We visited Marysville again over the weekend- the second time since the terrible fires nine months ago.
Nature is taking it’s course in slowly regenerating the forests. Trees are coppicing and the green shoots on trunks and branches are starting to hide the blackness from the fires. The Watts River was flowing quickly with a vibrant appearance after good spring rains, but It will obviously take many years for the surrounding forest to return to it’s lushness with tree ferns, and green rainforest valleys. The road to some local sites such as Steavenson Falls are still closed And many other roads still carry danger warnings of hazards such as falling trees.
The area of the town has now been fully cleared. All the debris and burnt out remains of houses have been removed. It is easy to understand why some of the townspeople are frustrated with the slow speed of rebuilding. Only one or two houses seem to have been reconstructed although there are signs on many properties that building may be about to begin. In the meantime, the whole town landscape resembles a newly cleared sub-division.
There is still very little business in the town and it must be very difficult for people who are without an income. Perhaps the one positive thing is that one of the only businesses to survive the fires was the bakery at the bottom of the main street. For people like us, as visitors, it is an easier way to contribute some money to the town than had it been, for example, an antiques store or book shop.
Go and have a look at Marysville. Buy lunch at the bakery, spend a few dollars at the antique lolly shop (operating out of a temporary construction site office building) and see just how devastating a major bushfires can really be. It’s a rather humbling experience.