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Bushfire control massive priority for Victoria

23 March 2024

The recent bushfires that swept through timber plantations west of Ballarat reveals a staggering toll on Victoria’s forestry industry. The blaze decimated vast expanses of pine trees managed by HVP Plantations. Approximately 1,000 hectares of pine, destined for both local mills and export markets, could be unsalvageable.

Richard Mailer, HVP Plantations corporate fire manager said that plantations under 12 years old face total devastation, while some older areas may offer slim hopes of salvage. The Mount Lonarch fire stands as HVP’s most significant setback since the Black Summer fires of 2019-20, which ravaged thousands of hectares across their estate.

As Victoria grapples with escalating bushfire risks exacerbated by climate change, the resilience of its plantation forestry sector faces severe tests. David Lindenmayer, a prominent voice in environmental science, underscores the urgent need for smarter fire management strategies and technological innovations to safeguard Australia’s shrinking timber industry from further decline.

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Source: ABC