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Byfield parks and forests bounce back after Marcia

18 February 2016

Smashed by TC Marcia - a toilet block at Byfield's Upper Stony in February 2015. Photo: Qld Govt.

Smashed by TC Marcia - a toilet block at Byfield's Upper Stony in February 2015. Photo: Qld Govt.

One year after the devastation of Cyclone Marcia, visitors to the national park and State forest areas north of Yeppoon are enjoying the area’s many natural attractions while marvelling at the signs of nature’s fury.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Principal Ranger, Capricornia, Peter Moore said the category 5 cyclone that hit on 20 February 2015 had affected about 100 parks and State forests in central Queensland, as it mowed down swathes of mature forest like matchsticks and washed out creek crossings.

“The Byfield area bore the brunt of Marcia, and you can still see huge trees snapped off like twigs,” Mr Moore said.

“Many of our recreational facilities and roads in Byfield National Park and Byfield State Forest were severely damaged. Five picnic areas and all six Byfield camping areas were smashed, while access roads and tracks were clogged with fallen trees.

“Rangers came from across Queensland to help us clean up.

“Within days we had major sites open again, and I’m proud to say all our recreational sites were open just six weeks later, ready for the Easter influx. Yes, we did have some portable toilets in use and most sites had lost their shade.

“The area’s beautiful forests, creeks and beaches are so important to the economy of Byfield and Yeppoon, and it was vital to get our sites open quickly.

“With all the fallen trees and extra fuel loads, the fire threat to local communities was a major concern, and we were also concerned about the rainforests being opened up, drier and ready to burn.

“QPWS rangers worked with local volunteer rural fire brigades and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to open access to strategic firelines and tracks.

“Strategic planned burns were done to protect neighbours and the damaged rainforest before the start of the fire season later in the year.

“Fortunately we came through the latest fire season well.

“Thanks to everyone who contributed to the recovery operations and who helped us repair and rebuild.

“We’re now looking forward to the next 12 months when we hopefully can take a breath, and personally thank the staff and community and recognise what has been achieved in the recovery.

“There is still more to do, and keeping our planned burn program up to date will be one of the priorities to provide protection for our neighbours and the recovering rainforest,” Mr Moore said.

More information: Byfield parks and State forest

Last updated
18 February 2016