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Hazard reduction burn planned for Stockrington State Conservation Area

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It you see smoke billowing around the Lower Hunter this week, check its origins before phoning the firies.

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) will conduct a hazard reduction burn in the Stockrington State Conservation Area (SCA) from Tuesday 18 July, weather permitting.

The operation, covering 45 hectares, is expected to encourage biodiversity by prompting regrowth and germination of key native plant species, while also reducing bushfire risk to nearby properties, wildlife and cultural heritage.

With the support of the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), NPWS will take advantage of a small window of opportunity to conduct the burn following a number of wet years.

The northern area of Stockrington SCA will remain closed from Tuesday (18 July) to ensure public safety and allow for effective operations.

Browns and Meredith fire trails will be reopened once they are assessed as safe.

A NPWS spokesperson said the public was reminded not to enter closed areas.

“Regular monitoring of weather and fire-ground conditions enables us to adjust planning leading up to and immediately prior to the start of every hazard reduction burn,” he said.

“They are essential to reduce bushfire fuel loads to help protect parks, neighbours and communities from future bushfires.

“Smoke may be visible to residents in Stockrington, Black Hill, Minmi and Maryland.

“So, people [vulnerable to smoke] are encouraged to stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed to reduce exposure.”

Those with known health conditions can sign up to receive air quality reports, forecasts and alerts via email or SMS from the Department of Planning and Environment.

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

More information on hazard reduction activities is available at NSW Rural Fire Service and the NSW Government Hazards Near Me website and app.

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