Forest tracks reopening

DEPARTMENT of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Parks Victoria officers will be on patrol making sure everyone is safe as most tracks and roads across Gippsland re-open this weekend.

DELWP regional forest and fire operations manager Richard Teychenne said roads and tracks, closed during the wetter months to protect surfaces, water quality and forest environment, had been reopened.

“Patrolling officers will be focussed particularly on educating trail bike riders about riding safely and being aware of others in the forest,” he said.

“We’ll also be making sure people are lighting, maintaining, and putting out their campfires safely to minimise the risk of a bushfire starting as we get closer to the summer fire danger period.”

“It’s important to note that while most tracks will open, some in Gippsland’s high country remain closed for safety reasons, including Mount Hope Rd, north-east of Benambra; Mount Steve Track; Haunted Stream Track, between Moomba Spur and Dawson City; and Scorpion Creek Track, between Kirby Cross and Racoon Track, north-west of Buchan.” 

Parks Victoria acting regional director Roger Fenwick said because of a wet year, some tracks remained closed.

“Drivers should be prepared to come across fallen trees and debris in some places,” he said.

“Where we have had to extend closures for safety and environmental reasons, we will progressively open these as they dry out and conditions become suitable.

“Four wheel drivers should also beware if they are heading to north-east Victoria recent flooding and sustained wet weather has meant that some seasonal road closures will be extended until they are safe.”

For more information about road closures and changes of conditions visit www.parks.vic.gov.au or check the Public Access Map at www.depi.vic.gov.au/forestry-and-land-use/visiting-parks-and-forests/visiting-state-forests/public-access-map for any prolonged closures. 

To find out how to light and maintain a campfire safely visit www.depi.vic.gov.au/fire-and-emergencies/public-land-fire-restrictions/campfires-and-barbeques

To report suspicious behaviour phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or DELWP on 136 186.