Four Wheel Drive Victoria and Parks Victoria are urging bush users to enjoy the bush this summer, but stay safe
Visitors to north east Victoria’s forests and reserves are being urged to act responsibly during the summer holiday period.
The Conservation Regulator, Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) and Parks Victoria are preparing for hundreds of thousands of people to visit the state’s forests this summer.
With many recreation and camping areas impacted by the flood’s, increased pressure is anticipated to be placed on those areas of public land which remain open.
Campers are being urged to have an alternate option if their preferred location is closed, or at full capacity.
Authorised officers from all three agencies will be patrolling forests, parks, and reserves targeting illegal off-road activity, littering and campfire regulations.
Many flood impacted tracks remain closed so be sure to check local closures before you leave home on the Parks Victoria website or http://mapshare.vic.gov.au/mapsharevic/
Trail bike-riders and four-wheel drivers are reminded they must be licenced, vehicles registered and can only use formed roads and tracks to protect the environment and other forest users.
Anyone caught illegally riding or driving vehicles off-road in state forests can face on-the-spot fines of $185 or up to $500 if the matter is taken to court.
Damaging, disturbing, or destroying wildlife habitat carries a maximum fine of more than $9000.
Anyone who witnesses illegal vehicle use or rubbish dumping on public land is encouraged to report it on 136 186.
For more information about rules in state forests, including campfires and vehicle use, visit http://www.vic.gov.au/rules-in-state-forests
Quotes attributable to FFMVic Hume Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Aaron Kennedy
“If you are taking the opportunity to get away these holidays and enjoy our state forests and parks, please do the right thing and help to keep everyone safe.”
“Around 10 per cent of bushfires in Victoria are caused by illegal campfires, including unattended campfires.
Never leave a campfire unattended and use water, not soil, to completely extinguish the campfire before leaving.”
“Trail bike-riding, four-wheel driving and camping are all fun ways to get out and enjoy this summer but there are important rules to keep you and others safe.”