First steps to bushfire recovery in ACT parks

First steps to bushfire recovery in ACT parks

The Orroral Valley bushfire resulted in one of the biggest ecological disasters in the Territory’s history, and the ACT Government is committed to working with experts to support the recovery of the Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla.

A Rapid Risk Assessment Team (RRAT), including flora, fauna and fire ecologists, hydrologists, archaeologists, and infrastructure experts, has today delivered an initial assessment report to Government outlining key priorities and risks in recovery.

The Team identified 27 risks, centred around:

  • impacts on cultural heritage such as rock art, archaeological sites, stone arrangements, heritage trees and huts
  • risks to public safety from damage to roads, walking tracks and dangerous trees
  • impacts on threatened ecological communities including our alpine bogs
  • threats to biodiversity from feral animals and invasive species
  • risks to biodiversity including aquatic species, large gliders, threatened flora and fauna, fire-sensitive communities and hollow-bearing trees
  • impacts on water quality from sediments and nutrients in water catchments
  • hillslope erosion
  • damage to park and rural landholder assets such as fencing and visitor infrastructure.

The fire burnt about 80% of Namadgi National Park (82,700 hectares) and 22% of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (1,444 hectares) significantly impacting the landscape.

Namadgi is one of our most iconic and botanically diverse parks and the road to recovery there will be a long one. We know many Canberrans enjoy visiting the park, and we remain committed to supporting this recovery work in the years ahead.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman

"This initial report will inform a full recovery plan to address the immediate impacts of the fire as well as a long-term recovery program."

"The recovery program will look beyond the immediate fire impacted areas and consider broader ecosystem trends, and issues such as climate change and adaptation, continuing dry conditions and safeguarding Canberra’s water supply."

"We will be working with scientists and researchers, industry, community organisations and volunteers on this journey to recovery. I’m encouraging everyone interested in volunteering to go to our ParkCare Hub and register to be part of the recovery effort."

"The ACT Government is working closely with Ngunnawal people and Representative Aboriginal Organisations supporting them in the healing of Country and the conservation of cultural sites. Traditional Custodians have a deep connection to Country and the fire has deeply affected them."

"We understand that Canberrans are eager to get back out into Namadgi National Park, Bimberi Wilderness Area and the parts of Tidbinbilla that remain closed. We are working to ensure that these areas are safe for public access by fixing key infrastructure and removing dangerous trees."

Read the Orroral Valley Fire Impact Report.

Find out more about reserve closures.