Pilliga hazard reduction burns close Number 1 Break

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) crews will be taking advantage of favourable weather conditions to conduct a number of hazard reduction burns in the Pilliga, resulting in the closure of the Number 1 Break, east of the Newell Highway, tomorrow and Wednesday.

Hazard reduction burn along Top Crossing Road

NPWS Baradine Area Manager John Whittall said the burns were part of a wider program of hazard reduction operations scheduled to take place this autumn.

“NPWS have several hazard reductions planned, approved and ready to go, waiting for the right window of weather to present itself.

“This week’s burning will concentrate in two sections of the Pilliga; Pilliga State Conservation Area and Timmallallie National Park.

“Number 1 Break will be closed from the Newell Highway intersection to Ryans Road tomorrow (TUESDAY) and Wednesday 11 and 12 April.

“Crews will light up from the ground and be assisted by a helicopter providing aerial ignition.

“Dandry Gorge, home of the Sculptures in the Scrub, and the Salt Caves visitor areas will remain open, however visitors will need to use a different access route. Call the Pilliga Forest Discovery Centre at Baradine for info on 68434011.

“Further, hazard reductions which were commenced last week in the Keelimore and Old Fence Road areas of the Pilliga will also see further smoke as helicopter ignition is used to further expand the fuel reduced zones,” Mr Whittall said.

Hazard reduction can only take place in specific weather conditions and cannot proceed if it is too wet, too dry or too windy.

So far in 2016/17, NPWS has completed more than 610 hazard reduction activities treating more than 14,471 hectares. NPWS will be capitalising on the autumn burning window over the next few months to complete our important hazard reduction work and achieve our targets for 2016-17.

The NSW Government committed more than $76 million from 2011–17 for the Enhanced Bushfire Management Program, including employment of an additional 94 firefighters. The Government has now extended the program, committing a further $74 million over five years from 2017–22.

For more information on all planned hazard reduction burns, visit the Rural Fire Service website: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au