Smoke possible from hazard reduction burns Brindabella and Kosciuszko National Parks

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is planning a hazard reduction burn in both Kosciuszko and Brindabella National Parks, commencing Monday 29 April 2019, weather permitting.

Aerial Incendiary Hazard reduction smoke plume in Brindabella National Park

NPWS Branch Director Mick Pettitt said the area of the two burns is approximately 2,500 hectares.

“The Bull Flat burn (approximately 20km due west of Canberra) is approximately 2,000 hectares and located to the west of the Brindabella Valley in northern Kosciuszko National Park,” said Mr Pettitt. 

“The Firebreak burn (approximately 20km to the north west of Canberra) is approximately 500 hectares and located in the north eastern corner of Brindabella National Park. 

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

“Motorists travelling on roads and trails in the Brindabella Range are being warned to prepare for potential smoky conditions. Trail closures and smoke warning signs will be in place in numerous locations.

“Residents in and around the Brindabella Valley and some parts of the ACT are being warned to prepare for potential smoky conditions,” said Mr Pettitt. 

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 within the reserves,” said Mr Pettitt.

These burns are part of hazard reduction operations undertaken by NPWS across NSW 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 six years, to boost bushfire preparedness and double hazard reduction in the state’s national parks, where conditions allow.

Visitors planning a trip to the Brindabella National Park are advised to check the National Parks and Wildlife Service 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 the Asthma Foundation.

More information on hazard reduction activities: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au  and the RFS “Fires near me app.”