FOREST CLOSURES: Due to the severe bushfire danger and heatwaves predicted over the festive season, Forestry Corporation is closing the majority of forests in NSW to visitors,
FOREST CLOSURES: Due to the severe bushfire danger and heatwaves predicted over the festive season, Forestry Corporation is closing the majority of forests in NSW to visitors,

Bushfire danger closes State Forests over the festive season

DUE to the high fire danger, the massive scale of bushfires and severe heatwaves predicted, there will be widespread State forest closures over Christmas and New Year period.

Forestry Corporation's Senior Manager of Forest Stewardship, Kathy Lyons said the closures were for visitor safety.

This decision comes as the current bushfire emergency moves into day 105, with more than 11,000km of firefrount currently burning across the state.

"With the severe conditions facing NSW over the coming weeks, we strongly encourage

people to keep informed of the current fire conditions and postpone any trips planned into

State Forests," she said.

"As severe and extreme weather conditions are predicted for Thursday and Saturday, visitors

should consult the Rural Fire Service website for current advice on the fire danger rating.

"We are also reminding visitors that solid fuel bans continue to apply in State Forests, and to

check for total fire bans."

On Tuesday the Forestry Corporation announced that due to deteriorating conditions, the following State Forests will be closed from midnight Wednesday December 18 until

further notice:

• All State Forests from north of Sydney to the Queensland border

• All State Forests from south of Sydney to the Victorian border

• All State Forests on the Northern, Central and Southern Tablelands

• Nullo Mountain and Coricudgy State Forests (Western Region)

• Belanglo State forest

There will be exceptions to these closures for some visitor areas - those with good access

close to main roads and towns.

The following remain open at this stage but visitors should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the Rural Fire Service Fires Near Me app or website, Ms Lyons said.

• Crooked Creek Rest Area, east of Tenterfield

• Sealy Lookout, including Coffs Treetops, near Coffs Harbour

• Old Bottlebutt near Port Macquarie

• Coopernook Forest Headquarters, near Coopernook

• Strickland State Forest near Gosford

• Scrubby Creek Rest Area near Eden

• Bodalla Forest Rest Area, near Bodalla

• Treetop Adventure Park, Ourimbah State Forest

• Penrose State forest Rest Area

Please check the Forestry Corporation website and Facebook page for daily updates, as these

areas may also be closed if fire conditions in the local area worsen.

State Forests and visitor areas around Tumut, Tumbarumba and Bombala are currently open,

but will be closed when the fire danger is predicted to be severe to catastrophic (expected

for both Thursday and Saturday this week).

Updates on State forest closures will be available at www.forestrycorporation.com.au/visit

and posted on Facebook (@visitNSWForests) over the holiday period.

Meanwhile, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service advised people should check their website regarding closures.  

A spokesman for NPWS said the safety of visitors is paramount.

"Many parks on the north coast are currently closed due to the impacts of fire," he said.

"Parks can also be closed at short notice due to dangerous forecast weather conditions.

"We know it's a popular time of year and we do not close parks lightly."

He said in the current conditions stay alert and stay informed by also downloading the RFS Fires near me app for active fire information.

"Visitors to north coast national parks should also note no fires are currently permitted, with bans in place until at least 1 Jan, when the situation will be reviewed," he said.

Anyone planning a visit to a national park in NSW should always check the park closure information before they visit www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts.