Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

August 11th 2002
After the Fires

Pandanus Following the proscribed burning program on Magnetic Island held over the last two weeks it appears that over half of the Island has succumbed to the flames.

With flora and fauna among our most valued assets on MI, the conducting of these burns is always an issue which draws interest and criticism.


To catch up on the outcomes and strategy of the burns MT spoke to Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service District Manager, Mr Richard Quincey.


Mr Quincey was generally very satisfied with the operation saying, "The fires have not raced across the Island but trickled slowly down the slopes on the whole".


He was also adamant that the "mosaic" pattern which allows for areas of vegetation to remain beside burnt areas, to provide food for wildlife, had been achieved.


The burns began at the back of Horseshoe Bay then on the northern side of Mount Cook to burn mostly across the top of the Island.


The strategy has not included the National Park east of the Horseshoe Bay hill road.


Concerns have been raised that the Island's fire sensitive hoop pines would be harmed but Richard Quincey told MT, "A decent stand of hoop pines generally won't burn. They mostly grow in the deeper rock crevices which usually protect them".


In the wake of the fires it seems that in many parts the fires burned as planned - slowly along the ground - which Richard Quincey believes gives animals the time to move out.


It was however apparent that some of the slopes around Horseshoe Bay were heavily burnt with the slopes leading up to the Jack and Jill boulders visibly brown to the canopy.


The burns were proscribed to reduce the major build up of flammable material which can fuel devastating wild fires in the lead up to the wet season.


Photo: A fire-resistant pandanus.



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