Fire recovery in Upper Murray parks
Thursday 18 March, 2021
An update from Parks Victoria
The 2019/20 fires caused large-scale damage to much of the Upper Murray region and recovery work has been underway for months to enable safe park visitation during 2021.
Along with taking care of park facilities and infrastructure, Parks Victoria has been working with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to help the environment recover from bushfire impacts, supported by $25.5 million from the Victorian Government.
The extent of the impact in the Upper Murray was huge, with fire affecting 95 per cent of Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park, 100 per cent of Mount Mittamatite Regional Park, four visitor sites along the Murray River Reserve, and many roads and tracks within the Alpine National Park, including the iconic Mt Pinnibar area.
Since the fire, Parks Victoria has been treating hazardous trees, reconstructing and repairing tracks, fences, gates, signage and visitor facilities to ensure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable park experience once areas can be re-opened.
During 2021, Parks Victoria plans to complete recovery works within Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park and within the remaining areas of the Alpine National Park, including Glen Dart.
While this recovery work is continuing, there are many other great places to visit and things to do in areas that have been safely re-opened to visitors. All campsites along the Murray River Reserve are open and the popular 4WD tracks within the Alpine National Park over Mt Pinnibar and Davies Plain, and nearby Mount Gibbo, Mt Sassafrass and Surveyors Creek are now open and accessible. Mount Mittamatite Regional Park has also been re-opened with Emberys Lookout providing spectacular views over the township of Corryong.
Biodiversity recovery projects include revegetation, weed removal, large-scale animal control targeting deer, feral pigs, goats and foxes, and aerial re-seeding of native Ash. Though the full benefits of the biodiversity programs won’t be known for months, staff on the ground have reported an exciting increase in wildlife and native plant growth, such as the re-emergence of Black Cypress Pine seedlings and other significant local flora.
The Upper Murray region is a picturesque area offering both alpine mountainous terrain and absolute tranquillity along the Murray River. Check the Parks Victoria website for the latest information about park closures and conditions, www.parks.vic.gov.au.
Quotes, attributed to Scott Thomson, Ranger Team Leader, Parks Victoria:
“We have been able to re-open many parks and visitor sites in the Upper Murray and plan to progressively open parts of Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park in coming months.
The impact to the Cudgewa Bluff Falls area and some other parts of Burrowa-Pine Mountain National Park has been severe.
The loss of access infrastructure and facilities, coupled with hazardous trees, unstable slopes and the risk of rockfall, may mean that it is some time before we can safely re-open these areas.”