If the RFS hadn’t acted when they did the outcome could have been very different
Late last Saturday morning June 24th 2023 the RFS was called out to a large unattended campfire in Boyne State Forest.
It was burning close to undergrowth on the roadside of Big Bit Road at an active log dump. There was no logging taking place that day nor probably the next day, Sunday.
The wind was blowing at around 20 kilometres an hour.
The logging is part of an operation contracted by Forestry Corporation to a Victorian logging company.
If the RFS hadn’t acted when they did the outcome could have been very different.
Given the recent history of catastrophic fire in our region it is not only stupid but also highly negligent to leave a fire burning in a forest unattended, especially for consecutive days.
It constitutes an offence under the Rural Fires Act section 100(2): unlawfully leaving a fire in the open air before it is extinguished.
When the paltry fine of some $2,200 is issued in relation to this incident it will add to the $684,000 of fines and court costs borne by Forestry Corporation since 2020.
Forestry Corporation has some serious questions to answer about supervision of its contractors, and the contractors themselves should also face consequences.
This incident underlines the report issued last week by the NSW Auditor General which highlighted substantial deficiencies in the compliance monitoring by the Forestry Corporation.
Last week’s report is just the latest in a litany of negative reports in the last 2 years about native forest logging in NSW.
As the governments of WA and Victoria have already decided: perhaps it’s time NSW transitioned to a jobs-rich 100% plantation based industry. Name supplied