Fired Up Over Fireweed

Elaine Seager
March 18, 2016

Fired Up Over Fireweed

It may look pretty but Fireweed is a toxic weed that has local authorities, Tablelands Regional Council, Biosecurity Queensland and Terrain NRM all fired up on the Atherton Tablelands.

 

Fireweed is a target for eradication under the Local Government Area Pest Management Plan so when a new incursion was located recently in Wongabel, a mini taskforce was pulled together.  

The purpose of the task force was to survey the area mapped and collect data to compare with baseline data to track progress being made towards the weeds eradication.

The Green Army will continue keeping a watch out for Fireweed during various activities they are involved with in the Tablelands Region, while ensuring they don’t spread pests and pathogens.

Things to know about Fireweed:

  • It is an introduced weed that is native to Madagascar and southern Africa.
  • It competes pasture species and is toxic to livestock. It causes illness, slow growth and poor conditioning in cattle and can result in death.
  • It was first recorded in Australia in the Hunter Valley in 1918.
  • It has rapidly increased its range in the last 30 years.
  • Fireweed is a declared Class 2 pest plant under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002. A Class 2 pest is one that has already spread over substantial areas of Queensland, but its impact is so serious that we need to try and control it and avoid further spread onto properties that are still free of the pest
  • There are only two locations of Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) in North Queensland.

Fireweed was the hot topic in the TRC Land Protection Unit activities recently.   

As a part of the Pest Management Advisory Committee meeting the members, and members of the public, visited the site at Wondecla. They were given information about the biology and impacts of the weed and participated in survey, treatment and hygiene activities. They were also shown how to identify of the plant and how to best apply Biosecurity principles.

What to do if you see Fireweed

All property owners in the Tablelands region are being urged to keep an eye out for Fireweed. If you think you see it, leave it where it is and contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 1300 362 242 and they will notify the Land Protection Unit for an inspection.