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NSW closes all northern state forests due to bushfires

All State forests from Sydney to the Queensland border, and in the Northern Tablelands, Central West and Moss Vale are now closed to the public until further notice due to the ongoing fire risk. This latest closure notice includes all State forests across the Central West, Central Coast, Hunter Valley and Moss Vale. Source: Timberbiz

This includes the popular Watagans, Chichester, Ourimbah and Strickland State Forests on the central and lower north coast, Orara East State Forest (including Sealy lookout) near Coffs Harbour, Cumberland State Forest in Sydney and Newnes State Forest west of Sydney.

In the Walcha region, plantation forest closures include Hanging Rock, Nundle, Riamukka and Nowendoc Pine Forests.

In the Moss Vale region, Belanglo, Wingello, Penrose and Meryla State Forests will be closed.

Visitors are asked to stay out of all closed forests for their safety.

Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Senior Manager Forest Stewardship Kathy Lyons said that State forests affected by current fires may remain closed for extended periods.

“There are many large dangerous fires moving across the landscape and we expect the high fire danger to continue for the foreseeable future,” Ms Lyons said.

“State Forests that have been recently burnt will remain closed for some time due to the high risk of trees falling after fire.

“There is a very high risk to public safety, so do not enter these forests until further notice.”

“The landscape is incredibly dry and there are already extensive fires, so conditions can change rapidly and there remains a continued heightened fire risk until we have substantial rain.

“We encourage anyone planning to visit a State forest to change their plans, check current fire danger and fire bans via the Rural Fire Service website and keep an eye on our website or facebook page for information about closures.

“Solid Fuel Fire Bans, which have been in place since 1 September and prohibit campfires and barbecues using wood, charcoal or other solid fuels, continue to apply every day. Campers are permitted to use gas stoves for cooking unless a total fire ban is declared.”

For the latest information about fires, visit the Rural Fire Service website