Gympie region forests, walking tracks closed by fire threat
ALL pine plantations managed by HQPlantations in Queensland state forests and on HQPlantations freehold land have been closed to the public until next Wednesday due to very high fire danger.
All plantation areas are affected, including popular recreation areas at Beerburrum (including the Glasshouse Mountains), Fraser Coast, Elliott River, Mary Valley, Blackbutt, Passchendaele, Byfield, Cathu, Ingham, Cardwell and Atherton.
"This decision hasn't been made lightly,” said Lester Jarrick, acting chief operations officer.
"Very high fire danger is not only related to extreme temperatures but also low humidity, wind speed, drought factor and grassfire and forest fire danger indexes,” he said.
"Our first regard is for pubic safety in the event there is a fire, however public access also introduces a higher risk of fires starting due to hot exhausts in proximity with dry grass and unsafe behaviour like discarding cigarettes.”
Undertaking recreation in extreme temperatures can also cause heat stress or heat exhaustion resulting in serious illness or death.
The plantations are closed to all public access until at least Wednesday 5 December 2018, at which time a re-assessment of risks will be undertaken.
HQPlantations is appealing to the public to respect this closure so that safe and responsible access to the plantations can be restored to the public as soon as possible.
Further information and contact numbers for HQPlantations offices can found at www.hqplantations.com.au