought under control with minimal impact
to the
World Heritage Area," he said.

 The service spokesman said peat beds at the site were sodden and the
fire was
not spreading into scrub or forest.

 "Had this fire developed at the peak of the dry summer season, a fire
of this
kind would cause us serious concern," he said.

 "Because it's occurring now, when conditions are already damp and rain
imminent, the fire falls within our strategy of hazard-reduction burns,
restoring the natural cycle at a time when fires can be best

 The spokesman said that the strategy would be to wait for rain,
expected last
night, to dampen the fire.

 Helicopters were kept on standby yesterday in case the threat to

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