Bushfire impacts on Victoria's environment
Friday 14 February, 2020
Due to the active fire situation in Eastern Victoria in recent weeks, Parks Victoria and other authorities are only just beginning to understand the impacts on the environment.
Scientists and local experts from Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning recently completed an aerial survey of fire-affected parts of the state.
While much of the impacted area has been severely damaged by fire, there are pockets of green vegetation providing areas of refuge for plants and animals.
The findings from this survey will be added to current expert data analysis and fire severity mapping, and help the Victorian Government form a clearer plan of action for recovery.
Parks Victoria will continue to work with other agencies to gather data to understand the fire’s impact on biodiversity in our parks, which is expected to be large-scale and long-term.
Quotes, attributable to Dr Mark Norman, Chief Conservation Scientist, Parks Victoria:
“It's only in the last week or so that we've been able to get to some of these fire-affected areas. Working with DELWP and CFA, we chose eighteen sites of high biodiversity significance and did a reconnaissance flight across all of eastern Victoria, to collect footage and information on how those sites are faring.”
“What we found was really sobering. There have been high-intensity fires in some areas and all you can see is scorched earth and dead tree trunks. In other areas we saw lots of green, with large areas of rainforest which remained unscathed. These intact areas are becoming the focus of our attention.”
Quotes, attributable to James Todd, Executive Director, Biodiversity, DELWP:
“Working with project partners and portfolio agencies like Parks Victoria, as well as subject matter experts and independent scientists, we’ve come up with a plan which is about identifying the actions we need to recover biodiversity in Victoria.”
“On the back of that the Victorian Government has allocated $17.5 million dollars for emergency actions over the next 6 months to support that recovery.”
Imagery and footage available upon request.