Bushfire control ‘massive priority’ for timber giant after fire burns Victoria’s Mount Lonarch plantation

By Else Kennedy
ABC News, Australia
March 5, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

An out-of-control fire that burnt through hundreds of hectares of timber plantation west of Ballarat last month has rendered a large volume of pine destined for mills “unsalvageable”. Hancock Victorian Plantation Holdings (HVP Plantations) lost 1,000 hectares of pine trees when bushland at Mount Lonarch went up in smoke in fires that began on February 22. HVP Plantations corporate fire manager Richard Mailer said a large amount of pine, which was destined for mills in Victoria, as well as export, would be wasted. …Mr Mailer said the Mount Lonarch fire had been the company’s biggest loss since the Black Summer fires of 2019-20 burnt through 6,000ha of the company’s estate.
He said once the losses were added together, they impacted their plans. …Australia’s national plantation estate shrank 15 per cent between 2009 and 2022, from 2.02 million to 1.72 million hectares, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.

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