Reducing smoke

Reducing smoke

Some sources of wood smoke are part of Tasmanian life and are necessary to prevent bushfires or to help regeneration of our forests.

However some sources of smoke can be reduced or avoided altogether.

Wood heaters

A primary air quality issue for Tasmania is domestic wood smoke.

Regulations are in place to control the manufacture, importation for sale and sale of wood heaters, and prohibit the resale and installation of those that do not meet the current Australian Standard, AS4013:1999.

There are also initiatives in place to reduce the impact of wood heaters, such as the Launceston Woodheater Replacement Program, which replaces older, polluting woodheaters with new heaters that contribute to improved air quality.

A poorly operated woodheater not only burns inefficiently but also can produce many times more smoke particles than a properly operated unit. Tasmanians with wood heaters should only use dry, seasoned firewood, ensure their heaters are properly maintained, and are encouraged to improve wood heater use.

Planned burns

Many areas of Tasmania have experienced the effects of smoke from planned burns. Planned burns are carried out for a variety of reasons, by the forestry and agricultural sectors, and by land managers such as the Parks and Wildlife Service.

Until recently there was only limited quantitative information on the scale of such effects. To redress this gap in 2009 the Tasmanian Government commenced the establishment of the BLANkET air monitoring network.  Data from this network have provided vital information concerning smoke movement and smoke concentrations produced by planned burns. This information is being used to refine planned burn practices to reduce smoke impacts.

Also in 2009, the Forest Practices Authority introduced the Coordinated Smoke Management System (CSMS) which sets daily quotas on the amount of burning that can be carried out by the forest industry.

Management of planned burning