Many WA National campgrounds, parks and reserves currently closed

Submitted: Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 14:20
ThreadID: 111019 Views:1461 Replies:3 FollowUps:4
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Published: Thursday, 05 February 2015 17:29

Due to bushfires in Boddington and Northcliffe areas.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife has closed 18 national parks and reserves and 36 recreation sites including tracks and trails in various parts of the State due to the significant Northcliffe and Lower Hotham fires in the State's south-west.

Parks and Wildlife Director General Jim Sharp said the Department had redirected staff resources towards fire suppression for the Northcliffe fire in addition to the Lower Hotham and a number of other smaller fires in other parts of the south-west.

"More than 600 staff members are involved in the fires, with officers from as far north as Kununurra and inland to the Goldfields travelling to Perth and the south-west to assist with fire suppression,” he said. “They are working with bushfire volunteers, staff from Department of Fire and Emergency Services and other agencies, and Victorian firefighters.”

"Protecting human life and property is our number one concern, as such we have closed 18 national parks and recreation sites throughout the State including parts of Kalbarri National Park in the north through to parks and reserves in Perth Hills and campgrounds in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.

"Importantly all national parks and recreation sites in the Warren Region have been closed due to the proximity to the Northcliffe fire.

"These closures have enabled staff from around other regions of the State to relieve firefighters and supporting officers on the fire ground.

"Our firefighters work in 12 hours shifts five days straight in hot, hazardous and challenging conditions. Management of fatigue is a key priority for us and to that end we welcomed the assistance of firefighters from Victoria earlier this week."

Mr Sharp said the closures of these national parks and recreation attractions would ensure public safety is maintained.

Many other national parks around the State remain open. For more information on parks and recreation sites please visit parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au. For information on closures and to keep up-to-date please view www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/parks/alerts-and-updates or the Parks and Wildlife Facebook page www.facebook.com/DPaWWA

National parks and reserves, and recreation sites closures include:

Serpentine National Park
Avon Valley National Park
Walyunga National Park
Lane Poole Reserve
Wellington National Park
Boorara-Gardner National Park including Boorara Tree and Lane Poole Falls
D'Entrecasteaux National Park including Camfield, Banksia camp, Crystal Springs and Yeagarup beach
Gloucester National Park including Gloucester Tree
Greater Hawke National Park, including Yeagarup Lake
Jane National Park
Mount Frankland South National Park
Shannon National Park including Great Forest Trees drive and Shannon campground
Walpole Nornalup National Park including Valley of the Giants, Longpoint Track and Fernhook Falls
Warren National Park
Two People Bay Nature Reserve
Stirling Range National Park including Bluff Knoll and Toolbrunup walktrails
Porongurup National Park including Granite Skywalk, Castle Rock, Tree-in-the-Rock, Nancy Peak Circuit
Waychinicup National Park
Hoffmans Mill
Stockton Lake
Contos, Boranup and Point Road camp sites within Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park
Brockman Sawpits
Z-Bend and The Loop In Kalbarri National Park

Track and Trail closures include:

Cape to Cape Track - major recreation sites in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park
Munda Biddi
Bibbulmun Track
Helena National Park - between Randall Road and Dale Road
Dwellingup to Collie - between Dwellingup and Harris Dam Road
Wellington National Park – Wellington Spur Trail
Pemberton to Walpole, including Northcliffe

Dwellingup to Ferguson Road including Collie
Pemberton to Walpole, includingNorthcliffe



Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 15:37

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 15:37
Thanks LG
Good info for anyone heading that way... So... So.. Sad, thoughts go out to all effected, and those doing what they can to control it.. It's all such a beautiful area, quite upsetting reading through the list of places affected... Thinking of such a great time had over that way... Odog
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 18:56

Friday, Feb 06, 2015 at 18:56
They are not all burnt out Odog, just a safety precaution for most with fires in the proximity. Not places to camp in high fire danger times. Closures in summer may need to become a regular thing.

A lovely old trestle former rail bridge which was used as part of the Bibbulmun Track has been lost in the Hotham fire.

The Northcliffe fire is likely Western Australia's biggest.

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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:49

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:49
With temperatures in SW WA in the high 30s and 40s I'm not sure these closures are going to inconvenience many people!

But the more experienced and competent people we can get fighting the fires the better, which means taking parks staff from other places, hence these closures.

The great shame of it all is yet again if the regular cool weather fuel reduction burning regime that had been in place for 40,000 years had continued, we would have to be fighting such a mammoth fire of over 80,000 ha (200,000 acres) with a 280km circumference.

I'm just not convinced that declaring an area a national park or some other sort of conservation reserve assists its preservation: it seems to sound its death knell as conservation agencies the world over seem to have many far higher priorities than fire suppression through fuel load reductions. From my experience, land not held in the conservation estate is far better protected.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:54

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 10:54
oops, in third para above, should say ... NOT have to be fighting such a mammoth fire...
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 16:40

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 16:40
I knew that was what you meant Paul and you are so right. Small burns of low intensity at selected time of the year in corridors to give the best chance for wildlife to escape do little harm to the environment.

A large fire at this time of the year has the potential to wipe out flora and fauna sub-species, and cause a lot of losses of vegetation as well and fauna, aside from the impact of the human residents of the area and their properties, livestock and pets. With our drying climate, these devastating fires seem to be more prevalent, despite the added advantage of aerial fire fighting.

Although basically contained but not controlled due to a favourable change in the weather, there is still a risk of further breakouts with the weather heating up again. The fire crews have done wonders in a hostile and dangerous forest based fire.

At Hotham while the alert has been downgraded, the fire is still moving, albeit slower than in the hotter weather conditions during the week, and is not fully contained.

Scheduled burns are way behind due to so many conditions when they can and can't undertake these controlled burns. Yet the danger to adjoining properties and smoke of towns and Perth we have experienced from here is far greater.

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Reply By: Life Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 19:24

Saturday, Feb 07, 2015 at 19:24
Thanks for that information LG. I hadn't seen that report anywhere so was unaware of it....

Cheers


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Reply By: Member -Toonfish - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 09:06

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 09:06
a little bit too close to home im afraid .
only a few hundred metres from our new home we just moved into the afternoon the fires were deliberately lit too!
hopefully justice prevails :(
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