Campers in Riverina State forests asked to switch to gas fires
Forests NSW is advising the public that a Solid Fuel Fire Ban will be introduced in State forests in the Riverina from midnight on Friday 19 October.
The ban applies to Koondrook, Perricoota and Campbells Island State Forests along the Murray as well as the cypress State forests in the Murrumbidgee catchment.
The main cypress forests affected by the ban are Gillenbah, Buckingbong, Matong and Binya, as well as numerous other smaller cypress forests in the region.
Forests NSW district manager Andrew McCurdy said the Solid Fuel Fire Ban prohibits all fires using solid fuels, such as wood or charcoal, until the threat of bushfire eases.
“The ban has been introduced earlier this year due to the dry state of the forests,” he said.
“The ban restricts the use of open fires because there is a danger of campfires escaping into the forests.
“State forests in the Riverina are very popular with people from NSW and Victoria during the summer holiday period and the implementation of a Solid Fuel Fire Ban since 1990 has proved a very effective way of reducing bushfires.
“It has potentially helped save many thousands of hectares of river red gum forest and cypress forests from destructive fires, while at the same time improving safety for forest visitors.”
Mr McCurdy said gas appliances would not be affected by the ban, but care should still be taken when using them in the forests.
“We are asking campers who may be coming into the forests during the summer to bring gas appliances,” he said.
The Solid Fuel Fire Ban applies every day throughout summer and not just on days of declared Total Fire Ban.
Mr McCurdy reminded campers that they also needed to be prepared for Total Fire Ban days, when the use of gas and gas appliances would also be prohibited.
Signs warning of the Solid Fuel Fire Ban will be placed on major roads leading into State forests which are affected by the restrictions.
Failure to comply with Solid Fuel Fire Ban restrictions carries a maximum penalty of $2200.
For further information about the fire ban, contact Forests NSW office at Deniliquin on (03) 5881 9999.
Media contact: Sarah Chester on (02) 6036 2110 or 0417 207 669