Parts of Coast Track closed for major hazard reduction burn around Wattamolla

The hazard reduction burn area, with boundaries coloured yellow. Picture: supplied
The hazard reduction burn area, with boundaries coloured yellow. Picture: supplied

A major bushfire hazard reduction burn is taking place around Wattamolla in Royal National Park today (Thursday).

The operation, covering 760 hectares, is being conducted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), in conjunction the Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW.

"The hazard reduction burn aims to reduce bushfire fuel levels to the south of the townships of Bundeena and Maianbar," a NPWS spokesman said.

"Motorists are reminded to drive to conditions and that during the burn operation Wattamolla Road will be closed and traffic flow will be reduced on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive and Bundeena Drive.

"Parts of The Coast Track in the vicinity of the burn will also be closed while the hazard reduction burn is occurring."

The spokesman said NPWS staff spent several hundred hours preparing the burn, including searching and locating aboriginal heritage sites, clearing vegetation from nearly 2km of raised grid mesh walkway as part of the Coast Track.

"Smoke from the hazard reduction may be visible across the area, although most is expected to be driven out to sea by the predicted winds," he said.

The spokesman said NPWS "focussed on essential burns to protect park neighbours, assets or significant habitat and to ensure the ongoing recovery of the wildlife impacted by the summer bushfires".

"All burns across NSW will continue to be coordinated with the Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW to ensure the impact on the community, including from smoke, are assessed at a regional level," he said.

"Details on specific burns will be made available in advance on the Rural Fire Service website, 'Fires Near Me' app, and on NPWS Alerts website.

"For health information relating to smoke from bush fires and hazard reduction burning, visit NSW Health or the Asthma Foundation.

"For up to date information on these, and other, planned hazard reduction activities, visit the Rural Fire Service."