New life in the Sampson Flat ashes

The devastating Sampson Flat fires in January 2015 left a swathe of blackened landscapes and fallen trees across the Adelaide Hills. The last of the flames were extinguished by heavy rainfall brought by a series of low pressure troughs linked to cyclones in the north of Australia. These rains have triggered the recovery process already, with a sheen of green across the blackened ground.

A green tinge is taking over from the black, as the first grassy weeds emerge

A green tinge is taking over from the black, as the first grassy weeds emerge


At first glance the blackened trunks and browned-off leaves are a gut-wrenching sight, with so little left of the habitat for local wildlife. Then, on closer inspection, the miracle of recovery has already started. The epicormic buds of the eucalypts have sprung into life, emerging in tiny clusters from the base of trees or up along the trunks. Tiny acacia seedlings are just emerging from the soil.
Vigorous epicormic shoots emerging from the blackened bark of a eucalypt

Vigorous epicormic shoots emerging from the blackened bark of a eucalypt


Nature has started the healing process, but it will take a long time before the tree canopy is restored and the shrub cover is dense enough to provide shelter for birds and small animals. The emerging growth will provide a symbol of re-birth, hope and recovery for the whole hills community.
blooming lilies are a symbol of survival and regrowth on the fire ground

blooming lilies are a symbol of survival and regrowth on the fire ground

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About redgumgirl

Dr Anne Jensen is an environmental consultant with a passionate interest in sustainable management of our natural resources, particularly the River Murray and wetland environments. She is particularly interested in using photographs and stories to explain issues around water and protecting natural ecosystems in terms that are understood by the wider community, so that we can manage our environment sustainably for our common future.
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