Solid fuel fire ban: Campers in Riverina State forests asked to switch to gas

Campfires and barbecues using wood, charcoal or other solid fuel will be banned in Riverina State forests from midnight Friday 5 October due to the risk of bushfire, with campers asked to switch to gas fires until further notice.

The solid fuel fire ban applies to Koondrook, Perricoota and Campbells Island State Forests along the Murray as well as the Gillenbah, Buckingbong, Matong and Binya State forests in the Murrumbidgee catchment and smaller cypress forests in the region.

Fire season has commenced early this year due to the very dry conditions and warmer days across the state, and the coming ban will stay in place until the threat of bushfire eases, said Forestry Corporation of NSW’s District Manager Andrew McCurdy.

“All fires using solid fuels, such as wood or charcoal, will be banned until further notice” he said.

“This ban applies every day, not just on days when total fire bans are declared, so we are asking people who are planning to camp in the forests over the summer to bring gas appliances.

“Visitors should also be prepared for days when total fire bans are declared, as all fires including gas fires will be prohibited on those days.”

Mr McCurdy said solid fuel fire bans have been applied to the region since 1990 to reduce the risk of bushfire.

“State forests in the Riverina are popular with campers from NSW and interstate throughout the summer holiday period, and Solid Fuel Fire Bans are an important way to reduce the bushfire risk during the hot summer months,” Mr McCurdy said.

“These bans improve safety for campers and communities in the region, and they have also potentially helped save many thousands of hectares of river red gum forest and cypress forests from destructive fires since 1990.”

Signs informing forest users of the solid fuel fire ban will be placed on major roads leading into the State forests affected by the restrictions.

Failure to comply with solid fuel fire ban restrictions carries a maximum penalty of $2200.

For more information about the fire ban, contact Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Western Region on (02) 6841 4288.

Media contact: Rod Campbell 0428058549