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Hazard Reduction Burn proposed for Wild Dog Mountains

Media release: 1 May 2013

A very large hazard reduction burn – covering some 5,640ha – is proposed for the Wild Dog Mountains, Blue Mountains National Park, early this month.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) advise that extensive track closures will be in place near Green Gully, Cox’s River, Narrow Neck and Wild Dog Mountains during and after the burn.

These areas are popular with overnight bushwalkers however, during early May, NPWS recommends nearby Jamison Valley (Mount Solitary) or the Grose Valley (Blue Gum Forest) as alternatives.

NPWS Regional Manager Geoff Luscombe said the Wild Dog West burn will be the largest burn undertaken in Blue Mountains National Park for many years.

“We don’t have an exact date for this burn yet, as it will depend on weather; given the popularity of this area for overnight bushwalkers we have tried to avoid times of peak use.

“Anyone intending to walk in Wild Dogs during May should check the national parks website prior to setting off to find out which areas are affected.

“Further announcements will be made as soon as we have a firm date for this burn.”

Once underway, the Wild Dog Mountains burn will affect the following locations:

• Green Gully picnic and camping areas (Dunphy’s Camp) will be closed during and after the operation;

• Trail closures include all walks in the Wild Dog Mountains, the Kanangra to Katoomba track, Splendor Rock, Yellow Dog track, Blue Dog track, Breakfast Creek track, Carlons Head off Narrow Neck Bell Bird Ridge track and the Cox’s River south of Breakfast Creek;

• Smoke will be visible from vantage points at the Three Sisters, Leura, Wentworth Falls, Mount Victoria, Narrow Neck, Hampton, and throughout the Kanimbla and Megalong Valleys;

• Smoke may also be visible from the Great Western Highway between Wentworth Falls and Hartley.

“The proposed burn is very large, covering about 5,640 hectares in remote country through the Wild Dog Mountains, just south west of Katoomba,” Mr Luscombe said.

“We’ve tried to minimise the impact as much as we can, but this is a very important part of our bushfire management planning that will help limit the potential for bushfire to spread eastwards during summer and protect the quality of Sydney’s drinking water.

“The area will be closed in the days leading up to the burn and for an unknown period of time afterwards; we will reopen this popular part of the park when it has been fully assessed and is safe for visitors to enjoy.

“It may cause smoke in the mountains during the week of the burn and we’re hoping it will not take any longer than three days to complete.”

“We need to seize every window of opportunity in the mountains before wintry conditions make it too wet or windy for burning to be safe or effective.”

For information about walks contact the NPWS staff at the Heritage Centre on (02) 4787 8877.

For information about track closures go to http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/

Since July 1, 2012 the NPWS has completed more than 210 burns totalling more than 110,000ha – our largest ever hazard reduction program. This is more than 65 per cent of all hazard reduction carried out in NSW during the period, despite NPWS managing just 25 per cent of the state’s fire prone land.

This hazard reduction burn is part of the NSW Government’s $62.5 million package to boost bushfire preparedness and double hazard reduction in the state’s national parks over where conditions allow.

Contact: Susie Summers

Page last updated: 07 March 2014