April 2010: AN AERIAL spray con- tractor has been fined $10,000 for allowing herbicide to cause damage in the Kinglake National Park and Black Ranges State Forest. The spray drift incident occurred over 10 days in April 2010 while Forest Air Helicopters, of Albury, was spraying a mixture of glyphosate and metsulfuron-methyl to control weeds in a forestry pine plantation that was re- covering from the Black Saturday bushfires. It resulted in damage to more than 200 hectares of bushland near a number of forestry coupes at Kinglake West, Buxton and Narbethong. A Forest Air Helicopters spokesman said the com- pany ran the usual compu- ter modelling and risk as- sessments beforehand and had boundary riders in radio contact with the pilot and buffer zones in place. Forest Air Helicopters pleaded guilty in the Wodonga Magistrates’ Court earlier this month and was fined on three charges; another seven were struck out. As well as the fine, the company was ordered to pay court and other costs totalling $27,024.61. No conviction was recorded. Department of Primary Industries chemical stan- dards officer Jane Rhodes said the matter was a timely reminder for all spray contractors.