Pandanus on fire.
Pandanus on fire.

Fraser Island fires burn again

THE annual 'controlled' burns continue on Fraser Island.

This fragile ecosystem is subjected every year to a fire regime instigated by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers to reduce fuel loads.

Whether they are 'controlled', as claimed by QPWS, is debatable.

Past years have seen these fires destroy thousand of hectares of bush and cause havoc to the flora and fauna of the Island.

The fires are started by dropping incendiary devices from aircraft into dense brush.

There is no one on the ground to monitor or control what happens.

Recently there was a fire burning out of control at the Wyuna Camping zone 10 kms south of Indian Head.

No rangers and no fire fighters were present.

Campers were told to evacuate the following morning but the damage was already done.

How much wildlife and vegetation will be destroyed this year?

- Reader and activist Cheryl Bryant

Response from Peter Wright, regional manager Sunshine and Fraser Coast, Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing:

The large conservation burn at Wyuna on Fraser Island is under constant supervision by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers who review the containment strategy on a daily basis.

Rangers responded to campers' concerns when the fire came out on to the dunes one evening due to a change in weather conditions but at no time was there any threat to people's safety and campers were kept fully informed.

The fire continues to burn in parts of the dunes but has been contained and is being monitored by rangers.

Fire is a natural part of Australia's ecological processes and planned burning in the cooler months is essential to maintain a healthy island ecosystem. 

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