Fire fears close popular bushwalking tracks

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Bimberi Wilderness closed over the summer

THE Bimberi Wilderness region of Namadgi National Park has been closed until the end of March due to a significant fire risk in the region. 

The closure of Bimberi Wilderness, which is a 28,900-hectare area and makes up 27 per cent of Namadgi National Park, began today (December 12), and ACT conservator of flora and fauna Ian Walker says the safety of the ACT community and visitors is paramount.

“It is a popular destination for many back-country bushwalkers and users of the Australian Alps Walking Track, which is why we must ensure the safety of visitors to the park,” Mr Walker says.

“Low rainfall and soil dryness in the Bimberi Wilderness of Namadgi National Park means there is an increased fire risk to people accessing this wilderness area.

“The decision to close Bimberi is to minimise fire risk and to make sure no-one is in the area if a fire were to happen. The remoteness of the area and access significantly limits our ability to control fire and respond to people caught in a fire.

“Assessments made in the area indicate that conditions are currently drier than they were the last time the decision was made to close the Bimberi Wilderness in December 2002.”

Specific locations impacted are the ACT section of the Australian Alps walking track, Pryors Hut, Mt Gingera, Mt Bimberi, Cotter Hut and upper Cotter in Namadgi National Park.

Public access to the Bimberi Wilderness area will be closed at Ginini Carpark on Mt Franklin Road, Stockyard Spur via Corin Dam Road, Smokers trail via Corin Hub, Cotter Hut road via Orroral Valley, Leura gap, Murray gap and Yaouk gap.

Mr Walker says signage of the closure will be placed at all locations impacted.

“Selected roads within Namadgi National Park will also be closed when a total fire ban is declared in the ACT,” he says.

“Mandatory closures and restricted access during a total fire ban include, Corin Road, Old Mill Road, Warks Road and the Mount Franklin Road at Piccadilly Circus.”

For more information on the Bimberi Wilderness closure visit environment.act.gov.au/bimberi-closure

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