The Ex reports comments by the Gravelly Beach Country Fire Brigade chief. (G. Beach is West Tamar, opposite Swan Bay)

‘The smoke is so black it looks like the worst possible thunderstorm and it has completely blocked out the sun.’ He said there was a layer of soot covering items in his garden.

‘A big hot fire like that completely destroys everything in its path - it looked hot, like a wildfire.’

The Ex goes on to say, ‘Forestry Tasmania is trialling a strategy to manage smoke from burns. (Should go far young Danielle Blewett: what’s strategic about it and where else does one get smoke from?) It was developed by the Forest Practices Authority, the Tasnmanian Fire Service, the forest industry (Code for Gunns), the Environmental Protection Authority and Parks and Wildlife.’

And didn’t they do well??


Today’s Ex (Thursday) quotes Michelle O’Byrne as saying, ‘The State Government is committed to improving air quality in Tasmania..’

She was opening the first of fifteen monitoring stations around Tasmania, in Lilydale. These will be able to measure down to PM 2.5 particles.

Lilydale is south east (downwind) of the pulp mill site. One wonders why they bother since by the PMAA Gunns may pollute as much as they like for years before any action at all is taken.

And the subservience of the government to Forestry and ‘forestry’ is well noted. It’s not ’ Oi, you! Stop the burns and do something more productive!’ but ‘Look out Clive Stott, this’ll be nasty, best stay indoors.’

And if O’Byrne is serious, what exactly is her state government doing to improve air quality?

Meanwhile …

The TAP Into a Better Tasmania website (, is collating smoke data for Operation Smokewatch.

Operation Smokewatch is about the community recording incidents of fires and smoke around Tasmania. The information from members of the public will be used by the community group “Operation Smokewatch”  to lobby the government to protect human health.

Smoke smell and visibility are good indicators of very small smoke particles (PM 2.5). These particles are small enough to penetrate far into the lungs and cause significant harm to your health.

Keep a watch for smoke particularly in Autumn and Spring. If you see or smell smoke or see a fire, record your observations of smoke events using the following pattern:

  1. Date
  2. Area/city/town/suburb
  3. Time of smoke smell - in morning (SM), afternoon (SA), evening
    (SE) or night (SN).
  4. Health effects observed
  5. Fires known via observation (O) or websites (W)
  6. Nature of fire if known eg forestry, parks etc

*Example 1* (actual incident)

  1. 23 March 2009
  2. Newstead Launceston
  3. SE
  4. Headaches
  5. Observation
  6. Nature - unknown

*Example 2* (actual incident)

  1. 28 March 2009
  2. Patersonia
  3. SM, SE, SN
  4. Headaches outside, loss of voice by neighbour with lung condition
  5. Observation
  6. Nature - smoke from 3 fires at Burnie (listed on FIAT website)

Don’t forget to log in to so you can upload your observations. Click on “add new comment”.


That isn’t the moon. It’s the sun.