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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Forests across the state reopen after rains

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Recent widespread rainfall and increased humidity have meant many coastal State forests from Sydney to the Queensland border are reopening today.

Many of these State forests have been closed to the public since last November due to increased fire risk.

Rainforest at Mount Warning in Northern NSW. Photo Dr Willow Hallgren.

This includes a number of much-loved visitor sites, including:

  • 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
  • State forests of the Barrington Tops.

Visitor sites have been checked by Forestry staff in preparation for the reopening, said Forestry Corporation’s Senior Manager of Forest Stewardship, Kathy Lyons.

‘It will be great to have our visitors back to spend time in nature, and also support local small businesses on their way,’ Ms Lyons said.

‘There are still some smaller burnt areas in the reopening 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.’

Unfortunately, there are a number of forests that will remain closed due to the impact of the fires.

Forestry Corporation staff are currently assessing damage to road infrastructure and identifying dangerous roadside trees in these areas.

‘Safety of our forest visitors is paramount and we ask people to avoid closed forests as we assess and repair risks,’ Ms Lyons said.

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 solid fuel fire ban has also been lifted for the North Coast State forests.

A full list of State forests and their status is available at www.forestrycorporation.com.au/visit.

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