Where to ride in South Australia during Fire Season!
OK, so there is always a lot of confusion about where you can ride and when in South Australia during Fire Season, so I thought I’d put a little information together again to help explain. The complication is that we have a number of different land owners that allow mountain biking on their land and their rules do vary, plus some places are in different fire regions than others.
So, you can split the various land owners and areas we ride into 2 groups – those that CLOSE on Total Fire Bans, and those that remain open and are only likely to close on EXTREME fire danger days and above. Loosely you can group these as such:-
- CLOSED on TOTAL FIRE BANS:-
- Forestry SA land, which includes Fox Creek, Kersbrook, Pewsey Vale Prospect Hill and Kangas (Kuitpo Forest)
- Reservoirs SA land including Warren Reservoir, Para Reservoir and Myponga Reservoir Reserves
- Eagle MTB Park managed by the Office for Rec and Sport
- Mitcham Council Trails – including Randell Park, Ando’s, Lynton and Saddle Hill, O’Dea’s, Ashby and Blackwood Park Reserves
- OPEN on TOTAL FIRE BANS (closed on Catastrophic days, and may close on Extreme days):-
- National Parks – This includes Belair NP, Cleland CP, Shepherds Hill RP, Craigburn Farm and Sturt Gorge RP, Onkaparinga Gorge, O’Halloran Hill, Cobbler Creek, Brownhill Creek, and Anstey Hill.
So, the key is first to check the CFS website for the day’s fire rating here:- https://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/bans-and-ratings/. A prediction of the rating is visible for the next 4 days, but the actual rating is NOT confirmed until around 4pm the day before. Check the fire rating for the region you intend to ride in. MOST areas we ride in are in the Mount Lofty Ranges, with Cobbler Creek and O’Halloran Hill being in the Adelaide Metro region (which may have a lower rating). These ratings are active for the full 24hrs of the day, even if a cool change comes in.
So, once you know what the forecast is you can then use the below rules to work out where you can ride:-
- If the fire rating for your area is VERY HIGH or less, then there should be NO restrictions to anywhere to ride.
- If the fire rating is SEVERE then this will also mean it is a TOTAL FIRE BAN, so you cannot enter areas that are closed on Total Fire Bans, but can still ride in National Park’s land.
- If the Fire danger is EXTREME National park’s MAY be CLOSED (Check their site here!) and WILL BE CLOSED IF CATASTROPHIC!
Obviously if the forecast is for severe or above you need to take care, and also make sure you monitor the CFS website for any incidents or fire incidents.
So here is our Easy Fire Season Ride Guide, for 2020! Feel free to print off and refer to it in future, and let me know if you have any questions!