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Fire salvage operations to commence at Lewana

The FPC will start harvest operations this month to recover as much of the timber as possible for local industry.
15 March 2019

Fire recovery operations will soon commence in fire-affected plantation estate located within the Lewana and Ferndale area.

The Balingup Nannup wildfire in late February burnt through 3,336 hectares of land including 1,765 hectares of pine plantation estate.

FPC Manager Production Chaz Newman said site preparation and harvesting operations to salvage fire damaged pine trees will commence this month.

“Our harvesting operations aim to recover as many trees as possible, and we have estimated 390,000 tonnes could be salvaged for local industry,” Mr Newman said.

“After salvage harvesting, our priority will be preparing the area for replanting this winter.”

Local communities are likely to notice additional trucking traffic on local roads associated with haulage of salvaged pine logs as they are harvested from the affected plantation sites.

The FPC is currently notifying plantation neighbours and local communities of the planned recovery operations.

“We are mindful of further impacts on local communities during the process of recovery and we’ll be working closely with plantation neighbours to ensure any potential impacts such as dust and traffic disturbance are minimised,” Mr Newman said.

“As we proceed with the recovery operation, staff and contractor safety, community needs and environmental aspects such as soil and water quality, biosecurity and future fire risk are elements that are all being considered.”

Salvage harvesting and replanting are expected to continue through until August 2019.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Road closure information:

Access into the Lewana and Ferndale plantation will be closed for the duration of the fire recovery operation. These closures are being put in place to ensure the safety of the general public due to increased harvesting, road works and haulage activities that are required to facilitate the timely recovery of the fire impacted pine plantation. 

Dorant Road will be closed to ensure the safety of the public and allow for increased haul truck traffic out of the Lewana and Ferndale salvage areas.

During the period of this closure (18 March to 31 May), the Forest Product Commission will be conducting road upgrade to make it suitable for two way traffic. The public will be required to find alternative access routes during this period.