Tolaga Bay slash and logs will be burned on beach

Tolaga Bay beach. File picture

Hopes are high that the burning of tens of thousands of tonnes of forestry logs, slash and other debris that washed up on the Tolaga Bay beachfront in the June storms will start on Monday.

Forestry companies have produced a plan to deal with the debris, which has gone to Gisborne District Council, supported by the Uawanui.

“Once the council has approved the plan, the burning will start and we hope that can happen on Monday, weather permitting,” said Uawanui chairman Victor Walker.

“We hope to have the beaches looking their best by Christmas. That is the deadline we have set.”

A council spokeswoman said a trial burn would be held to determine if it is a viable option.

“The trial will be monitored to gauge any effects on the environment.

“If it’s successful, they will begin burning in the most popular, well-used areas of the beach, in front of the motor camp on the south beach and in front of the surf life saving club on the north beach,” she said.

“They will endeavour to get through as much debris as they can before Christmas. The intent is there.”

The management plan for the trial was being worked through.

“Once that’s done, the trial will begin.”

The groups involved in the decision to burn the debris include the Uawanui, GDC, Tolaga Bay Surf Life Saving Club, Tolaga Bay Motor Camp, forestry companies, and Fire and Emergency NZ.

GDC, the Uawanui and the forestry industry reported back to the community on progress made with the clean-up after the floods, at a community hui in Tolaga Bay on Tuesday night. It was attended by about 70 people.

“The debris on the beach will be taken to burning pits on the beach, which will have air blasted into them to ensure it is incinerated with minimal smoke,” Mr Walker said.

“The heat generated will be not unlike the intense heat generated in a hangi.

“We believe there will be minimal smoke generated, and no toxic substances released into the air. Incineration will go night and day.

A safety plan will be put in place before burning starts. “We will communicate with the community about it, and we hope that by this side of Christmas we will have a clear beach.”

Mr Walker said the forestry industry would meet the costs of the beach clean-up.

“This way we have been able to turn adversity into opportunity through a massive collective effort.

“This is the first time that so many groups have been working on something like this together in the Tolaga Bay area.

“They have done it with the very best of intentions.”

Hopes are high that the burning of tens of thousands of tonnes of forestry logs, slash and other debris that washed up on the Tolaga Bay beachfront in the June storms will start on Monday.

Forestry companies have produced a plan to deal with the debris, which has gone to Gisborne District Council, supported by the Uawanui.

“Once the council has approved the plan, the burning will start and we hope that can happen on Monday, weather permitting,” said Uawanui chairman Victor Walker.

“We hope to have the beaches looking their best by Christmas. That is the deadline we have set.”

A council spokeswoman said a trial burn would be held to determine if it is a viable option.

“The trial will be monitored to gauge any effects on the environment.

“If it’s successful, they will begin burning in the most popular, well-used areas of the beach, in front of the motor camp on the south beach and in front of the surf life saving club on the north beach,” she said.

“They will endeavour to get through as much debris as they can before Christmas. The intent is there.”

The management plan for the trial was being worked through.

“Once that’s done, the trial will begin.”

The groups involved in the decision to burn the debris include the Uawanui, GDC, Tolaga Bay Surf Life Saving Club, Tolaga Bay Motor Camp, forestry companies, and Fire and Emergency NZ.

GDC, the Uawanui and the forestry industry reported back to the community on progress made with the clean-up after the floods, at a community hui in Tolaga Bay on Tuesday night. It was attended by about 70 people.

“The debris on the beach will be taken to burning pits on the beach, which will have air blasted into them to ensure it is incinerated with minimal smoke,” Mr Walker said.

“The heat generated will be not unlike the intense heat generated in a hangi.

“We believe there will be minimal smoke generated, and no toxic substances released into the air. Incineration will go night and day.

A safety plan will be put in place before burning starts. “We will communicate with the community about it, and we hope that by this side of Christmas we will have a clear beach.”

Mr Walker said the forestry industry would meet the costs of the beach clean-up.

“This way we have been able to turn adversity into opportunity through a massive collective effort.

“This is the first time that so many groups have been working on something like this together in the Tolaga Bay area.

“They have done it with the very best of intentions.”

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Michael - 3 days ago
In the same week that the UN commission on climate change issued a severe and final warning to the world on our unsustainable rate of emissions, how disappointing it is to read that this huge amount of wood will be burnt, sending who knows how many tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. Sure it's a unique situation but what happens when the next storm comes, and the next...which is going to happen more frequently as climate change rapidly advances. Will we burn all that slash too, contributing to the problem even more?! The message is clear, we are all responsible for taking any action we can, no matter how big or small, to reduce our carbon footprint. Council, industry, iwi and community alike should all play their part. But I see no consideration of that here. Any claim to be environmentally friendly, or sustainable, or kaitiaki of the land, by these organisations is all talk and no action. And until we expect different behaviour from all corners of society, the world is only going to continue its downward spiral. "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not" - The Lorax, Dr Seuss.

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