Lookouts and reserves reopen in Blue Mountains
Many Blue Mountains lookouts and reserves have been reopened today (14 January, 2020) now that conditions have improved and there is isolated and low fire activity in the area.
The Erskine Creek, Linden Creek, Grose Valley and Ruined Castle fires are now contained. NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) report that the majority of bush fire operations are now focused on aerial patrol with some limited ground operations continuing until late this week.
Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “We do still have some reserve closures in place, for public safety, but I am happy to say that a large portion of the Blue Mountains is open for business.
“We need tourists to start visiting our area again. Visitors have stayed away over the traditionally busy Christmas New Year period, due to the threat of bush fires. But the immediate threat has now passed.
“All visitors to our City should still continue to follow the emergency service advisories, in case the situation changes in the coming weeks.”
Council has reopened reserves south of the Great Western Highway, from Katoomba through to Tablelands Road at Wentworth Falls. Council has also reopened reserves north of the Great Western Highway from Mount Victoria to Hawkesbury Heights.
All Council sportsgrounds have also now reopened, except Warrimoo Oval that could still be used as a staging area. Access to this ground is restricted to the NSW RFS and Australian Defence Force only.
Recent bush fires have left significant hazards and damaged infrastructure in Council reserves. As a result, the following closures are still in place:
- All Council bushland reserves at Bell, Mt Wilson and Mount Tomah remain CLOSED.
- Mt York Reserve, Pulpit Rock Reserve and fire affected areas of Popes Glen Reserve are CLOSED.
- All Council bushland reserves south of the Great Western Highway from Wentworth Falls (Tablelands Rd) through to Lapstone are CLOSED.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) have also reopened lookouts, picnic areas and walking tracks from Katoomba to Wentworth Falls including the Federal Pass, Leura Forest, Furber steps, Giant steps and Fern Bower. Most tracks at Wentworth Falls are also now open including Valley of the Waters, Wentworth Falls, Rocket Point, Wentworth Pass and Empress Falls.
Please check the NPWS website alerts in regard to the status of any remaining closed areas within the Blue Mountains National Park at https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/blue-mountains-national-park/local-alerts
Fire affected bushland may contain public safety hazards, such as dangerous trees. Entry into area fire affected reserves is prohibited until further notice.