Did you know – during peak fire season mowing in rural areas presents a big risk of starting a bushfire?
After consulting with the Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) and the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) last year, we committed to finishing up our annual mowing program by the end of December 2019 in the north-east and south. This is why some rural areas may now have longer grass.
The TFS have told us that the risk of long grass isn’t as great as the risk of mowing starting a fire during the January – March peak fire season.
There are many ways mowing can start a fire, such as blades hitting rocks or other hard items and setting off sparks, or grass getting caught in wheels and starting to smoulder in the heat.
The rural mowing program will restart after the fire season has passed, in preparation for next year’s fire season.
We meet with TFS regularly, and they have direct input into our mowing program. Our mowing contractors use the TFS Danger Rating Risk Assessment to decide if it’s safe to mow on a particular day and will be adopting the TFS Machinery Operating Guidelines as part of a continuous improvement approach.
We’re still doing rural mowing in the north-west of the state and in urban areas, as the fire risk is much lower than in other parts of Tassie.
We regularly review this with TFS and make decisions on a day-by-day basis, depending on the weather and fire risk.