River Health: A snapshot of the effects of the 2003 bushfires
The bushfires in early 2003 burnt over 1 million hectares in north eastern Victoria. In the year after the fires, EPA monitored the river health at 60 sites in the fire affected areas, 47 of which had been sampled previously. Prior to the fires, 65% of sites in the area were in good condition. This figure fell to 40% in the year after the fires, while sites in poor condition rose from 16% to 30%. There was no direct correlation between fire severity and river health. Other factors including subsequent rainfall events (leading to sediment ‘slugs’ in some streams) and fire patchiness will also be important in determining impacts. EPA will continue monitoring 30 sites for the next 2 years.
Water Quality/Water Ecosystem Monitoring
Number of pages:
22 Jun 2004
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