Burning to increase across North East

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries hopes to increase the number of fuel reduction burns this season after wet weather dampened plans for previous burnoffs.

The department burnt 18 per cent of its 54,300- hectare target last financial year after heavy rain fell during the season.

Hume region planned burn manager Paul O’Connor said the 2014-15 target was 63,000 hectares of public land.

“It’s really about protecting human life and key infrastructure,” he said.

“We have to work with the season and we’ll try to pick up when conditions are suitable.”

Mr O’Connor said the department had also started slashing and site preparation in a bid to reduce the impact of bushfires.

The organisation also undertakes work to protect key pieces of infrastructure.

The department has released revised fuel reduction plans for the next three years, and is seeking feedback.

“It’s a very complex planning process that needs to be worked through,” he said.