News State NT News Fires threaten Melaleuca floodplain

Fires threaten Melaleuca floodplain

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A Top End station manager is not only having to eye-off fires started by lightning, he’s also had problems with reckless campers.

Just yesterday, a large fire was burning on the Melaleuca Station boundary, about 200 kilometres east of Darwin, which is believed to have ignited during a storm.

However other fires on the property have apparently been started by campers along the Shady Camp Road, according to manager Tony Searle.

He says he’s been monitoring the latest fire, along with the smoke and the wind, for the best part of a week.

“The last three days the wind has been chopping around quite significantly.

“I just hope it continues to stay in the direction it is now, otherwise the Melaleuca flood plain will come under threat,” he said.

Mr Searle says while there have been several lightening strikes this season, the biggest threat comes from visitors.

“I don’t know if it’s poachers or somebody dropping matches or having campfires.

“People go away leaving their fire smouldering. The fires do start from accidents as well as negligence,” he said.

“We try to keep the fires off the flood plain because it’s a very vibrant ecosystem, where if we get a hot fire, it burns the seeds and the roots of the grass.”