Fresh bans ahead of threatening fire season

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CAMPERS looking to take advantage of the warmer weather and daylight savings are being urged to recognise the solid fuel fires ban in all Riverina and Western State Forests, which commenced at the beginning of October 2019.

All campfires and barbecues using wood, charcoal or other solid fuels are banned in state forests in the Riverina, Western Plains, North Coast, Northern Tablelands and Central West Tablelands to reduce the risk of bushfires.

Forestry Corporation NSW district manager, Andrew McCurdy said campers should plan to bring and use gas stoves until further notice.

“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 coming holidays to plan ahead and bring gas appliances.

“Visitors should also be prepared for days when total fire bands are declared by the Rural Fire Service, as all fires including gas fires are prohibited on total fire ban days,” Mr McCurdy said.

Forest visitors are encouraged to always get the latest information on total fire bans from the Rural Fire Service website: www.forestrycorporation.com.au. Failure to comply with the solid fuel fire ban carries a maximum penalty of $2,200.

“State forests are popular with campers and visitors year-round and while we encourage people to get out into our forests and enjoy them, we do need to act to reduce the bushfire risk during the high fire danger period,” Mr McCurdy added.

“Escaped campfires are a significant risk and can quickly turn into wildfires so solid fuel bans are an important tool we use each year to limit the risk of destructive fires.”

The warning comes as parts of Victoria are facing the worst bushfire conditions since Black Saturday left 173 people dead just under a decade ago, with years of low rainfall turning huge swaths of the state into a tinderbox.

In the event of a fire or any other emergency, contact 000 immediately.