After 6 days of aggressive firefighting the NSW Rural Fire Service (& other agencies) have the big fire on Mt Canobolas, just above Orange, under control. It’s been an amazing effort to restrict the burnt area to 1666 hectares but the whole mount has gone up. Modern firefighting capability means we didn’t lost up to 6000ha as were lost back in the 1980’s. The loss of ground-based wildlife on the mountain though will be immeasurable and could well take decades to replace. It appears, based on the firemap, that the Federal Falls peregrine site (west-south-west side of mount) could have been affected, although the eyrie is situated down a rock face, but just across from some tall trees, so it may have survived the flames.
The awesome efforts by those on the ground and in the air have meant an early return for Orange to clean air again. I’m sure Xavier and Diamond are enjoying the clearer hunting grounds once more.
See the link above for the full story and some amazing video footage of the DC-10 tanker taking retardent-bombing runs at the Mount last weekend. Approximately 60-70 firefighters stayed at CSU campus accommodation for the past week. Thanks to CSU Orange Head of Campus Heather Robinson, and Terri Duffy, for their generous efforts in ensuring the firefighters had a comfortable stay!
In respect of the peregrine eyrie at Mount Canobolas, it is simply rock, so is unlikely to be affected. However, the loss of birdlife will be severe and unlikely to be back to full populations for several years, even decades for some species, so there will probably be insufficient prey for one pair, let alone hungry chicks. I intend to be monitoring the situation.
Great that the fire is under control, but what a disaster for the wildlife 🙁
Scott, thank you for the update about the fire. Fires bring so much devastation, but thankfully it wasn’t worse.