Wilsons Promontory National Park fire

Wilsons Promontory National Park was the most recent area that sustained another control burn” that got out of “control” – costing $2 million; a rather costly muck-up.

The fire started as a Parks Victoria burn-off in early April 2005 and burnt over 6,000 ha. or 13% of the Park. The fire was safely controlled 17 days later.

The blaze cost the Department of Sustainability and Environment up to $200,000 a day to fight. The blaze started when it was left unattended over the weekend and it broke “containment lines” (a road) when gale force winds blew up. Leaving fires unattended after-hours and on weekends must be a standard procedure.

One positive –

More than 250 fire-fighters worked around the clock to contain the blaze. Praise should also be given to whoever made the decision to use fire crews to rake-hoe an 18 km control line rather than send in bulldozers. It avoided the same disastrous bulldozer damage that was caused to many areas of forest and reserves during the big 2003 fires. Maybe lessons have been learned.

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