Bushfire recovery

The 2019/20 summer fires were some of the largest and most environmentally destructive fires ever seen in Victoria. Over 1.5 million hectares of land was fire impacted, which included 463,000 hectares of Parks Victoria land.

The wide-ranging fire impacts not only impacted the natural biodiversity of the landscape but destroyed over $50 million of Parks Victoria built assets across Eastern Victoria.

Parks Victoria is continuing to undertake vital recovery works, with some areas proving more challenging due to the remoteness and inaccessibility.

We are committed to reopening our parks and popular sites for visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

After a bushfire

Following major bushfires, Parks Victoria assesses the extent of damage in fire affected parks before reopening. Issues that we commonly encounter in fire damaged parks include burnt trees at risk of falling and destroyed assets such as campsites, cabins, picnic tables, bridges and toilets.

The process we follow in reopening parks includes:

  • Treating and removing hazardous trees.
  • Decontamination of hazardous material legally dumped in parks.
  • Clean up, including removing fallen trees and rehabilitating areas where firebreaks were made.
  • Demolition of damaged infrastructure and buildings and insurance assessments/claims process.
  • Cultural heritage compliance, including surveying and compliance with Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.
  • Statutory planning for new buildings to comply with planning legislation and bushfire management overlays.

 

Get involved

Share your ideas

Provide your ideas for the rebuilding of the Banksia Bluff activity centre at Cape Conran Coastal Park by completing a short survey at engage.vic.gov.au/conran-activity-centre. Feedback is open until Sunday, 13 December 2020.

 

Community Information Sessions

Discover the progress of bushfire recovery in your favourite parks in East Gippsland and join an online Community Information Session.

Registrations need to be made in advance through the links below.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Buchan Caves Reserve, 3 – 4 pm Book session

Cape Conran Coastal Park, 6 – 7 pm Book session

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Cann River parks, 12:20 – 1:30pm Book session

Mallacoota and surrounding parks, 6 - 7pm Book session

 

‘On the path to recovery’ newsletter

Sign up to the “On the path to recovery” newsletter, providing updates on current recovery works and programs.

 

Recent editions

On the path to recovery East Gippsland - November 2020

On the path to recovery North East Victoria - November 2020

On the path to recovery East Gippsland - October 2020

 

 

Further information

If you would like further information on the bushfire recovery program or to check the recovery status of a fire impacted park, please visit:

Fire Affected Parks page 

Conservation and Science page

Bushfire Recovery Victoria is a permanent Victorian Government agency working directly with communities to listen, help and deliver what they need.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) offering useful information on recovery and rebuilding for communities.

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) whose role is vital in assisting government agencies in recovering from the impacts of fire and floods on parks and forests.

 

Asset recovery works

Parks Victoria is working to reopen fire affected areas as soon as possible. Below are the latest updates on the ongoing recovery work.
A women walks her dog into the campsite while another women prepares food as her son looks on.

Cape Conran Coastal Park bushfire recovery

Parks Victoria is reconstructing the campground and visitor facilities at Cape Conran following major bushfire damage in summer 2019/20.
Representatives from the Gunaikurnai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation walk and discuss with Parks Victoria Rangers at Buchan Caves Reserve.

Buchan Caves Reserve bushfire recovery

Parks Victoria and the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) are rebuilding visitor facilities at Buchan Caves Reserve, following major bushfire damage in summer 2019/2020.
Picnic, Cemetery Bight, Mallacoota Inlet, Croajingolong National Park

Mallacoota and surrounding parks bushfire recovery

Reconstruction is underway on damaged campgrounds and visitor facilities throughout Croajingolong National Park and around Mallacoota following major bushfire damage in summer 2019/20.
A picturesque photo of the stone hut near the Horn at Mt Buffalo.

Mt Buffalo and Alpine National Parks bushfire recovery

Parks Victoria is undertaking vital bushfire recovery works throughout Mt Buffalo National Park following major bushfire damage in summer 2019/20.
Fishing at River Murray Reserve

Upper Murray parks bushfire recovery

Parks Victoria is reconstructing and repairing campgrounds and visitor facilities following major bushfire damage in summer 2019/20. The recovery work is large in scale, particularly at Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park which was 95% impacted.

Biodiversity and conservation works

The 2019-20 fires have had a greater impact on Victorian biodiversity than any previous fire season, impacting on precious areas of botanical significance.

The extent and impact of the damage is different across Victoria’s many different ecosystems and landscapes – some will recover, and others may never be the same again.

We are actively working with environmental experts, government and the community to determine the most effective response to the impacts of the fires, guided by science and using evidence-based decision making. We will continue to gather data to understand the impact on biodiversity in our state’s parks, which is expected to be large-scale and long-term.

Recovery is not a simple process and some things will never be the same as they were before these events. It will be a long and continued conversation and take not just months, but years, to get ecosystems functioning again.

Read about the Victorian Government’s coordinated approach to biodiversity response and recovery, led by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, at their website

Unfortunately, some parks have been badly affected by fires and some areas may remain closed for a long period of time. To find out which parks are currently impacted by bushfire visit the Fire affected parks page.

Bushfire impacts on Eastern Victorian landscape

This is the first aerial biodiversity survey of Eastern Victoria following the 2019/20 bushfires.

Biodiversity impacts in Eastern Victoria

The 2019-20 fires have had a greater impact on Victorian biodiversity than any previous fire season, impacting on precious areas of botanical significance. The extent and impact of the damage is different across Victoria’s many different ecosystems and landscapes – some will recover, and others may never be the same again.

Flora recovery at Cape Conran Coastal Park

New seedlings are appearing at Cape Conran Coastal Park after summer bushfires burnt 80 per cent of the park. Ranger Matt shows how the coastal environment is regenerating and explains how banksias are dependent on bushfire.
Image still from Ensuring the survival of Eastern Bristlebirds in Victoria video, with play icon overlay.

Ensuring the survival of Eastern Bristlebirds in Victoria

Howe Flat in Croajingolong National Park is the only place in Victoria where the threatened Eastern Bristlebird lives. With the fires closing in at Cape Howe in Victoria's far-east, a team of scientists and wildlife experts flew in for an emergency rescue.

Stories of recovery

Enjoy reading about how fire is spurring nature’s recovery along with key works happening across our parks.

Building Bridges at Buchan Caves Reserve

Two new concrete bridges spanning Spring Creek at the Fairy Cave end of the reserve are permanent replacements for wooden bridges burnt during 2019-20 summer’s bushfires.

Volunteers welcomed back to Cape Conran

Parks Victoria was delighted to welcome back volunteers to the Cape Conran Coastal Park over the Melbourne Cup weekend.

Grass trees in abundance at Cape Conran

Parks Victoria rangers have been watching Cape Conran Coastal Park slowly transform into a mystical wonderland, all thanks to the thousands of grass trees that are now flourishing since the summer 2019/20 bushfires.

Tiny tree represents huge success for fire recovery in parks

Over the past nine months, Parks Victoria staff have been on the lookout for signs of Black Cypress Pine regrowth in the Upper Murray area without success, until last month.

Red Beaks Orchid

Parks Victoria rangers were recently surprised to uncover some spectacular Red Beak orchids, Pyrorchis nigricans, found growing in the Cape Conran Coastal Park in East Gippsland.
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