Aerial survey reveals extent of Eastern Victorian bushfire damage

An aerial survey of the impacts of this season's bushfires in Eastern Victoria has revealed extensive and severe damage over much of the area, but also areas of biodiversity that have survived and will be the focus of the Victorian Government's restoration program.

Dr Mark Norman, Chief Conservationist with Parks Victoria, said that it is only in the past week that it has been possible to access the burnt area, and in a reconnaissance flight 18 sites of key importance for threatened species and habitats were identified. Dr Norman said the flights revealed large areas of high-impact burning, while in other areas there are large patches of green and these will be the focus of attention.

James Todd, Executive Director, Biodiversity with DELWP said that in collaboration with other agencies and scientific experts, a plan had been developed identifying shorter-term and longer-term actions to recover biodiversity in Victoria. The Victorian Government has allocated $17.5 million for emergency actions over the next six months to support recovery.

Dr Norman said the scale and the impacts on the forested regions of eastern Victoria are unprecedented.

“We are moving into new times and new circumstances because of climate change and its impact. So this is not a normal bushfire, it is beyond that.

Video footage of the first aerial survey of Eastern Victoria following the fires is available here.

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