Massive hazard reduction blankets coast in smoke: PHOTOS

A MASSIVE hazard reduction is consuming more than 3700 acres of bushland at Bermagui and Cobargo south of Narooma, blanketing the Far South Coast in smoke.

Perfect weather conditions have allowed NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to make great progress with 1508 hectares reported burned so far.

According to the Fires Near Me app, there are three fires in the Bermagui area with two at Cuttagee totalling almost 700 hecates, and another 336ha HR burn at Nutley’s Creek.

A fourth HR burn fire at Cadjangarry 4km south of Cobargo totals 484ha.

There is also a smaller 6ha burn at Kianga being conducted by the RS brigades.

The smoke is also making for some great sunsets and sunrises, so if you have any shots send through via Facebook or email and we will add them to this gallery!

A convoy of National Parks vehicles was seen departing Narooma on Sunday morning headed for the HR grounds.

The burns are being undertaken for a week by National Parks in partnership with the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and here are the initial plans we reported on Friday:

* A 484-hectare burn at Cadjangarry, 2km south of Cobargo and 12km west of Bermagui, in Biamanga National Park;

* A 205-hectare burn at Nutleys, 7km southwest of Bermagui in Biamanga National Park; and

* A 206-hectare burn at Kings Ridge, 6km north of Tathra and 10km east of Bega, in Mimosa Rocks National Park.

Following a wet start to the season, it has been very difficult to complete burning operations, NPWS Regional Manager Tim Shepherd said.

“For the safety of crews and neighbours, and the ensure these burns are effective, they can only be undertaken when the weather is right – it cannot be too wet, cold or windy – making scheduling them very tricky.

“Some parks and reserves, or areas within, may be temporarily closed to allow for the safe completion of hazard reduction operations and NPWS asks for the community to be patient while we complete this very important work.

“People with asthma or those susceptible to respiratory problems are also advised to keep clear of the immediate area or stay indoors.

“People are advised not to visit the area and motorists in the area should drive carefully because of the possibility of smoke and emergency vehicles on the roads.”

The NPWS has so far undertaken 925 hazard reduction activities covering more than 71,000 hectares in total, including 162 hazard reduction burn operations in 2013-14.

In 2012-13 the NPWS achieved a record 208,000 hectares in 1300 separate fuel reduction activities. This was 83 per cent of the total hazard reduction effort for NSW, demonstrating a clear commitment by NPWS to manage fire in accordance with its Living with Fire 2012-21 strategy.

Under the Enhanced Bushfire Management Program, NPWS will pursue its plan to treat an average of over 135,000 hectares per year in 800 or more planned hazard reduction activities.

Click here to see a galley of some great HR burn photos

Achieving this will be highly dependent on the suitability of weather conditions given the narrow window of opportunity that exists in NSW for burning safely and effectively.

Read more about hazard reduction burns planned across all land tenures: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

Read more about managing fire:

www.environment.nsw.gov.au/fire/mngfireinnswnatpks.htm

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