Just to keep you in the loop on the Jolly Nose Fire and the conditions within the burnt areas of the park, it is likely the fire will be “officially” declared as “OUT” sometime today.
In effect however, and while our crews have attempted to extinguish everything they could detect within about 30 meters of the trail edge control lines (hundreds of stumps and logs), this status just means the fire is regarded as at Nil risk of further escape, but we know there are still smouldering stumps, logs and underground roots well internal within the burnt area, and even yesterday fire crews and adjoining neighbours heard trees falling within the burnt area, and fire crews observed numerous dangerous hanging trees (widow-makers) near or overhanging trails.
Hopefully a bit of wind and light rain will trigger tree-fall in those remaining compromised trees over the next few days, but we would continue our appeal to MTB visitors to continue to stay out of the fire affected areas a bit longer yet. This includes resisting the desire to get in there to clear “single track” and/or to assess or repair any MTB structures (not that there should be any structures in the NPWS part of the landscape until the Plan of Management and Mountain Bike Strategy is finalised), or even just avoid the temptation to go in for a sticky-beak, for the time being. I am hoping to get a chance to walk much of the MTB single track within the burnt areas next week and do a preliminary safety assessment for tree fall risk, before we discuss re-openning public access and normal use as soon as possible.
Hopefully with the Jolly Nose Mountain Bike Park at no risk of fire now, and a fair bit of the (unauthorised) single track in Queens Lake State Conservation Area unaffected by fire, riders will still be able to get out and enjoy any of the unburnt areas for the time being.
Sorry again for the ongoing disruption, as mentioned before, better to be safe than sorry.
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