Nelson Mail

Increased fire concerns closes recreation­al activity


Increased fire risk in the region has Tasman Pine Forests Ltd closing its forests off to recreation­al activities until further notice.

Tasman Pine forests were closed to recreation on Thursday night, affecting access to Nelson City Council recreation­al trails.

Closed off access will affect the Brook Conservati­on Reserve (Fringed Hill), which has downhill trails leading into the Brook Valley and all of Sharlands forest, accessed via the Maitai, and its trails.

After discussion­s between the council and Tasman Pine Forestry Ltd, the public can still access the Firball Skid via Middle Rd.

This includes access to lower and middle Firball, Hulkin Horgan, IV Line and Firball Climb to the trig, upper Firball and Koata Whetu.

Koata Marama however will be closed due to its trail leading down to closed forestry.

There will be no access to tracks further round the Firball Skid or entry into Turners, and Fireball Road will be closed from Tangragee Reserve saddle.

Access from Firball Skid down to the Maitai Walkway will also be closed. However, the Maitai walkway can be accessed from the Maitai Valley Rd entrances.

Fringed Hill Rd is also not able to remain open and access to some of the trails in Brook Valley is not available.

Access to Te Ara Koa, Fringed Down Hill and Butters can be found via the Classic to Fringed Hill Skid.

A council spokespers­on said access from Classic to Fringed Hill Skid is still council land and while people would have no access to the top of the track, the rest of the trails could be accessed from the Classic for a partial run.

Council contractor­s have installed fencing and signage at the closed off areas.

The spokespers­on said while council reserves had not been closed off to recreation­al use, the fire risk was increasing.

People were warned to “exercise caution” when entering council reserves and adhere to the advice given at the entrances on how you can minimise fire risk.

The council was monitoring the risk in reserves with Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

The move comes after forestry firm One Forty One New Zealand also made the decision to restrict access to its forests on Thursday morning.

The Tasman District Council posted an update from the company which said the closures came as fire danger climbed in the region and NIWA forecasts suggested high fire danger weather conditions were set to continue.

One Forty One said they understood the restrictio­ns would cause frustratio­ns for the public but it only took one spark to start a fire, like the blaze in Lee Valley this month.

 ?? BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF ?? Fringed Hill is one of the reserves affected by Tasman Pine Forest Ltd closures.
BRADEN FASTIER/STUFF Fringed Hill is one of the reserves affected by Tasman Pine Forest Ltd closures.

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