Fraser Island fire photos from ABC Sunshine Coast
Fraser Island fire photos from ABC Sunshine Coast

Conservationist pushes to change fire rules as island burns

A LONGTIME Fraser Island conservationist has called for the urgent reformation of World Heritage Advisory Committees on K'gari (Fraser Island).

Mike West said the blaze, still burning after six weeks, showed the present fire management plan had been overtaken by environmental changes similar to those that happened last year across the nation.

"There is no criticism of the firefighters, it is just the policy that has not been updated since the obvious change in conditions throughout eastern Australia," he said.

"It is not good policy to leave these massive fires to burn until it rains.

"In the past the advisory committees initiated the development of plans suited for the situation at the time.

"These advisory committees have not been re-established after many months and there is an urgent need for the upgrade of the policy."

Another major fire last year burned through a huge percentage of the World Heritage area in the south of the island, Mr West said, including critical habitat for ground parrots and button-quails. "This present fire is on track to burn right down to last year's disaster," he said.

"There is nowhere else for the unique wildlife to escape to.

"While the country may recover, some rainforest areas may not.

"The rare flora and fauna may be very seriously compromised.

"While it is vital that human life and property be saved, the World Heritage area deserves a new plan to minimise massive burns."