December 18th, 2021Wombat State Forest reopens ahead of Christmas
Victorians can now visit three recreational sites in the Wombat State Forest following the forest’s closure after an extreme storm event in October.
Carrolls Springs, Werribee River Picnic Area and Balt Camp are now open to the public.
The Public Safety Zone remains in place across all other parts of the forest to protect people from hazardous trees and to allow Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews to safely carry out important recovery works using heavy plant and machinery.
FFMVic, Grampians Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Tony English: “More than 80,000 hectares of forest and 1,500 km roads and tracks have been impacted by the storm in the Wombat State Forest.”
“Our crews have been working around the clock to assess impacted areas, clear fallen trees from roads and tracks, restore recreation sites while also reducing the bushfire risk ahead of summer,” Mr English said.
“We understand the inconvenience and frustration caused when the forest needs to be closed, but rest assured, our crews are working hard to reopen as many recreation sites as possible to coincide with the summer school holidays.
“We’re also working closely with our partner agencies, including the Country Fire Authority (CFA), to prepare and plan for the upcoming fire season, including works to reopen roads and tracks which provide critical access for firefighters to responding to bushfires.
“By providing safer and quicker access for firefighters and heavy machinery, we greatly improve the chance of controlling bushfires before they spread and impact people and property.
“We are also using bushfire modelling technology in storm impacted locations to help identify priority areas for recovery works to reduce the bushfire risk to communities and the environment, including planned burning, slashing and mechanical fuel treatments. The wood from the storm fall is green however and is unlikely to increase bushfire risk.
“We will continue to work with our partner agencies including local governments, Bushfire Recovery Victoria and VicForests to support the community and carry out critical recovery works so we can reopen sites once it’s safe to do so.”
DELWP will continue to review any closures in the Wombat State Forest, with additional areas expected to be open in December.
For information on forest and road closures, please visit: www.ffm.vic.gov.au/permits-and-regulations/closures-of-parks-and-forests