PARK VISITOR ALERT: The National Parks and Wildlife Service warn visitors to check on park closures ahead of the hot weekend. Photo shows An aerial view of the bushfire near Wallangarra burning in the Girraween National Park on the Queensland-NSW border.
PARK VISITOR ALERT: The National Parks and Wildlife Service warn visitors to check on park closures ahead of the hot weekend. Photo shows An aerial view of the bushfire near Wallangarra burning in the Girraween National Park on the Queensland-NSW border.

The challenges facing National Parks in fire aftermath

AS THE Northern Rivers bushfire emergency moves into it's fifth month, visitors to National Parks and Wildlife Service properties are advised to avoid remote locations and check park closures ahead of dangerous conditions.

NPWS North Coast ranger Brian McLachlan, said people need to take extra care and while conditions are not expected be as terrible as down on the state's south coast, everyone needs to avoid complacency.

Mr McLachlan has been based at the RFS Incident Control Centre at Casino with colleagues Cathy Kerr and Lori Cameron, representing the government departing during the current bushfire emergency.

His usual role involves managing the NPWS parks, fire, weeds, visitors, law enforcement aspects on the North Coast.

And he said people who choose to ignore warnings could be putting their lives in danger not just from bushfires but also from other hazards.

"For example, the Black Rocks camping ground at the Bundjalung National Park is still open, it is a green oasis in blackened landscape," he said earlier this week.

"But I urge everyone to check and respect any park and trail closure notices."

Restoring the park facilities would take some time and is an essential measure to ensure public safety, he said.

"The challenge in terms of the aftermath will be restoring walking tracks, trails, drainage, lots of trees hazards on walking track," he said.

"We need to check what parks and reserves when can be opened to the public.

"These need to be assessed and cleared and there will be a bit of lag time so we ask people to be patient."

Mr McLachlan said anyone planning a visit to NSW NPWS parks and reserves are urged to check for closures and fire bans before heading out.

"Visitors are advised to avoid remote areas during the current bushfire conditions and stay up to date with the fire situation by using the Fires Near Me app," he said.

"It's really a multi-agency approach to these severe bushfire incidents," he said.

"Once the bushfires here are declared out, we will probably respond to an out of branch request and head down south," he said.

"If there's a good thing that comes out of this bushfire emergency it's the camaraderie, respect and bonding between all the agencies."


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