The Alpine Way between Thredbo and Khancoban is open but drivers are cautioned to check Live Traffic NSW. The smartphone app is showing this as red but with no explanation – slow traffic? No such markers on the desktop version.
The Snowy Valley Highway itself is open but “visitors must stay within the road corridor and be aware of hazards such as damaged buildings and burnt trees.”
My take on key ongoing closures are:
All areas north of the Snowy Valley Highway including Tantangara Road. ie Tantangara Dam and the Murrumbidgee headwaters.
Cabramurra township and the Khancoban-Cabramurra Road.
MAS has passed to us news of a press release from the Invasive Species Council giving limited to support to the NSW Govt moves in respect to brumbies post the fires.
There seems to be some movement in the government accepting that numbers need to be reduced. Of concern is that the fires have not impacted on the population numbers and the horses are concentrating in the unburnt areas or moving back to burnt areas as they regenerate but vulnerable to damage.
Recently MAS contributed towards a helicopter flight to take ecologists into Kosciuszko National Park. The results are worrying. CAA has received from MAS an email from Andrew Cox of the Invasive Species Council that provides access to the results:
Here is the widely circulated tweet of bushfire damage from Kate Washington, NSW Labor MP, who went up in a helicopter. Looks devastating. This tweet generated a story in the Daily Mail in the UK!
Also spotted from the air were locations of unburnt areas with horses that are some of the last stronghold of critically endangered species like the corroboree frog and the stocky galaxias fish.
Straight after the flight we also produced video of Prof Jamie Pittock with video of horses from the air here. This was picked up in the Guardian as a video story and then led to interviews on ABC Radio 702 early last week (Mon 3 Feb), on ABC radio national am or pm (need to track that down), then on ABC JJJ Hack here (in the first 14 mins) this Monday 10 Feb. There were some other news interviews Jamie did (2SM. ABC NSW news). He also produce a piece in the Conversation: Fire almost wiped out rare species in the Australian Alps. Feral horses are finishing the job published 27 Jan 2020 which further pushed out the story. We are also taking to The Australian about a new story.
Well it has been a challenging period. The smoke around Canberra reminded us of the
disaster that has been around us in NSW (and now on our doorstep). My family has been personally impacted with
members living at the coast being threatened with destruction of their houses
or worse. We’ve hosted 7 evacuees in our
house – having them here has been quite entertaining but with the concern about
those staying back uppermost in our minds.
The Fires Near Me app was in constant use – currently showing that our
old haunt at Brogo perhaps having a near escape.
In amongst this, Charlie ran into an old friend of the
club – Randy. He had moved down from
Canberra to Malua Bay some years ago (2013?).
Tragically, Randy lost his house and many of his possessions in the New
Year’s Eve firestorm. I have conveyed to
Randy the sympathy of CAA. Our thoughts go out to him and Lindsay.
Many members will remember Randy for his knife sharpening stall operating at Moruya Markets. Randy was the contact who got CAA access to the CSIRO Ski Club lodge at East Jindabyne for which we continue to be grateful.
I hadn’t thought we’d publish a February edition, but the ever reliable Jason M has filled my in-box with material about the previous trip to Brogo and ‘postcards’ from his fishing/kayaking/camping expedition in Tasmania – I’ve saved a couple for our next edition. Thanks also to Claude for some images of his latest flytying creations – his ‘secret flies’ for our forthcoming NZ trip remain under wraps. I’ve also popped in some information about the sculpture that long time member Charlie assisted with.
One final snippet that I just learnt of yesterday. President of MAS and local angling guru Steve Samuels has been reappointed to the Recreational Fishing NSW Advisory Council – giving a voice to recreational anglers directly to the Minister. Congratulations Steve.
The planned program for the South Coast has been deferred, unsurprisingly, due to the bushfire disaster. If you have interest in the hand in of flares or inflatable life jacket tests keep an eye out on their website. I’ll try to stay on top of it.
Firstly, boaters can safely dispose of their out of date distress flares at locations along the New South Wales Coast. Locations may be viewed at the NSW Maritime website via this link.
They are also conducting inflatable lifejacket self – service clinics at locations along the New South Wales Coast.
Join these clinics to be guided through manufacturer’s self-servicing requirements to ensure that yours is compliant and works when you need it most.
Locations may be viewed at the NSW Maritime website via this link.