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Update on Southwest fires


The South Coast track in South West National Park has re-opened after a bushfire in the area last week.

Parks and Wildlife Service acting south district manager, Grant Hall, said the fire near New River Lagoon burnt out about 400 hectares of button grass plain and stopped at the edge of wet forest and creek boundaries.

He said people using the track may notice a burnt smell and there may be small amounts of smoke persisting for some time.
A second fire in the South West National Park, further north at the Huon Gorge, has been contained but it will be several days before a decision is made to re-open the tracks in that area.

"Tracks in the Huon Gorge area will remain closed until we are confident that the bushfire in this rugged area is not likely to re-ignite and pose a risk to bushwalkers," Mr Hall said.

"The area contains peat which can smoulder underground for months.

"When the weather permits the burn area will be checked for hot spots using an infra red camera and, if necessary, crews will be deployed to work on them to reduce the risk of the fire reigniting."

The tracks in the Western Arthurs area that remain closed include the Western Arthurs Track, Arthurs Plains Track, the Huon Track (also known as the Yo Yo Track), and the track from the Cracroft Crossing to Federation Peak.

The Farm House Creek Track leading to Moss Ridge is open and walkers are required to return via the same route.

Mr Hall said despite the potential for both fires to develop into significant blazes, they were contained to relatively small areas.
"We were able to remove and/or redirect bushwalkers out of the area and there was no damage to the timber boardwalks," he said.
"I would like to acknowledge the cooperation and understanding shown by bushwalkers."

For further information about tracks in the South West National Park, contact the Parks and Wildlife Service Huonville office on 6264 8460.

For more media information contact the Government Media Office on 6233 6573 and for track information call the Parks and Wildlife Service Huonville Office on 62 648460.