Smoke possible from hazard reduction burns near Yarrangobilly Caves Precinct of Kosciuszko National Park, to west of Canberra

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is planning a series of hazard reduction burns around the Yarrangobilly Caves area within Kosciuszko National Park, commencing Tuesday 30 April 2019, weather permitting.

Smoke at dawn over Denison providence hazard reduction burn

NPWS Area Manager Matt White said the area of the three burns is approximately 3000 hectares.

“These burns form part of our fire management strategy to help reduce the impact of bushfires in summer and help protect visitors and assets around the Yarrangobilly Caves precinct,” Mr White said.

“Public access to parts of Kosciuszko National Park will be closed during and after the burn operations to ensure visitor safety.

“Motorists travelling on roads and trails in the Yarrangobilly and Jounama areas are being warned to prepare for potential smoky conditions. Trail closures and smoke warning signs will be in place in numerous locations,” said Mr White.

This proposed burn is part of 18 scheduled across the NSW NPWS Southern Ranges, combining to treat approximately 23,000 hectares and part of the annual hazard reduction burning program.

NPWS Branch Director Mick Pettitt said the 18 burns are within several National Parks and Reserves, with the larger blocks in Kosciuszko and Brindabella National Parks.

“This has been a busy year for our staff involved in firefighting operations for more than seven months, with local crews supporting fire events across the state and Victoria since mid-August,” said Mr Pettitt.

“The annual burning program is scheduled for autumn to make use of the cooler weather. Autumn conditions help us to keep the burns at the right intensity to reduce bush fire fuels.

“The blocks that we are burning are identified as part of an ongoing strategic three year planning process and are located to minimise the run of wild fires in summer. The objective of our burning program is to increase the protection to our park neighbours but also to provide protection for environmental assets with the reserves,” said Mr Pettitt.

These burns will be part of hazard reduction operations undertaken by NPWS across New South Wales each year, many with assistance from the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Fire and Rescue NSW.

This work is occurring under the NSW Government’s $76 million package, over 6 years, to boost bushfire preparedness and double hazard reduction in the State’s national parks, where conditions allow.

Visitors planning a trip to the Kosciuszko National Park are advised to check the NPWS website for updates on the timing of the burn and trail closures.

For health information relating to smoke from bush fires and hazard reduction burning, visit the NSW Health website or the Asthma Foundation.

More information on hazard reduction activities: NSW Rural Fire Service and the RFS ‘Fires near me app.’

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