Working with WIRES

On 8th May 2020 the WIRES-funded Little Ripper drone obtained two videos and 27 still images from a position on Little Sugarloaf Road halfway between the eastern and western boundaries of our mapped research polygon.

The coordinates were approximately 149deg55minsE and 36deg02minsS; or UTM 55 H approximately 764226metresE and 6007520metresS.

These images demonstrate the state of the forest at relatively close scale after it had experienced approximately four months of post-fire recovery. Clear views were obtained above the canopy and at lower level where soil, ash, regenerating understory such as cycads, burnt logs and the trunks of standing trees were visible. No water was visible.

The variable impact of the fire was apparent. Some patches, both in a gully and on the side of a slope, appeared to have no damage to canopy and possibly elsewhere, while adjacent to these there was a patch where the fire had obviously burnt fiercely at all levels.

One central patch (about half of the close-scale view) was thinly vegetated, prompting speculation about whether this was a pre-existing condition or a fire impact.

The road at the drone-launch site appeared to have diminished the impact of the fire in sections on one side. Strong epicormic reshooting had already occurred on this date, amongst smooth-barked trees (eg identifiable Spotted Gum and one or two others of unclear species) and those with blackened trunks (probably Stringybarks). Closer analysis, perhaps through the leaf images or a field visit, will be required to conclusively identify the tree species.

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