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Canberra
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Have your say on bushfire protection plans

Canberrans can now comment on the draft 10-year Regional Fire Management Plan to help protect our land, environment, and the community from bushfire.

The draft regional fire plan was issued by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service. It is based on new modelling technology to keep Canberrans safe from future bushfires while protecting threatened species and ecological communities, said Daniel Iglesias, executive branch manager of the Parks and Conservation Service.

The draft outlines how the fuel load in bush and urban fire risk zones – parks, commercial forests, and nature reserves – would be managed as the region recovers and regenerates from the “catastrophic” 2019–2020 bushfire season, Mr Iglesias said.

The 2019/20 bushfires burnt more than 83,000 hectares of conservation land and 3,000 hectares of agricultural land in the ACT – including the Orroral Valley fire, which ravaged Namadgi and Tidbinbilla.

The plan includes new fire management zones developed by the ACT Emergency Services Agency  (ESA).

ACT ESA Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said the new bushfire management zones reflect the Territory’s changing environment and growing population, and were identified based on vegetation, fuels and location.

Asset protection zones within and around the city provide a defendable space to allow residents and firefighters a degree of safety before, during and after a bushfire, Ms Whelan said.

Strategic firefighting protection zones reduce the intensity and spread of fires across the landscape, and include easy access points such as fire trails, roads and creeks.

Online maps show proposed fuel management activities within the zones.

Community meetings will be held in coming weeks on the draft plan and the new fire management zones. Mr Iglesias said community and local environmental groups have important knowledge to inform the work across urban reserves, Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla,.

The community can also comment on the plan on the ACT Government YourSay website until 2 May.

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