Date: 05 February 2019
South Marlborough Operations Manager Phil Bradfield says DOC has been advised by Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) that the fire risk is becoming extremely high through South Marlborough and particularly through the Awatere and Molesworth.
“Having received advice from FENZ, we agree that the fire risk is becoming too high and protecting the values of Molesworth are paramount. Public safety is also a consideration in making this decision to close the Acheron Road,” Mr Bradfield says.
“Fire is a major threat to all the values of Molesworth and movement of people and vehicles adds considerably to the fire risk. Fire could cause devastating damage to the reserve’s diverse and significant native plant life and farm pasture. Molesworth is an area of national ecological significance with over 70 threatened native plant species, a quarter of which are acutely threatened.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and work with FENZ to determine when the road can be reopened. However, given the long-term forecast for Marlborough through to autumn, it’s unlikely that the road will be reopened soon.”
When weather and conditions permit, the Acheron Road through Molesworth Recreation Reserve opens to the public annually from Labour weekend through to April. The Acheron road links the Awatere Valley in Marlborough with Hanmer Springs in Canterbury.
Check the latest road status on the Molesworth Station and Acheron Road pages of this website.
Operations Manager, South Marlborough
Phone: +64 21 204 1857