Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism (BMLOT) chairman Randall Walker has taken the extraordinary step of recommending to tourism operators that they tell visitors not to come to the Blue Mountains region today (Wednesday, October 23).
This recommendation follows:
• Fire conditions for tomorrow are forecast to be severe to extreme
• NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has said: “Anyone who does not
have an important reason to be in the Blue Mountains tomorrow [sic], do not be there”
• The NSW Government has closed all schools in the Blue Mountains and TAFE Wentworth Falls
• National Parks & Wildlife Service has closed all parks and lookouts
• Blue Mountains City Council has closed reserves and parks, camping grounds and lookouts
until further notice, both visitor information centres at Echo Point and Glenbrook will still be
open to provide appropriate instructions to visitors already in the Blue Mountains
BMLOT had previously recommended that accommodation operators allow bookings to be deferred.
BMLOT chairman Randall Walker said: “The risks we face over the coming days should not be underestimated.
“It is our paramount mission to ensure that no visitors to our region are injured due to bushfires.”
Message from Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill
“Our focus is on protecting the lives and properties of this wonderful community. They breed us tough up here. If we stick together, support each other, we will get through this! We will!”
Message from Lithgow Mayor Maree Statham
“My sincere thoughts are with the Blue Mountains people at the moment as well as heartfelt thanks to the control officers on the front line, the fire brigades, all the sponsors and volunteers.
“I feel very proud to be mayor of Lithgow when I think of the amount of food that has been donated and the number of volunteers involved in this united effort.
“Our spirit is not broken. I pray for better weather conditions.”
Mr Walker said “We express our deep thanks to all volunteers and full time professionals fighting the bushfires, protecting lives and property and providing support services. Many tourism industry people are among the volunteers”.
The bushfire situation in the region may continue for a few weeks. Please continue to monitor public information via www.rfs.nsw.gov.au and download the RFS “Fires Near Me NSW” phone app and listen to ABC radio 702 for fire bulletin updates.