The Forestry Corporation has announced the opening of several coastal state forests to the north of Sydney ahead of the Australia Day long weekend, but has urged visitors to be remain vigilant for potential tree hazzards.
The Forestry Corporation has today announced several coastal state forests to the north of Sydney are now open in time for the Australia Day long weekend which will be good news for those looking to escape the rat race. Many of these State forests had been closed to the public since November 2019 because of increased fire risk. The now-open forests include:
- Swans Crossing, near Kendall;
- Coopernook Forest Headquarters;
- The Pines and Basin visitor sites in Olney State Forest;
- The Allyn River and Telegherry River, Chichester State Forest; and
- State forests of the Barrington Tops.
In a statement, the Forestry Corporation’s Senior Manager of Forest Stewardship, Kathy Lyons, said visitor sites had been checked by Forestry staff in preparation for the reopening, however, still urged caution in some areas.
“It will be great to have our visitors back to spend time in nature, and also support local small businesses on their way.
“There are still some smaller burnt areas in the re-opening forests, and we ask visitors to keep out of any burnt areas and not to stop their vehicles in these areas. While we have worked to make these areas safer there may still be unforeseen tree hazards.”
Although these forests have been re-opened a number are still closed, with the Forestry Corporation still assessing damage to road infrastructure and identifying potential dangers as a result of the fires.
Ms Lyons said, “Safety of our forest visitors is paramount, and we ask people to avoid closed forests as we assess and repair risks.”
“Number 1 Fire Tower, Cobrabald Visitor sites and Wattle Flat Camping areas in Bellangry, Mt Boss and Styx River State Forests will remain closed for some time due to road and infrastructure damage,” the Forestry Corporation said.
The Forestry Corporation added that “the solid fuel fire ban has also been lifted for the North Coast State forests”.
So, if you haven’t already made plans for your long weekend, the North Coast is open and ready for your business. A full list of State forests and their status is available at www.forestrycorporation.com.au/visit.