AUSTRALIAN SKI AREAS REOPEN AS BUSHFIRE THREAT EASES
15th January 2020 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Last modified on January 16th, 2020
The immediate danger has passed for some of the country’s big resorts. They’re resuming summer operations.
The bushfires are still burning and causing devastation to large swathes of New South Wales and Victoria.
Lives – human and animal – as well as homes and businesses have been lost.
All the country’s main ski resorts in the two states were closed to summer visitors and some were the subject of a mandatory evacuation.
One, Selwyn Snow Resort in the Snowy Mountains in NSW, suffered serious damage.
For some, the main threat has now subsided.
Thredbo in NSW and the Victorian resorts of Falls Creek, Mt Buller and Mt Stirling are back in business.
Thredbo opened on Tuesday 14th January.
“We couldn’t have reopened this week without the support of NSW Rural Fire Service and the National Parks Wildlife Service (NPWS), plus an awesome bunch of volunteers and local organisations,” the resort said in a statement sent to PlanetSKI.
“We’ve also received so many heart-warming and supportive messages from our community, both locally and overseas over the past weeks.”
Although the in-resort facilities are open, including the mountain bike park and resort walking trails, many of the hiking trails surrounding Thredbo remain closed until further notice.
Falls Creek, which had been the subject of a mandatory evacuation order last week reopened on Monday.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to open our village, trails and mountain bike park to the public once more and thank everyone sincerely for their thoughts and concern during this challenging time,” the resort said.
“Whilst fires remain burning in the region, the previous Watch and Act notice has been replaced with Advice and the resort has been deemed safe to reopen to visitors by Resort Management.
“We will continue to remain vigilant in responding to Vic Emergency warnings during the bushfire season and encourage anybody visiting the region to continue to refer to the app and website.
“Thanks for sticking with us, we hope to see you up here for a ride, hike or visit soon!”
Mt Buller and Mt Stirling also got going again on Monday, though the Alpine National Park and parts of the Mansfield State Forest remain closed.
“Our thoughts are with those communities further afield dealing with more devastating impacts,” Mt Buller said on Facebook.
“Please come visit us soon, stay a night or three, stop by the local businesses in the Mansfield region, and show your love for those who will need support for months to come….
“We are incredibly grateful to all the emergency services workers and volunteers that have done such an outstanding job preparing and protecting the resorts.”