In spite of these gloomy considerations, fire managers can point to some significant advances over past practices. Community consultation and information is certainly taken more seriously than it was 15 years ago. And the cautious reintroduction of indigenous burning to the region is to be welcomed—not least because this kind of burning takes seriously the whole question of land health, and is not directed simplistically at narrow questions of safety.
But blips can happen. As readers of our original notice can see, not all the information dispensed at the drop in sessions is necessarily reliable, and sometimes persistence is needed to get the facts. In the case in question, a member of the public was told that a zone in the Maldon area would be slashed, not burned, and that this would take place in Autumn. Both these ‘facts’ were wrong. A quick check of the map link above will show that the area, a reserve adjoining Rowe’s road, is a burn zone: and residents have already been informed by DELWP that the operation is to take place in spring.
Maldon Urban Landcare is currently negotiating a meeting with DELWP on the matter, and has already received an undertaking that phascogale habitat will not be burned during the spring breeding season. Endangered phascogales and sugar gliders frequent the area in question. We’ll see what comes out of the negotiation.
The moral of the story seems to be: look very hard at the documentary info—and don’t be scared to persist if you think you’re being dealt a wrong hand…