Go gas to avoid wildfire - solid fuel fire ban (Tumut, Batlow, Tumbarumba)
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A Solid Fuel Fire Ban is now in force in State forests around Tumut, Tumbarumba, Batlow and Blowering Dam areas and will carry through until March next year.
Forests NSW Resources and Protection manager, Charlie Taylor, said the ban restricted the use of open fires because forest fuels were dry, increasing the risk of campfires escaping into the forests.
"Due to the very dry seasonal conditions and the recent hot dry weather the Solid Fuel Fire Ban has been introduced early this year," he said.
"Already during recent weekends, Forests NSW crews have attended a number of fires which have been caused by camp fires that have escaped. Plus they have had to extinguish a number of camp fire which have been left smouldering," he said.
The Solid Fuel Fire Ban applies to all NSW State forests in the region, which includes pine plantations and native forests.
"Under the seasonal fire ban, all fires using solid fuels such as wood or charcoal are prohibited at all times," Mr Taylor said.
"The pine plantations and native forests are a highly valuable resource and are particularly important to the regional economy.
"It is essential that every effort is made to reduce the chance of damage to the forests by wildfire.
"Banning solid fuel campfires in the forest areas helps prevent the chance of a fire escaping and destroying these valuable forests, and also improves safety for forest visitors," he said.
"These forests are popular with people during the holiday period, and the introduction of Solid Fuel Fire Bans has proved a very effective way of reducing the number of wild fires.
"Gas appliances are not affected by the Solid Fuel Fire Bans, 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.
Mr Taylor said the Solid Fuel Fire Ban in State Forests applied every day throughout summer and not just on days of declared Total Fire Ban.
He said signs warning of the Solid Fuel Fire Ban had been erected on major roads leading into State forests affected by the restrictions.
Failure to comply with the Solid Fuel Fire Ban restrictions carries a maximum penalty of $2200. For further information about the fire bans, contact Forests NSW Tumut Office on (02) 6947 3911.
Media contact: Sarah Chester (02) 6036 2110 or 0417 207 669