The main focus on bushfires at present is – for very understandable reasons – on the aftermath of the Black Saturday fires of February 2009. The following are just some notes and reflections on recent fires in the Victorian Alps. Check the very end for some resources, responses and stories from the 2009 fires.
Some sections of the Victorian Alps have been burnt three times since the summer of 2003. Some areas are devastated, others are recovering well. The following is series of images from around the mountains.
Unlike much of the lower elevation forests and woodlands, the sub-alpine country below the treeline isn’t too fire-adapted, meaning that often the parent trees in the snow gum and alpine ash forests are lost.
The Buffalo Plateau is an ‘island in the sky’ in terms of vegetation. It sits out from the main part of the Alps, on the drier north western side of the mountains. So, it is isolated from the mountain zones further in. It has a number of endemic species, trees and plants that exist no where else. It was a strong hold of old growth alpine ash forests but almost all of this was devastated in the fires of 2003. The regrowth is strong in many places, but I feel incredibly sad when I think about the fact that I will never see old growth like that up there again in my lifetime.
the fires of February 2009
A story from Kinglake.
For some resources on responding to bushfire, check here.
A report on the fires from The Wilderness Society.