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ForestrySA surveillance to stop deliberate fires

ForestrySA has stepped up surveillance of its Green Triangle Native Forest Reserves, following a spate of dangerous forest car fires and illegal rubbish dumping. Rubbish dumping is a longstanding local issue, with household waste and other material (including asbestos, chemicals and noxious weeds) regularly discarded within Forest Reserves. Source: Timberbiz

The latest spate of illegal forest activity has seen nine car bodies dumped on Caroline’s Pond Flat Airstrip, presenting a significant fire and safety risk to the community, and cost to ForestrySA.

ForestrySA fire crews were also called to extinguish a car fire at the airstrip recently, after a Holden Commodore was set alight near scrubland.

Ranger Ryan Fisher said ForestrySA has a zero-tolerance approach to illegal fires and rubbish dumping, and perpetrators face prosecution.

“The airstrip borders Penambol Conservation Park and plantation forest. Dumping a vehicle and setting it alight poses a significant fire risk, especially during the middle of Fire Danger Season,” Mr Fisher said.

“Rubbish dumping of any kind is illegal and those caught face substantial fines. We are working with South Australia Police to investigate the incident.”

ForestrySA manages approximately 13,500 hectares of gazetted Native Forest Reserve across the South East, located within reserves from Mount Benson and Cave Range, to the Victorian Border.

Mr Fisher said additional camera surveillance was being installed at the airstrip and other dumping hotspots in a bid to curb the problem.

Camera surveillance technology has been used in ForestrySA Forest Reserves for many years, assisting in the identification of illegal forest activity and supplementing regular forest patrols carried out by ForestrySA Rangers.

Forest rangers are wardens appointed pursuant to the provisions of the Forestry Act 1950 and have authority to enforce forest regulations under this act.