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ACT flags fuel load burns ahead of warmer bushfire season  

The ACT Government has released its latest Bushfire Operations Plan, outlining its agenda to strengthen the territory’s bushfire protection and prevention.  

ACT Planning and Land Management Minister Mick Gentleman says this year’s “ambitious” plan prioritises maintenance and risk reduction through several key projects targeting hazard reduction burns and fuel load reductions.  

He says some planned works have already begun as the government looks to get ahead of drier conditions after facing “significant challenges” to prevent fuel loads from increasing in recent years due to wet weather.  

“The government is well underway implementing this year’s activities by completing management trail repairs, training new staff, removing fuel by slashing and mowing and undertaking prescribed burns,” Mr Gentleman said.  

“The ACT Parks and Conservation Service (PCS) has already completed 270km of priority trail works this year. 

“Despite the significant challenges faced from extreme wet weather, saturated catchments and impacts to our fire trails, we achieved 84% completion of the 2022-23 Bushfire Operations Plan.   

“Any repair works that haven’t been completed in the previous plan due to weather impacts will be prioritised in 2023-24 operations.”  

Mr Gentleman has encouraged residents to continue to work with the government to ensure they are prepared and protected against fire risks ahead of a likely severe summer.  

“With the ACT expecting hotter and drier conditions due to El Nino weather patterns, its essential that the government, business and the community progress their bushfire preparations now to prevent the spread of fire and protect Canberrans and their homes from a potential bushfire event.” 

“I urge Canberrans to be prepared and informed as we head into summer. Now is the time to create or update your own survival plan and play your part in keeping yourself, your family and your community safe.”