Go gas to avoid wildfire – solid fuel fire ban

Forest fire bans will be introduced in State Forests on the central tablelands from midnight on Sunday (4 January).

State Forests Macquarie operations manager, Mr John Whittall, said the ban restricted the use of open fires because of the risk of campfires escaping.

The ban applies in all State forests in the central tablelands and includes those around Orange, Pennsylvania south of Blayney, Sunny Corner, Newnes, Jenolan and the Oberon Plateau.

“This ban is relatively new in this region, but has been operating in other State Forests regions in the south of the State very successfully,” Mr Whittall said.

Under the forest fire ban, all fires using solid fuels such as wood or charcoal are prohibited at all times, except in constructed fireplaces.

“These forests are very popular with people from Sydney and the local region during the holiday period, but fire escaping from camp fires puts our extensive plantation assets at risk, as well as the native areas surrounding them, and increases the safety risk for forest visitors,” Mr Whittall said.

“Gas appliances are not affected by the bans but care should still be taken when used in the forests. We would like to ask campers who may be coming to the forests during the summer period to bring gas appliances.”

Mr Whittall said the forest fire bans applied every day throughout summer and not just on days of Total Fire Ban (TOBAN).

He said that signs warning of the forest fire ban would be erected on major roads leading into State forests and at major campsites.

For further information about the fire bans, contact State Forests Macquarie Region on (02) 6331 2044.

Media contact: John Whittall on (02) 6331 2044.