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May 10, 2021

Arakwal National Park fire sparks concern

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The 'controlled burn' in Arakwal National Park, as seen by many people yesterday (May 13). Photo Cheryl Styles
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People concerned about a ‘bushfire’ in Arakwal National Park yesterday can rest easy. The fire that they spotted was an official controlled burn.

But it certainly didn’t look like one to many, including Byron Bay resident and photographer Cheryl Styles, who forwarded us this photograph.

‘I am not certain how it started but it definitely started in the national park then headed west toward the houses,’ she told Echonetdaily.

NPWS Acting Area Manager, Nathan Oliver, said it was part of an ongoing fire management strategy, which aims to protect lives, property and the biodiversity.

‘The 10 hectare burn took place in the north eastern corner of Arakwal National Park south of Tallow Beach Road,’ Mr Oliver said.

The burn provides a strategic fuel reduction zone in the north-east area of the park and will assist in preventing wildfire moving through the park’, he said.

Smoke from the burn was visible from some distance, as is shown in this photo.

Tallow Beach Road, Cosy Corner Day Use Area and the track from Milne Street in Arakwal National Park were closed during the fire.

This burn was a cooperative exercise between the NPWS, NSW Fire and Rescue and the Rural Fire Service. It is one of many being undertaken by the NPWS across NSW, as conditions allow.

Prescribed burning is the use of planned fire to protect life, property and the environment by reducing fuel levels and maintaining the health of plants and animals.

These burns are some of many being undertaken by NPWS across NSW as part of the NSW Government’s $62.5 million package to boost bushfire preparedness and double hazard reduction in the State’s national parks.

With the assistance of the Enhanced Bushfire Management Program, the NPWS plans to burn an average of over 135,000 hectares per year, through more than 800 individual hazard reduction activities. For more information on planned hazard reduction burns, visit the Rural Fire Service website: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.


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  1. Maybe a publicised Fire Burn Off Day would be a good idea.
    Now, we may potentially see smoke and assume it’s another Burn Off.
    Could be dangerous!

  2. This is nothing short of Government sanctioned environmental vandalism.
    This is just another form of primitive “fire stick farming” and is discredited by reasonable scientists, although you could probably buy a contrary opinion from the likes of Bjorn Lomborg.
    The entities concerned do not have the necessary knowledge to manage these” fuel reduction burns” and should be ashamed of their ignorant efforts that will do more to encourage global warming and increase the flammability of the National Park.

  3. Really Ken?
    I think fuel reduction burning at urban interface is reasonably standard practice and is seen as a compromise to limit property damage under adverse fire conditions. I also disagree about your assessment on the knowledge of the entities involved. I suppose you have greater knowledge?


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