Fires floods 2019-2020
Bushfire mitigation at Rocklily has been an ongoing project for many years, with removal of regrowth and leaf litter, building improvements to bushfire standards and even a fixed sprinkler system and hoses on the main house, pens and sheds.
Fires is arriving smoke fills our valley Warwick gives another mow around the wollomi pine as the ute has the fire trailer behind ready for the out of control blackburn coming along langs rd on NW face to hit first.
Our bushfire action plan was enacted in late December 2019 before we were hit with two fire-fronts at the same time. All animal enclosures and sheds were prepared with sprinklers and hoses providing added protection for the released and wild as well. The mowing, mulching, raking and chipping paid off, saving a wider area of refuge. 19 kangaroos, plus wallaroos, wallabies, wombats and possums were seen on the island of unburnt ground around our homestead complex. Release sites at Nick’s and Kirt & Marie’s properties were thankfully just outside the fire zone, so the 11 wombats released there still have plenty of unburnt bushland to roam in. Nick and Kurt started putting out sweet patato straight after the fire to help pull wallabys from the fire area.
Another release site at Denis and Dave’s place had also been overrun with fire, they grabbed Wally before it hit and he stayed in their bathroom until it passed. Jeffery-white-claw appeared weeks later very under nourished, so they could keep him fed until the grass came back.
Days after the fire nice to see the 2 surviving king parrots come for a drink
After the fires went through we saw more wildlife appear, days and weeks later. Only 1 kangaroo and 2 wallabies appeared with slightly burnt feet, sadly leading us to assume so many more had been completely incinerated. Drought feeding was continued as in our house had good stocks of hay, sweet potato, wombat and kangaroo pellets along with birdseed. This was fortunate as the only road access was blocked for 8 days with fallen and burning timber.
The Drought was broken February 14th 2020, with flooding rains of course; 1m of rain fell over 10 days, flooding burrows and further stressing already vulnerable kangaroos. More wildlife has been lost as a result, around 1/3 of what was left through stress and flooding burrows well under the high flood levels.
Rocklily continues to do what we can to protect the local wildlife and the special ones in care. It is only through the generous help of Portia, Elle, our on-line supporters and volunteers that we can.
All the work done by volunteers and our dedicated team before and after the fires has been invaluable and is appreciated beyond measure. Special thanks also goes to the National Parks & wildlife service and Rural Fire service, who both helped with containment lines and road clearing. Stay safe and well, Warwick & Dianna at Rocklily