The bush around Castlemaine has been in fine form this Spring, pumping full of new growth, wildflowers and critters after the drought breaking rain last Summer. Ironically Spring also coincided with the posting of burning operation notices on trees here and there, to occur before the Summer fire season weather permitting. Bittersweet really. The imminent burn was one of the main motivating forces behind my little Spring Equinox movie, so at least among other things it would be a personal record/momento of what the bush was like.
So the first of the D-day’s finally came yesterday. Bummer. A hot, reasonably calm day followed by a change. The burn was on. A thick smoke haze hung over the town all day, later in the day the wind picked up a little and looking across at the darkening smoke billowing from the bush I wondered how controlled the ‘controlled cool burn’ was, and what would be left.
After a smokey, warm and restless night I headed out this morning in the van to take a look, and then headed out this afternoon on the Mojo HD. Trees burnt out and fallen, more than I expected. Sections of bush thoroughly blackened, where the fire had also crowned the tree tops. Not much green left. Trees smouldering, some still burning. Apart from crackling, close to silent, not the usual ruckus.
Riding around Central Victoria is as much about the rugged, rocky bush as it is the trails, and while the trails won’t take much to repair, the bush will take years to regenerate. I guess as time passes I’ll enjoy observing the regrowth process first hand, but it’s not a fun thing to see another safe haven burnt, and more burns are likely before Summer… 🙁