Rising from the Ashes
22 November 2012 | by Robyn Benken
It’s one year on – from the tragic losses resulting from fires in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River. More than 3,673 hectares of bushland was burnt and 38 homes destroyed (106 buildings damaged). John McKinney (CCA member) is the Senior Environment Landcare Officer with the Shire. John and Blair Darvill the South West Catchments Council Coastal Facilitator have been preparing reports of what has happened since those awful days in November 2011.
Rising from the Ashes’ is the title of an article in ‘Coastlines’ magazine (pgs 8-11) which I am sure all Coastcare volunteers would find very interesting. The wonderful progress so far could not have happened without good planning and great community support – over 7000 volunteer hours have been given during the past year! The Margaret River Coastal Residents Association and the Cape to Cape Catchments group have both worked very hard during the year.
John tells me that most areas are coming back well but that some previously degraded foredunes will need lots more help. They say that it will take at least 12-15 years for the vegetation to return to its previous state.
A great deal of money will need to be spent to replace 3 board walks, for fencing and to continue with weed control. The community is a “hardy lot” according to Blair and a great start has been made on the road to recovery. Blair also wrote that “you could not have a more resilient community to bounce back from these fires”.