More to burn will burn more

29/12/2009

The ODT confirms that the fire we witnessed near Butchers Dam yesterday (two posts back) was on conservation land.

About 20 hectares of the 813 estate was burned.

Shingle Creek farmer Jack Miller said the fire was “something that was just waiting to happen”.

The ungrazed conservation estate was a fire risk, he said.

“And when you lock up vast amounts of land like this, it becomes a huge fire risk for everyone,” Mr Miller said.

However Doc deputy principal rural fire officer for Otago, Trevor Mitchell, said:

. . . the fire risk and the dryness of the property was the same whether it was conservation land or farmland.

Who owns the property has no impact on how dry it is but that’s not the only factor which adds to the danger of fire.

 Farmed property is grazed. Most land under DoC management isn’t and at this time of year it’s covered in dry grass and scrub which provides more fuel for fires.

If there’s more to burn it will burn more.


Fire

28/12/2009

Fire engines and two helicopters were called to fight a scrub fire near Butchers Dam, a few kilometres from Alexandra, today:

It looked like it had started near the side of the road:

Fortunately there wasn’t much wind and the dam was near by to supply water:

Locals say it is DOC land and they had been concerned about the fire danger from uncontrolled growth on it.


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