Tuesday, 21 January 2014

After the Bushfire

On 18th October 2013 a power line fell down in heavy winds, in the next village along from ours. A fire was soon burning, and it spread very quickly to surrounding bushland. The fire burnt for many days, destroying thousands of hectares of land, before being brought under control.

We first suspected something was wrong when we heard siren after siren, as the fire trucks swept through our village. We walked down to the park at the end of our road and this is what we could see...

The fire was burning in our local bush. A few days later, the following photo was taken by the RFS Southern Highlands Team. It shows all that remained of the bush to the east of our village.

On November 21st 2013, Imogen walked down the main fire trail, and took some video of the same area of burnt-out bush. These are some snapshots of that video. They aren't very good quality but they do show how everything was still very black and bare, a month after the fire. There wasn't much regrowth at this stage.

Last Friday, three months after the fire, the girls and I headed down the fire trail again, to see if we could spot any changes in the bush. We first had to walk through the green band of bush separating us from the affected area. We passed through the fire vehicle gates...

... and down the track, under the leafy trees...

... until we came to the area that was burnt out last October. It was still very black but we could see leaves sprouting all along the trunks of the trees and new plants were shooting up in the undergrowth. 

The photos aren't very good because I took them on my old camera. Also, I took a few directly into the morning sun.

The bush is well on its way to recovery. In a couple of seasons' time it will be hard to tell a fire ever went through this area. The blackened trunks of the trees will remain, but they will hardly be noticeable amongst all the green. The bush will be back bigger and better than before.

It's just a pity houses don't grow back too, isn 't it?


  1. I love the Aussie bush, so beautiful and so resiliant.

    1. Lisa,

      While the fire was burning we talked about the possibility of our house burning down. Would we rebuild or move away if the worst happened? We all said we'd rebuild and stay here. There is something so attractive about the bush. We feel fortunate to be surrounded by it and wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Beautiful and resilient... I agree!