Readers will remember our original report on the destructive ‘reduction burn’ in the Tarilta gorge, with a picture of a choked creek at the Limestone Track crossing. This section of the creek has now been cleared of debris, presumably by DSE, and the works give some idea of soil loss resulting from the burn operation.
The picture below shows the cleaned up crossing:
And here’s the same crossing two months ago:
Near the crossing, the soil and ash which has been removed from this small section of creek has been piled into a heap we estimate to be about a metre high, five metres wide and twenty five metres long. This is all stuff which has been washed off the steep slopes of the gorge, and it’s a pile which could be duplicated many times along the creek valley. The damage this soil loss represents to this section of bushland is hard to estimate, but maybe ‘catastrophe’ isn’t a bad word to use.
The works to clear the creek crossing are of course sensible, given that the debris blocking the bridge was a potential flood menace. The clearing of the creek also removes embarrassingly obvious evidence of the damage caused by by the fire. The evidence is still there if you look for it, however.
This crossing, about 25 years ago, was only a stone crossing and never gave a problem after many floods . DSE in their wisdom decided to construct the current ford which never copes with a flood and requires expensive clearing of the beaver dam with heavy machinery. We couldn’t believe it when about 5 years ago DSE added yet a higher barrier with the addition of armco railing which caused even greater blockages which at times were impassable and cleared at even more expense. This armco railing ending up being twisted and partially ripped off the concrete bridge and was then carted out on the back of a truck!!! The erosion caused required loads of imported rock to be trucked in. When we asked them to restore the crossing to its original pre-concrete state they said oh no we can’t do that, we have to have a working group go out to assess the situation and work out what needs to be done…….enough said!!!!!
Imagine if the money wasted on this ford was used to produce detailed investigations into the results of their CONTROLLED burns .