Fire Trail Upgrade Near Cootamundra


More than $167,000 in upgrades have been undertaken to fire trails near Cootamundra by the NSW Labor Government to improve safety and protect the local community.

The upgraded trails on the Matilda Fire Trail Network west of the town, will allow firefighters to efficiently access the area to fight bushfires if they break out to protect homes and property, and support hazard reduction burns to reduce bushfire risk.

Crown Lands accounts for 30.8 million hectares of NSW. Making up roughly 40 per cent of the state, maintaining and caring for this land is a mammoth task.

The NSW Labor Government is taking a responsible approach to managing the state, to deliver the facilities and services our communities require.

The Matilda Fire Trail Network is located on a 66.26 hectare reserve. About 1.4 kilometres of fire trails have been repaired and upgraded to Rural Fire Service standards as part of the project.

Fire trails have been graded to eight metres wide, reshaped and capped with gravel so that they can be used by fire fighting vehicles year-round.

Work has included construction of vehicle turning and passing bays to allow fire vehicles to better manoeuvre.

Water and erosion control work has included installation and clearing of drains, installation of new bed level crossings and cross banks to manage the movement of stormwater, and maintenance of culverts. The project also removed seven dumped car bodies to protect the environment and improve the amenity of the area.

The upgraded fire trail network will support an ongoing program of low-intensity hazard reduction burns in the area over coming years, with the first burn to occur in late autumn to reduce vegetation growth and bushfire fuel levels.

Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said:

“The NSW Labor Government is focused on delivering the essential services and infrastructure our communities need to be safe.

“The community can be confident that with the completion of these fire trail upgrades firefighters will be able to do their job battling bushfires if they break out, and teams will also be able to safely conduct hazard reduction burns to reduce bushfire risk.

“Crown Lands does about 800 projects each year to maintain and upgrade fire trails and Asset Protection Zones to guard against bushfires. It manages over 1,300 fire trails covering about 2,200km.

“Annual helicopter inspections are also used to check more than 540 fire trails including remote areas difficult to access by ground vehicles. Aboriginal traditional burning techniques are also being used to help support appropriate land management practices using traditional knowledge.”

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