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Queensland National Parks start reopening in aftermath of bushfires
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch, who inspected Carnarvon National Park yesterday with Traditional Owners, thanked Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and emergency services staff and volunteers for their amazing work in combating the fires and protecting Queenslanders and the environment.
“QPWS work very hard to prevent serious bushfires in National Parks and other protected areas,” Minister Enoch said.
“Throughout the cooler months, they conduct regular planned burns to reduce fuel loads and lessen the impact of summer fires.
“In 2017-18, QPWS conducted planned burns over an area of nearly 943,000 hectares. This was the most in five years, and well above the average of about 632,000 hectares.”
Minister Enoch said significant environmental damage has been caused by these unprecedented bushfires, which were caused by an extreme weather event, the likes of which Queensland has not experienced before.
“Now that the fires are contained, staff from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service are out inspecting and assessing the damage that has been caused.
“In Carnarvon National Park, which is still closed to the public, it is estimated that 24,000 hectares has been impacted by the fire.
“A toilet block in a camping area and boardwalk were also lost in the fire.
“There are three uncontained fires currently burning in Carnarvon National Park in inaccessible areas and remote to visitors.”
Minister Enoch said there were 32 fires still currently burning in National Parks and protected areas across Queensland.
“Public safety is paramount and 5 National Parks are still closed or partially closed and will be reopened once it is safe to do so.
“Meanwhile, more than 40 parks and forests have now reopened following recent fires, including Eungella National Park west of Mackay, Byfield National Park and State Forest, north of Yeppoon, and sections of the Cooloola Recreation Area and the Great Sandy National Park.”
Minister Enoch said the State Government would now focus on rehabilitation and restoration.
“Some landscapes will recover in both the short and longer-term depending on the type of vegetation that was affected,” she said.
“Eucalypt woodlands and forests in wetter regions will generally recover quickly once sufficient rainfall is received.
“QPWS is still assessing the overall effects of these fires and over the coming weeks and months we will have a better understanding of the true consequences of these fires on native flora and fauna in our parks and forests.”
Members of the public are urged to obey signage, barriers, and directions from rangers while in the National Parks.
For the latest information go to https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/park-alerts/
28th November 2018 - Queensland National Parks receive 6.4 million visits in year to March
26th April 2018 - WTTC and UN Climate Change in new partnership to tackle global warming
10th February 2018 - Queensland tourism operators committed to tackling climate change issues
12th June 2017 - PATA reaffirms support for Paris Climate Change Accord
10th October 2015 - Federal Environment Minister orders inquiry into Kakadu bushfire
15th December 2013 - Bushfire information kits for tourism businesses
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