Bushfire control work is underway in the Far West of NSW as the normally dry and arid landscape has undergone significant vegetation growth following ongoing rain.
Crown Lands and the Rural Fire Service are working together to undertake safety work in a range of outback communities.
“Ongoing wet weather linked to repeated La Nina weather conditions over the past couple of years have seen many parts of the Far West with dense vegetation growth on land that is normally dry and barren,” Crown Lands Executive Director of Land and Asset Management Greg Sullivan said.
“It is quite a natural phenomenon as areas of red dirt transform into a green landscape, but with it comes an increased risk of summer bushfires that now need to be managed.”
Crown Lands has used aerial imagery to provide a bird’s eye view of vegetation growth further supported by on-ground inspections with the Rural Fire Service to assess and map strategic placement of fire breaks and fire trails.
Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner Jayson McKellar said that whilst wet conditions and green growth have been a welcome change for some communities but have created increased risk as hot weather dries vegetation creating highly flammable fuel loads.
“This new growth is creating a substantial risk and so we have activated mitigation crews to work on strategic vegetation clearing and management for bush fire preparedness across many Far West communities,” Assistant Commissioner McKellar said.
“The crews will continue to maintain asset protection zones and fire breaks around towns and villages as well as ensuring fire trails are in good shape for response to fires.”
Towns and villages that are identified for work include Brewarrina, Byrock, Canbelego, Cobar, Coolabah, Cumborah, Enngonia, Euabalong West, Euston, Goodooga, Ivanhoe, Louth, Menindee, North Bourke, Nymagee, Pooncarie, Wanaaring, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Lightning Ridge and Collarenebri.