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Fire_damage_2501The 2009 fires in Victoria have been devastating. Half a million hectares of forest have been damaged. Extensive areas of Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forest have been killed, including the Big Ash forests in the Wallaby Creek catchment.

Forest Solutions was part of a recovery team (managed by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) which found that seed crops in Mountain Ash were excellent at the time of the fire. We therefore expect good self-regeneration and vigorous regrowth to follow over the next 12 months.

However, young ash forests (under about 15 yrs of age) cannot self-regenerate and Forest Solutions provided assistance to regenerate them. We provided a rapid response service after the fire, assessing and mapping scorch intensity, damage levels, and forest floor seed-bed status from light aircraft. We used oblique photography to enable additional assessments post-flight and identified areas that would not self-regenerate but needed human assistance. Forest Solutions remained available to provide expert advice for seed collection and sowing of these vulnerable areas by DSE and VicForests within 6 months of the fire.

   

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