A prohibition on fires has been in place in the Cooloola Recreation Area since December 7, 2020, a Department of Environment and Science spokesperson has advised.
The Cooloola Recreation Area includes Noosa North Shore, Upper Noosa River, Teewah Beach and Rainbow Beach.
The ban was implemented to help protect visitors, reduce the risk of bushfires, reduce the incidence of people being exposed to the dangers of campfires covered with sand, and prevent visitors burning inappropriate things in campfires.
Following an ecological assessment of bushfire impacts from the 2019/20 bushfires and an assessment of the K’gari bushfire, the current ban on campfires will continue indefinitely within the Cooloola Recreation Area.
The ban includes all fires that are not fully self-contained, such as open campfires, fires in drums and other open containers where the fire can escape or cause ember drift. Gas barbecues can be used.
There is a history of escaped campfires in the Cooloola Recreation Area causing bushfires, which are difficult to control in the coastal heath vegetation and high dune terrain.
Since mid-2017, four bushfires have burned through 15,000 hectares at Teewah Beach, which has caused serious damage to the national park’s natural and cultural values and left the coastal region prone to land slips.
On the spot fines of $667 can be issued to people who light fires while camping or visiting the Cooloola Recreation Area.
Campfires are permitted in the Inskip Point Recreation Area in accordance with all local directions for that area.
Cooking and heating appliances that meet the below requirements are permitted at Teewah Beach:
- The appliance must use only manufactured fuel. Manufactured fuel does not include timber or wood.
- It must be used for cooking and/or heating only.
- It must be a minimum of 20cm off the ground and more than 2m from flammable materials.
- They do not have the potential to generate airborne embers or possibly ignite nearby ground fuels.
- They must be fully contained and never left unattended when in use.
- Appliances that are not fully self-contained, such as braziers, are not permitted.
- All appliances, materials and fuels (e.g. heat beads) must be removed from the recreation area on your departure.