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Published Friday 22 April 2022
Tags:General, Media Release

Managing fire risk at Pyalong Recreation Reserve

Important fire prevention works have been completed by Mitchell Shire Council at Pyalong Recreation Reserve.

There is a substantial plantation of mature pine trees located along West Road and Northern Highway frontage of the Pyalong Recreation Reserve. There are also a small number of Indigenous trees throughout the plantation.

Residential housing and the Pyalong Primary School are located across from the reserve on West Road, with the Pyalong township spread to the south and east of the reserve.

Some members of the Pyalong community expressed concerns about bushfire risk with the reserve’s proximity to the school and houses, and its status as a Neighbourhood Safer Place – Bushfire Place of Last Resort.

Council convened an internal working group to investigate the bushfire risk and the associated costs for mitigation.

A CFA fire risk assessment concluded that the risk from the plantation was low and that reducing ground-level fuel would mitigate the low risk.

In 2021, residents were asked for input on three options – full removal of nearly 300 trees; ground level fuel reduction and removal of pine tree branches; and no action.

Option two was endorsed following consultation and Council has now completed the works with the removal of ground fuel under the pines and removal of pine tree branches up to two metres from ground level.

An arborist assessment and management plan has been completed for the 291 trees and there will be ongoing works to manage fuel levels and weeds.

Cleared area - Pyalong
Council has completed fire prevention works in Pyalong, with the removal of ground fuel under the pines and removal of pine tree branches up to two metres from ground level.
Uncleared area - Pyalong
Before the works, the area posed a fire risk to the community. A CFA fire risk assessment concluded that the risk from the plantation was low and that reducing ground-level fuel would mitigate the low risk.

Comments from Mayor Bill Chisholm

“The risk of fire is ever present in Mitchell Shire and Council works year around to ensure greater levels of fire protection,” he said.

“It is extremely important that all levels of Government and all people in our communities work together in mitigating potential fire hazards. In this context, I would particularly like to thank the Pyalong community, the Pyalong Recreation Reserve committee of management, Council staff and the contractors involved. This is a significant improvement."

Comments from Pyalong Recreation Reserve committee of management president and Pyalong Riding Club president Kate Brown.

“I’m very thankful to see this clean up happening as it was a concern for Pyalong residents and users of the Reserve,” she said.

“It was needed not only to minimise the fire risk but also to make the area safer for users and to improve general appearance of the Reserve.

“I am incredibly happy with the result. I want to thank Mitchell Shire Council for making it happen.

“I also want to thank the members of the Reserve’s user groups for keeping it tidy year-round. It’s a community effort and it’s fantastic to see our Reserve looking so good.”

This page was last updated on 22 April 2022.