Forestry Corporation brings forward Solid Fuel Fire Ban

Forestry Corporation is introducing its Solid Fuel Fire Bans earlier this year and is asking campers in the Moss Vale area to take precautions and switch to gas.

Solid Fuel Fire Bans will be introduced in State forests around Moss Vale from midnight on Friday (22 October).

The restrictions apply to Wingello, Penrose, Belanglo and Meryla State Forests.

Forestry Corporation Monaro Region operations manager, Mr Ivan Gorman, said due to particularly dry and windy conditions the Solid Fuel Fire Bans were being introduced earlier this year to help protect lives, property and the valuable pine resource in the area.

“Already this year we have had several fires caused by dry conditions and carelessness. For example, one fire was started by a cigarette butt. The fire could have caused the destruction of a large area of valuable publicly-owned pine forest,” he said.

“This fire is currently being investigated by the police.”

Under the seasonal Solid Fuel Fire Ban, all fires using solid fuels such as wood or charcoal are prohibited at all times.

Gas appliances are not affected by the bans, but care should still be taken when they are used in the forests.

Mr Gorman said the Solid Fuel Fire Ban applied everyday throughout the summer, not just on days of Total Fire Ban (TOBAN).

He said that it should be noted that the Solid Fuel Fire Ban only applies to State forests, and should a TOBAN be declared under the Rural Fires Act, all fires are prohibited.

“That means people cannot use gas or liquid fuel fires when there is a TOBAN,” Mr Gorman said.

“During the holiday period, the forests in the region are extensively used by people for camping and other recreational uses.

“Fire can quickly destroy this very valuable resource with potentially serious consequences for local processing industries and towns.”

Mr Gorman said signs warning about the Solid Fuel Fire Ban would be erected on all major roads leading into State forests affected by the restrictions.

For further information about the Solid Fuel Fire Ban contact Forestry Corporation Monaro regional office on (02) 6458 3177.

Media contact: Ivan Gorman on (02) 6458 3177.