Jolly Nose Fire Update 06.09.17

Jolly Nose Fire Update 06.09.17

 

From Andy Marshall
Ranger, Lower North Coast Branch
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Just a quick update for you and the MTB community.

The “Jolly Nose Fire” appears to be contained for now, but we will not be confident of containment and safety for many days yet. (see attached or zoom in on the Fires Near Me app mapping to see the exact fire affected areas)

The fire affected area is over 250 hectares, and includes a significant amount of the unofficial single track in the north eastern part of Queens Lake State Conservation Area. Between the fire and the extremely low soil moisture levels, there is a very large amount of tree fall occurring. This will likely be a genuine and serious safety risk for days if not weeks. In addition, we strongly suspect there was an arsonist involved in ignition of possibly 5 additional fires in close proximity to, but unrelated to this fire late yesterday afternoon and early evening (at least 3 are likely to have been lit from locations on unofficial single track in the park). These additional fires forced a widening of the fire containment strategy, put firefighters lives in greater danger, and on ground NPWS and RFS crews are nervous that at any moment further suspicious ignitions could jeopardise control and firefighter/public safety.

The fire will no doubt cause a significant impact to MTB single track, with lots of treefall across tracks, as well as risk of damage to any unofficial structures in the area. As 25 to 30 NPWS, Forestry and RFS firefighters have spent the best part of the last 72 hours with minimal rest attempting to control the extent of area this fire has affected, and its impact on the wider community, extra concern for public safety is a stress no one needs.

In the first instance, NPWS would like to appeal to the MTB community to NOT enter the burnt area or tracks until further notice. (there were MTB folks in there yesterday, some within recently burnt areas despite direct warnings from firefighters). Secondly, we appreciate riders will be keen to repair and reinstate the facilities there, but it’s not going to be worth people genuinely putting their lives at risk. This may present as an opportune time to discuss the current situation and future plans for these tracks so any repairs can be considered within a safety context and consistent with park management intents too.

Please relay our genuine apologies for the inconvenience this fire has caused (blame the suspected illegal campfire and arsonist for their role I guess), but strongest appeal to MTB folks and onlookers for their own safety and so firefighters have less to worry about, to stay away for now, and until further notice.

Regards to all, stay safe.

Andy Marshall
Ranger, Lower North Coast Branch
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

(50 years of NPWS – one of the original NPWS emblems designed in 1967)

22 Blackbutt Rd, Port Macquarie
T 02 6588 5555 F 02 6588 5500
W nationalparks.nsw

 

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