Australian News

Australian news and media publication


It’s been a year since the horror forest fires devastated Australia, leaving the landscape burned, houses burned and communities devastated.
Bent “Black summer“The 2019-2020 season saw 24 million hectares of land burned, 3,000 houses destroyed, and 3 billion animals killed or displaced.
Thirty-three people died, including six Australians firefighters and three US aerial firefighters were killed when their plane crashed.

But in the past 12 months, green shoots have begun to replace charred soil as nature revives from devastation.

Locals say the community has been a “ghost town” since the North Black Range fire west of Braidwood first posed a threat in November last year. / Looking west, a different show for locals this year. (Supplied / Catherine King)

Red skies hang over houses in Batemans Bay on the south coast of New South Wales on New Year’s Eve. / The same place almost 12 months later, on December 2, 2020. (Supplied / Ella Bandur)

The blackened stumps of the trees that survived the wall of flames are a shadow of what they were before, but green vines can be seen snaking around them.

Green grass covers the ground and the first shoots of growth peek through the boiled black bark, but recovery is still slow.

Grass and trees scolded by the 2019-20 fires at the riding school. / While the grass is lush now, the trees are still dead, a skeleton of what they once were. (Supplied / The Saddle Camp)
NSW and Queensland they issued their first warnings as early as June, after a dry winter and years of drought that resulted in conditions similar to a time bomb.

And they were right. The first brush and grass fires started last September.

Farmers faced scenes of drought 12 months ago. / The pastures are relieved by the recent rains. (Supplied / Hannah Taylor)

Farmers faced scenes of drought 12 months ago. / The pastures are relieved by the recent rains. (Supplied / Hannah Taylor)

Wildfire warnings were issued when fires broke out in the New South Wales region on the north and south coasts, the Riverina and Snowy Mountains.

Batemans Bay
Locals embrace after fires ripped through properties on the south coast of New South Wales. (Nine)

Clouds of smoke over Clyde Road, north of Batemans Bay on the south coast of New South Wales. Emergency services gather in the distance. / Clyde Road, now clear. (Supplied / Ella Bandur)

The fire burned for 74 days, after starting with lightning on November 26, 2019.

It consumed 499,621 hectares, stretching from each end of Shoalhaven, destroying 312 houses and damaging another 173.

the Currowan Fire it cut off access to Kings Highway, the main artery between Canberra and the South Coast, leaving many family members and tourists stranded.

The terrifying Currowan fire, described as a “300,000 hectare hell” cut off access to the Kings Highway between Canberra and the south coast. / The Kings Highway near Batemans Bay is now full of green highlights as the burned trees begin to regenerate. (Supplied / Ella Bandur)

The dead wood still standing reminds locals of last year’s wildfire season, as hints of green show the promise of new life.

Mogo, a small town nestled in the southern coast region near Batemans Bay, was devastated by fires.

Houses, businesses and trees were reduced to rubble and ash.

Locals say the city is still far from recovering.

But luckily for the animals at Mogo Wildlife Park, none were lost to fire and the zoo remained intact.

This was thanks to dozens of zoo keepers and volunteers who worked through danger to protect zoo animals, even keeping some in their homes.

Mogo Wildlife Park on main fire sign

(Mogo Wildlife Park / Chad Staples) / Mogo Zoo one year after the 2019 Black Summer wildfires. (Mogo Zoo / Supplied)
Mogo Zoo braces for dangerous conditions Saturday

(Mogo Wildlife Park / Chad Staples) / Mogo Zoo one year after the 2019 Black Summer wildfires. (Mogo Zoo / Supplied)

A fern is burned and blackened in a backyard in North Batemans Bay. / The fern is now seen thriving among green thickets. (Supplied / Ella Bandur)
The remains of the embers of Mogo Wildlife Park

(Mogo Wildlife Park / Chad Staples) / Mogo Zoo one year after the 2019 Black Summer wildfires. (Mogo Zoo / Supplied)
Braidwood, a small rural town in the southern plateaus of New South Wales, located on the Kings Highway linking Canberra to Batemans Bay, was caught in fire and clouded by smoke.

Locals say the community was a “ghost town” when the North Black Range fire west of Braidwood first posed a threat in November last year, followed by the Currowan fire.

Smoke from the North Black Range wildfires seen in Farringdon, south of Braidwood in New South Wales, on Sunday 1 December 2019. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen (Sydney Morning Herald)
Braidwood fires.

Braidwood fires.

Smoke is approaching dry meadows on Nerriga Road and Deloraine Lan, near Braidwood in southern NSW. / A year later and the pastures themselves are green and leafy. (Supplied / Catherine King)

A haze of smoke clouds over the paddocks outside of Braidwood in southern New South Wales. / Clear skies look down on the same meadow, now green. (Supplied / Cam Smith)

Braidwood was closed for seven weeks.

Not all entry and exit roads could be accessed.

Farm animals and pets were found in the danger zone.

All of their caretakers are desperate to provide them with food and keep them safe from the impending threat.

The paddocks were burned, leaving farmers in and around Braidwood concerned for the safety of their livestock. / The green pastures provide great growth for farmers to feed their livestock. (Supplied / Crystal Hart)

Horses walk through the dry land as smoke from the fires rises in the background. / The horses now indulge in the green grass, out of harm’s way. (Supplied / The Saddle Camp)
A saddle burns to a crisp. (Supplied / The Saddle Camp)

The landscape is healing, but not recovered.

Woodland can take 150 to 200 years before it reaches a stable system.

In a rainforest it can be 500 to 1000 years.

Bushfires Braidwood 2019/20 (Supplied / Danny King)

Paddocks show nothing but dry rock and dirt ahead of the 2019-20 horror wildfire season, in the Mumbai region, 7 kilometers west of Braidwood. / The same paddocks show vegetation, new life and full prey. (Supplied / Damien Hart)

Braidwood fires. (Supplied / Crystal Hart)

On November 12, Sydney residents received their first warning of catastrophic fire conditions.

The following month, residents lived under a haze of smoke that was 11 times the dangerous level on some days.

Other fires raged through the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury: the Gospers Hill fire burned some 500,000 hectares.

In Victoria, lightning sparked a series of fires in East Gippsland.

Smoke haze over Sydney Harbor.
Smoke haze over Sydney Harbor. (9News)

Firefighters in South Australia and Western Australia were also kept busy when the first wave of fires broke out.


www.9news.com.au

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *