Mallacoota, how could we forget it, particularly those residents and holidaying visitors subjected to the fire?
Then, there were fires of concern elsewhere in East Gippsland:
“On 1 January 2020 there were unconfirmed reports of property and infrastructure losses in several communities, including Mallacoota, Genoa, Reedy Flat, Buchan, Bruthen, Sarsfield, and Gelantipy. The Princes Highway east of Bairnsdale was closed in several places, isolating many communities.” Extract from “Black Summer Bushfires, Victoria” https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/resources/black-summer-bushfires-vic-2019-20/
Many remember the horror and loss from extreme bushfires burning across East Gippsland and adjoining parts of the North-East in 2019-20, with the Township of Mallacoota at ground zero.
And, what was the impact of the fires on native birds, animals and marine life?
Mass casualties near the mouth of the Betka River, Mallacoota, following the first flushing rain after the 2019-20 fires.
How many rare and endangered native fish are gasping their last in that video?
Why/how did these conflagrations happen?
Given the dryness and increase of bushfire fuel now being experienced in Eastern Victoria it’s reasonable to ask:
Is Mallacoota prepared for another major fire?
The Howitt Society will conduct a public meeting to discuss the issue of the long term protection of Mallacoota and generally across East Gippsland:
Date: Thursday 5 October 2023
Time: 2 PM – 4 PM
Venue: Mallacoota District Health and Support Service Meeting Room
Cnr Genoa-Mallacoota Road and Mattsson Street, Mallacoota
Associate Professor Kevin Tolhurst – School of Agriculture, Food and Ecosystem Sciences, Melbourne University – who is a renowned expert in the prediction of fire behaviour – particularly as related to fuel loads.
Chris Hardman – Executive Director Forest and Fire Operations and Chief Fire Officer for the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
John Mulligan, Gypsy Point identity, will provide some history of the original nature of the East Gippsland forests to help set the context for the meeting.
There will be an Open Forum after the speakers where community members have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers
This public meeting should be of interest to all East Gippslanders who felt threatened by the 2019-2020 fires.
Further information: Howitt Society Secretary Garry Squires 0417 588210