Notice of intention to undertake a prescribed burn at Paterson Hill

Published on 13 April 2018

Burn image

 Fire and Rescue NSW in partnership with the Rural Fire Service and the National Parks and Wildlife Service are planning to undertake prescribed burns on Paterson Hill at Byron Bay, 1.5km from the town centre, on Tuesday 17 April 2018. 

The burns will take place between 10am-5pm.

Should the weather conditions be unsuitable, the burn will be undertaken as soon as possible after this date, and further notification will be advised.

Council suggests Byron Bay residents near the Paterson Hill area should:

  • Close windows to minimise the impact of smoke and remove clothing from the clothes line
  • If driving in the area - slow down and following directions on nearby roads as smoke may reduce visibility
  • Protect or remove items that may be affected by embers or smoke (e.g. outdoor furniture, pool covers, plastic items, plants, watering systems, pets, etc).

For public safety access to Ruskin Street and Paterson Street will be restricted during burn operations from 8.30am-5pm.

Fire authorities will monitor the fire ground until the areas are declared safe. 

The burn is being undertaken to reduce the fuel load and provide for asset protection from potential wildfire that could occur in the ensuing fire season. 

There is conclusive evidence, both nationally and internationally, that reducing fuel loads lessens the impact bushfires would otherwise have on assets and the community.

The prescribed burns will also promote the restoration of the Byron Bay Dwarf Graminoid Clay Heath, an Endangered Ecological Community that requires fire for its survival.

Why burn?

“Prescribed burns are conducted for a number of reasons such as reducing fuel loads in strategic areas of land or for ecological purposes,” Byron Shire Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Clare Manning, said.

“Reducing fuel loads is very important, because it can make it easier to control a bushfire, help prevent a bushfire spreading to residential areas, and ultimately save people’s lives and property.

“Before every prescribed burn, fire authorities carefully assess and prepare to manage a range of risk factors including the weather, dryness of the vegetation and site topography.

“The risks are relatively small compared to the possible consequences of a major bushfire occurring during the summer.

Should you require any further information please contact Council’s Technical Officer Andy Erskine on 02 6626 7240.

Alternatively, if you experience any problems arising from the burn, please contact Gary Spears, Fire and Rescue NSW on 6685 6266.