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Managing fire in parks and reserves

NSW National Parks (NPWS) adopts a strategic approach to managing fires in parks and reserves including research, planning, hazard reduction, rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

Read more about Managing fire in parks and reserves

NSW is one of the most bushfire-prone areas in the world due to climate, weather systems, vegetation and terrain. Bushfires play an important role in the natural lifecycle of certain Australian native plants. Learn more about how fire affects native plants and animals.

Recovery from 2019-2020 fires

The 2019-20 bushfire season was the most widespread and extreme that NSW has ever experienced. More than 5.5 million hectares of the state was burnt. Over 38% of the national park estate, more than 2.7 million hectares, was impacted. Read about NSW National Parks' response to the bushfires and our fire-recovery activities.

Managing bushfires

NPWS has access to more than 1,000 trained firefighters. Variations to the number of staff available at any given time can occur as staff undertake the ongoing necessary accreditations required to safely undertake fire management activities. Read more about managing bushfires.

Fire safety, alerts and closures

Always check with a local NPWS office and see current alerts on the NPWS website for information on closed parks, safety alerts and fire bans, before you visit a national park or reserve.

Fire management programs

NPWS, in consultation with the community and other organisations, develop fire management strategies outlining plans of action for use in the unfortunate event of a fire. The plans cover the protection and conservation of wildlife and property and extend across all NSW national parks.

NPWS works closely with NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Forestry Corporation of NSW, Sydney Catchment Authority, and neighbours of NSW national parks to coordinate fire management strategies which identify community and environmental assets at risk from fire, and outline plans to reduce these risks.

The type of strategy developed for each park varies according to the complexity of the park’s fire management issues. These strategies go through a formal draft stage, and after NSW National Parks has considered all draft submissions, the strategies are placed on public exhibition so members of the public can read and comment on the drafts before they’re finalised and adopted.

Fire management programs include:

For more information read our fire facts.