Home Community Nature fights back to mask fire effects at Woodgate

Nature fights back to mask fire effects at Woodgate

The Woodgate Boardwalk following bushfires and a prescribed burn is gradually reverting to its natural state.
The Woodgate Boardwalk following bushfires and a prescribed burn is gradually reverting to its natural state.

Eight months on from the devastating bushfires which consumed almost 5000 hectares of the Burrum Coast National Park, the regeneration of flora and the re-emergence of fauna is becoming evident.

The fires severely impacted National Park which abuts Woodgate Beach and Walkers Point.

A Department of Environment and Science spokesperson said that in recent months, rangers have observed significant forest recovery and regeneration throughout the park which was boosted by rainfall in late summer and autumn.

“Native wildlife has been observed returning to burnt areas and foraging for the regenerating vegetation as a source of food,” the spokesperson said.

Divisional representative Cr Bill Trevor said it was pleasing to see the national park areas showing strong signs of recovery.

“Fires over that period prior to Christmas were some of the most intense experienced in the National Park areas adjacent to Woodgate Beach.”

He agreed with a Department spokesman who observed that damage varied throughout the park depending on a number of factors including vegetation type and prevailing weather conditions.

National Park fire was hit and miss

“Some areas were severely burnt, and some areas escaped the fire completely,” the spokesperson said.

Childers fire crews in action during the November 2019 fires in the Burrum Coast National Park near Woodgate Beach.
Childers fire crews in action during the November 2019 fires in the Burrum Coast National Park near Woodgate Beach.

Cr Trevor said he had examined some affected areas in the vicinity of Walkers Point and while there were plenty of trees exhibiting signs of regrowth it was obvious the intensity of the fire had destroyed patches of wallum.

“These areas appear likely to take a significant time to recover,” he said.

QPWS rangers continue to implement the fire management strategy for the Burrum Coast National Park and have completed an additional four prescribed burns within Burrum Coast National Park this year.

This burn program provides ongoing protection for the towns of Woodgate and Burrum Heads while also promoting the ecological health of the National Park.

“This was evident in areas near the Woodgate Boardwalk which was included in one of the prescribed burns,” Cr Trevor said.

“The fire cleaned up the accumulated fuel and the area is again starting to resemble the pristine walking track enjoyed by many visitors. This shows the importance of doing pre-emptive burning on a regular basis, to protect the national park, residents and property.

“At the weekend it was pleasing to see cars parked at the boardwalk entrance, indicating visitors are again enjoying the five-kilometre walking trail.

“We need to remember that we do have a marvellous asset at Woodgate Beach but not everyone visits solely to enjoy our magnificent beach.

Ferns continue to emerge near the boardwalk among the trees charred by the National Park fires eight months ago.
Ferns continue to emerge near the boardwalk among the trees charred by the National Park fires eight months ago.

“Others like to venture into the National Park either to experience an interaction with nature or to utilise the park campsites,” Cr Trevor said.

Camping is available at the Woodgate and Kinkuna sections of the National Park which spans over 26,000 hectares. For further information visit the Department of Environment and Science website.

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