Today I wanted to personally update Bush Heritage supporters on the fire threat and impact to our reserves. At the end of 2019, our on ground staff and neighbours fought fires of varying severity on six Bush Heritage reserves in three states. They were:
- Charles Darwin, WA
- Craven’s Peak, QLD
- Carnarvon, QLD
- Yourka, QLD
- Yantabulla Swamp (next to Naree Station), NSW (owned by South Endeavour Trust and managed by Bush Heritage)
- Burrin Burrin, NSW
The most serious fires were at Burrin Burrin and Yourka, with significant hectares being burnt. We won’t be able to assess the ecological damage until it is safe to access the affected areas.
You will have seen the devastation of the current fires in Victoria and New South Wales. We have no reserves in Gippsland or the Victorian Alps but we have three reserves in southern NSW – Tarcutta Hills, Scottsdale and Brogo – that could be impacted over the coming days and weeks. We are keeping a close watch on the situation and are in contact with the local Rural Fire Service (RFS) teams.
We also have some staff that live or have family in areas threatened. They are currently evacuating from these areas and we will provide whatever support we can to them.
Our hearts go out to the people and wildlife bearing the brunt of these catastrophic fires, the firefighters working so hard on the frontlines and the many many communities affected.
All of us at Bush Heritage are thinking of everyone who has been impacted and we applaud the fantastic work being done by the fire services and support organisations in affected areas.
Our full-time National Fire Program Manager is working tirelessly with well-prepared reserve staff to activate our fire plans as necessary to minimise damage to the animals and plants that are counting on us during these next few months, but our number one priority is the safety of our staff.
We will keep you updated throughout summer as bushfires continue to be a major threat.
If you are able to help, please consider donating directly to one of the many worthy organisations supporting relief efforts on the ground, you can find a list here.
Australians, and Australia, are incredibly resilient. In these challenging times, I choose hope; hope for eventual recovery and renewal for our communities and our wildlife.