Managing fires in State forests
Forestry Corporation is one of four statutory firefighting authorities in NSW and is responsible for managing fire in around two million hectares of native and plantation forests as part of NSW's combined firefighting efforts.
We put a great deal of effort and resources into preparatory and preventative measures to protect communities, neighbouring properties and State forests from bushfires. Fire is also used to maintain the health of forest ecosystems and to create a rich seed bed for regeneration or replanting after timber harvesting. To find out more, read our Fire Management Policy.
Forestry Corporation participates in a number District Bush Fire Management Committees throughout NSW, helping prepare risk management plans which aim to protect the community from fire. We also work closely with the other fire authorities.
Read our Fire Management Plan.
Fuel management on State forests
Hazard reduction burning is used to reduce forest fuels such as sticks, leaf litter, grass and dead wood on the ground that increases the intensity of a bush fire if one was to occur. Fuel levels can also be reduced by grazing and mechanical works such as slashing.
Hazard reduction is an important tool in protecting communities from the threat of fire. The NSW Government is committed to carrying out hazard reduction burning, while balancing the potential impacts of smoke on the community. Read more about hazard reduction burning.
To find out more about how we manage fuel loads, please read our fuel management plans:
Fuel Management Plan (Softwoods Plantations Division)
Fuel Management Plan (Hardwood Forests Division)
By reducing the overall fuel levels, any future bushfire will usually be less intense, cause less damage and will be more easily controlled. The video below explains more about reducing hazardous fuels.
Highly trained staff
Forestry Corporation has trained firefighters on staff who are available for deployments across the state. Our staff are trained to national competencies to fulfil a variety of firefighting roles including field based firefighters as well as office based incident management team members. Our staff also fill a number of specialist fire roles such as heavy plant supervisors, chainsaw operators and fire behaviour analysts. All firefighters are required to undertake a medical examination and a physical fitness test prior to attending fires.
During the fire season Forestry Corporation staffs a network of fire towers across the state to detect fires early. We also use lighting detection software and aircraft to detect bushfires as soon as possible.
Early detection and rapid response
Early detection and rapid response to bushfires gives crews a greater chance of extinguishing them while they are still relatively small.
What can you do to help?
- Obey all fire rules
- During the bushfire danger period (normally 1 Oct to 31 March) be extremely careful with fire and pay particular attention to the weather. Some forests have a ban on all solid fuel fires even during mild or overcast days. This is because the risk of bushfire is too high and it is safer to not have any fires at all in these designated areas.
- During a declared Total Fire Ban no fires are permitted at all. Even gas barbecues have added restrictions.
- If you see a fire threatening homes or people, report it immediately. The quickest way to do this is to phone 000. Ask for fire brigade and be prepared to give the location of the fire as accurately as possible.
- Stay clear of firefighting operations. Firefighting is extremely dangerous and certainly not a place for sightseeing.
- Watch out for signs indicating hazard reduction burning is taking place. In most cases forests or specific roads in forests will be closed for this type of operation.
The 2019-20 bushfire season was the worst experienced. Forestry Corporation's firefighting teams and resources have been an integral part of the coordinated statewide firefighting response and recovery efforts. Read more about bushfire recovery.