Travel

The 2015 Windy Harbour
and Northcliffe Fire, Western Australia

March 1, 2015

Bush fires are an ever present threat during summer and this year was the first in the 10 years of living in the Southern Forests this threat became very real for us. Fortunately the armageddon that seriously threatened the town of Northcliffe and Windy Harbour settlement, which looked on one day to be ominously heading towards Pemberton never came. However taking a drive down to Windy Harbour some 3 weeks post these very threatening few days in February 2015 revealed just how devastating this lightening-initiated natural disaster had affected the natural environment; scouring the landscape as far down to the sandy edges of Salmon Beach and Castle Rock at Windy Harbour.

Salmon Beach_3 sml

What was most remarkable to see on this drive was how quickly the bush was regenerating, particularly the Grass Trees. This native species was commonly used for food, drink, fibre, tool and weapon making by Aboriginal people with the resin considered nature’s perfect ‘super-glue’.

Grass Trees Post-fire Flowering_sml

Flowering Grass Trees

Seeing the still burning hull of a once magnificent Karri tree reminded me of those devastating post 9/11 Twin Tower wreckage images.

Tree-burnt Roadside_sml

Smoulding Karri_sml

 

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