The Tyuretye/West MacDonnell National Park was extensively burnt in the last couple of months.
Lightning strikes and a record dry, hot spell made for an incendiary combination. Much of the Larapinta Trail has been damaged. The beauty of place still remains, though.
Working bees over the next few weeks will work on clearing fallen debris and replacing burnt out signage. Luckily most of the debris is small trees, like mulga and other acacias, which were easy to lift off the trail.
There is much beauty, still, to appreciate, despite the destruction.
The fires seem to be patchy with many areas spared. The gullies, in particular, seem to have taken the brunt of the fires.
In the photo below, we are having lunch at Ghost Gum Flat, along section 6 of the Larapinta Trail.
We were sitting beneath a magnificent Fork-leafed Corkwood (Hakea divaricata, in latin and untyeye in Western Arrernte).
The fire has partly burnt some of the adjacent ghost gums (Corymbia aparrerinja, in latin and Ilwempe in Arrernte) but spared the corkwood, leaving a nice shady spot to relax under.
It was sad to see grand old trees – entire ecosystems – burnt and fallen and cliffs and hill-sides blackened and singed, but over millenia they must’ve burnt multiple times (maybe less intensely before buffel). They will survive and re-generate.