Storm recovery progressing in the Dandenongs

Monday 9 May, 2022

Work continues on restoring access to storm damaged parts of Dandenong Ranges National Park, with fuel break clearing now finalised at Singleton Reserve, Sherbrooke Falls walking track and several open space garden areas.  

Major storm recovery works have also seen the popular 13km Silvan mountain bike trails cleared and re-opened. 

Access is also restored at Sherbrooke Falls though please be aware some sections of track remain closed as work continues in the area. Additional works planned will see track surfaces upgraded and damaged signage replaced. 

The Dandenongs were among the hardest hit regions in last year’s storms with more than 250 hectares of the park severely affected. 

Restoring access to park sites 

Crews are working hard to re-open sites in the park as soon as it’s safe to do so.  

Due to the significant amount of fallen trees and debris that came down during the storms, several key fire access tracks and fuel breaks that extend for many kilometres have had to be cleared, reducing fuel loads and enabling safe and rapid response for emergency management vehicles.  

As well as this critical work to reduce bushfire risk, on-going works involve removing large fallen and hazardous trees, branches and excess debris to make-safe visitor sites, picnic areas, reserves and walking trails. Where appropriate, fallen trees and debris important for protecting biodiversity values are left in place. 

Significant progress is being made with several other recovery operations underway at multiple sites in the Dandenongs, including William Ricketts car park and bush reserve and the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden. Other works will see tracks cleared at Kalorama, Olinda (Mechanics Track, Olinda Falls) and Mt Dandenong Arboretum, while Parks Victoria is finalising plans for the reconstruction phase of the storm damaged Kokoda Track Memorial Walk (1000 Steps). 

Storm recovery debris management - Mt Dandenong Arboretum - Dandenongs - May 2022
Debris removal – Mt Dandenong Arboretum 

“The recovery task has been a complex, labour-intensive process due to the scale of storm damage across the Dandenongs and Yarra Valley,” said Area Chief Ranger Matthew Hoogland. 

“We are pleased to say work is underway at multiple sites with many tracks, reserves and fire breaks being cleared of hazardous and fallen trees, which ultimately reduces bushfire risk and also means more visitor sites important to the community can re-open once deemed safe.” 

Multiple works are being carried out in conjunction with DELWP, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Bushfire Recovery Victoria, local councils and VicForests.  

In instances where logs and debris are to be removed, Parks Victoria will assess whether the material can be used elsewhere in the park or salvaged for milling and other wood products such as bollards, tree stakes or for fish habitat.   

Due to the scale of the recovery task, large machinery and trucks are needed to undertake this important work. For your safety, please observe signage and do not enter work sites.  

Please check for any updated changes affecting the park you intend to visit by going directly to the individual park page on the Parks Victoria website. You can also visit the Safety in Nature page or contact the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963.   

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