Closure of reserves on days of high fire danger
Many of Hobart’s reserves are in bushfire-prone areas. While they are great places to visit and enjoy, on days of high fire danger they may not be safe places to be. The City of Hobart may close selected reserves in bushfire prone areas in the interests of public safety when the Fire Danger Rating is Severe or higher.
These closures are important because fires that start under some weather conditions may be fast moving, unpredictable and uncontrollable. You may not receive an official warning of a bushfire and you should not expect a fire truck or fire officers to be available to assist you.
What is an elevated fire danger day?
Fire danger rating forecasts are issued by the Bureau of Meteorology and can be viewed on the Tasmanian Fire Service website at www.fire.tas.gov.au .
These ratings reflect how severe and difficult to control a fire would be if started under these conditions. The higher the rating, the quicker the fire would spread, the less predictable and controllable it may be.
The safest response is to avoid risk areas on these days of elevated fire danger.
Bushfire safety is a personal responsibility and anyone entering reserves during the bushfire season needs to stay aware of forecast weather conditions and remain alert to signs of fire such as smoke or emergency vehicles.
When will Hobart’s bushland reserves be closed?
Hobart’s bushland reserves may be closed on days of Severe, Extreme and Catastrophic fire danger.
Which of Hobart’s bushland reserves will be closed?
Due to their locations in the landscape and bushfire-prone status the following reserves may be closed on elevated fire danger days:
- Wellington Park
- Ridgeway Park
- Waterworks Reserve
- Queens Domain
- Bicentennial Reserve
- Knocklofty Reserve
The City may close other reserves if specific risks occur and visitors are referred to the City of Hobart website for details.
Where can I get information on reserve closures?
Visit the City of Hobart and Wellington Park Trust official websites - www.hobartcity.com.au or www.wellingtonpark.org.au as well as the City’s Facebook page. ABC Local Radio may have information on reserve closures during high fire danger periods.
Where should I go?
The Hobart Visitor Information Centre can suggest alternative tourism opportunities. Reconsider plans to visit bushland reserves and try one of the inner-city parks or beachside reserves.
Will a council officer come and tell me to not to enter or leave?
No. It will not be possible for every visitor to personally receive a warning. It is your responsibility to remain alert and aware of the current weather conditions. This includes looking at the fire weather forecast for many days ahead if you are going on a multi-day walk.
Will reserves be locked to stop access on elevated fire danger days?
Where possible, but not for all entry and exit points. The City of Hobart will take steps to alert the public to closures during bushfire risk periods.
What if I don’t want to leave?
Reserves may not be safe places to be and you will be putting yourself at risk by remaining in these areas.
If a fire starts on a day of elevated fire danger, it may be unpredictable, uncontrollable and fast-moving.
It is an offence to knowingly enter reserves that are closed and penalties may apply. It is also an offence not to obey a direction to leave.