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Mid North Forest Information

A message from Chief Executive - Jerome Coleman

Parts of the Mid North agricultural district have suffered in recent years, following major bushfire events at Bundaleer and Wirrabara.

While this may have caused substantial financial loss to ForestrySA as a business, this can never be compared with the personal losses of people living in the area.

ForestrySA has taken on board the concerns of local people and is determined to maintain open and honest communication with our neighbours and the community.

I invite you to have your say, by getting in touch with ForestrySA Corporate Communications via forestrysa@forestrysa.com.au.

A number of questions were asked at the Jamestown community meeting on 22 October which we were not equipped to answer on the spot. As promised, you can read our responses below:

Wirrabara Fire - 7 May 2012
The decision to ignite the prescribed burn was, at the time, a reasonable one. The weather experienced on the day exceeded what was forecast. The day in question was not a declared Total Fire Ban. 

A number of opportunities for improvement were identified (and later implemented), during the incident debrief which followed. These included:

·         Mixing experienced crew with less experienced crew

·         Using the Burn Risk Assessment Tool

·         Resourcing prescribed burns to ensure crews can deal with contingencies

·         Additional training for prescribed burn personnel

Fire preparation and protection
ForestrySA is readying itself for the 2014-15 fire season, with annual preparation activities now underway in the Mid North.

Fire protection is something we take very seriously. To ensure we meet our commitment, experienced fire fighters are engaged to begin work in early November 2014, supplemented by a number of casual staff.

Adding to this vital human resource is one fire appliance, which will be based at Wirrabara during the fire season, two Quick Response Vehicles and a bulk water carrier.  

Fire break spraying has been completed at both Bundaleer and Wirrabara, track clearing has begun and is ongoing and fire break slashing will commence shortly. 


Sandalwood
To quote the Strategic Directions for Mid North Pine Plantations Estate report: “It is beyond the scope of this analysis to model possible land uses. However, the following list of candidate land uses has been developed to illustrate the range of possibilities.”

ForestrySA contacted the report’s author, Doug Parsonson, to clarify this point and it is quite possible that Sandalwood may not be appropriate.

Native Forest management
ForestrySA receives Community Service Obligation (CSO) funding from the State Government to ensure native vegetation is adequately managed for conservation and fire protection.

Members of the community should feel comfortable that this same level of care will be ongoing well into the future.