The brilliant green in the photo below is Funaria hygrometrica, a moss which flourishes in fire ash. If you look closely you can see it’s growing in the ashes of a fallen tree. Harder to see, but still there, are dozens of small mushrooms, as well as a patch of fire fungus, Pyronema omphalodes ,also confined only to this ash rich line. That brilliant green patch is an intriguing sign of nature’s complex response to fire, still not properly understood.
The rest of the scene is pretty desolate: it’s the margins of the Fryers Ridge Road, scene of a DELWP management burn last year [Cypress Drive, fire number CAS 066]. The severity of the burn on the steep slope below the ridge has scorched almost all trees to the crown, and most now look in crisis, with epicormic growth on nearly all of them. The slope is practically bare of ground cover.
Not all of the burn area is as bad as this: but enough of it is so severely burned that we have to ask the question, again: if it’s not the Department’s intention to destroy big trees, why does it inevitably do so?