NPWS kicks off hazard reduction season in Coolah Tops National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Mudgee Area is planning to commence this season's hazard reduction burning program with a burn in Coolah Tops National Park this Friday.

Rural Fire Service staff blowing burn line flames at hazard reduction burn

NPWS Mudgee Area Manager David Crust, said the hazard reduction burn is located in the Talbragar Loop area in the central section of the park and will cover around 500 hectares.

"Whilst conditions are generally very dry, the Coolah Tops burn is at an elevation of over 1200 metres and temperatures are usually around 5 - 8 degrees cooler than the surrounding plains - we actually need hot conditions to get an effective burn in the moist forests of Coolah Tops.

Crews will remain in the area for at least 3 days and residents in the Cassilis and Coolah Areas can expect to see smoke for that period.

Mr Crust said that another 10 hazard reduction burns were scheduled across the region for the Autumn period in Coolah Tops, Goulburn River, Wollemi and Capertee National Parks.

"This year we hope to treat over 20 000 hectares, however, we are still at the mercy of the weather, which can derail even the best laid plans. To ensure an effective and safe burn everything must be in place including suitable weather conditions such as temperature, winds and moisture levels."

Further burning is planned for next week in the western section of Coolah Tops and if conditions remain suitable in the Turill area.

"People should expect to see smoke in the area in coming weeks," he said.

The proposed burns will be part of many hazard reduction operations undertaken by NPWS across NSW each year, many with assistance from the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) and are part of the NSW Government's $76 million package over six years to boost bushfire preparedness and double hazard reduction in the State's national parks, where conditions allow.

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

Contact: Jacki Roberts