The Orroral Valley Fire burnt through over 80% of Namadgi National Park.

The Orroral Valley Fire burnt through over 80% of Namadgi National Park.

05 March 2020

A Rapid Risk Assessment Team (RRAT) report delivered to the ACT Government this week outlines key priorities and risks related to the recovery of the Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla following the Orroral Valley bushfire.

The bushfire resulted in one of the biggest ecological disasters in the ACT’s history, burning through over 80% of Namadgi National Park (82,700 hectares) and 22% of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (1,444 hectares).

The Rapid Risk Assessment Team included experts specialising in  flora, fauna and fire ecologists, hydrologists, archaeologists, and infrastructure specialists. The report will inform a full recovery plan to address the immediate impacts of the fire as well as a long-term recovery program.

The report identified 27 risks, centred around:

  • impacts on cultural heritage such as rock art, archaeological sites, stone arrangements, heritage trees and huts
  • risks to public safety from damage to roads, walking tracks and dangerous trees
  • impacts on threatened ecological communities including our alpine bogs
  • threats to biodiversity from feral animals and invasive species
  • risks to biodiversity including aquatic species, large gliders, threatened flora and fauna, fire-sensitive communities and hollow-bearing trees
  • impacts on water quality from sediments and nutrients in water catchments
  • hillslope erosion
  • damage to park and rural landholder assets such as fencing and visitor infrastructure.

The findings will inform a full recovery plan to address the immediate impacts of the fire as well as a long-term recovery program.

The recovery program will look beyond the immediate fire impacted areas and consider broader ecosystem trends, and issues such as climate change and adaptation, continuing dry conditions and safeguarding Canberra’s water supply.

The Government will work with scientists and researchers, industry, community organisations and volunteers during the recovery process.

We will also work closely with Ngunnawal people and representative Aboriginal organisations to support them in the healing of Country and the conservation of cultural sites.

Canberrans can volunteer to be a part of the effort by registering on the ParkCare Hub.

The Government is working to ensure that Namadgi National Park, Bimberi Wilderness Area and parts of Tidbinbilla are made safe for public access before they reopen by fixing key infrastructure and removing dangerous trees.

The Rapid Risk Assessment Team report is available at environment.act.gov.au.

For the latest on reserve closures, visit bit.ly/parksreopening

All Canberra

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