A park fire ban is in place in all national parks and reserves in the Hunter Central Coast Branch, covering the areas of Barrington Tops, Lower Hunter, Hunter Coast, Central Coast and Manning Great Lakes.
The ban means that solid fuel cannot be used to light camp or cooking fires because it is too risky under the current conditions, as bushfires can easily start from sparks or smouldering ashes and spread rapidly.
At this time only gas, liquid fuel stoves and electric barbecues can be used in parks, and only when they are controlled by an adult, clear of flammable materials and have ample water supplies close by.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Hunter Central Coast Branch Director Kylie Yeend said the unusually dry conditions mean the ban will remain until widespread rain falls in order to help manage the bushfire risk.
‘The solid fuel ban has been put in place to help protect park visitors, neighbours and nearby communities from the threat of bushfire,’ Ms Yeend said.
‘The solid fuel fire bans are in place across all Hunter Central Coast reserves, including Barrington Tops National Park, Myall Lakes National Park, Watagans National Park and Munmorah State Conservation Area.’
Any park fire bans put in place by NPWS are in addition to any Total Fire Bans declared by the Rural Fire Service (RFS). When the RFS declares a Total Fire Ban, no fires of any sort can be lit in the open on any tenure, including gas and liquid fuel stoves.
Some reserves may be temporarily closed due to significant bushfire risk, and in these instances, signs will be set up on site. NPWS works closely with the RFS in determining the need for various levels of fire restrictions and increased patrols of areas where fire bans are in place. Penalties can apply for non-compliance.
Visit the RFS website for details on Total Fire Bans.
Visit the NPWS website for updates on the Hunter Central Coast’s park fire bans and temporary closures or call your local NPWS office for further information.