BY JAMES CARTER
Rain has boosted the recovery of Lake Macquarie bushland affected by the Black Summer fires in 2020, with new imaging surveys showing flora and fauna returning to the area.
Fire ripped through over 400 hectares of bush near Wangi Wangi on New Year’s Eve in 2019, with firefighters controlling the blaze over four days.
A recent survey of the land has captured the recovery of flora and fauna over the past 18 months.
Lake Macquarie City Council Senior Natural Assets Officer Dominic Edmonds says Gymea lillies, grass trees and banksias were among the plant species thriving once again.
“The idea is to manage the weed throughout the site so that the biodiversity gets the best outcome, we get an increase amount of native species and a decrease in weed species.
“In the event of another fire in the next 5 or so years will mean that the biodiversity outcomes will be better than they were previously,” Mr Edmonds said.
Favourable weather conditions have assisted recovery of the land and Mr Edmonds says the bush regeneration, erosion and access management programs have all helped the significant response from the site.
“We have a range of threatened species, both flora and fauna on site and we have seen excellent recovery in both of those in the year since fire, particularly due to the amount of rain we have had this year,” Mr Edmonds said.
Lake Macquarie Council is trialing an online platform to enable residents to check their property’s bushfire risk at the click of a button.
The site will use cutting-edge aerial infra-red, thermal and high-resolution imagery of bushland across the local government area and will allow residents to check their risk before ringing council for an inspection.
The pilot project, funded through the NSW Government’s Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund, has already attracted the interest of other councils throughout NSW and will cover a study area between Belmont and Glendale.
The online application is expected to go live later this year.