Forestry roadworks continue

A washout during last year’s heavy post-fire storms took out $1.3 million worth of work which Forestry Corp had been undertaking on Yellowin Road on the western side of Blowering Dam. Engineers are still on site, with the reconstruction of that area “close to finishing”

Forestry Corp Regional Manager Dean Anderson said Yellowin Road has been one of the most challenging, with the area needing an extensive redesign of the piping and waterways.

“I was out there last week and we’ve got issues that we’re just going to have to monitor closely because the slopes haven’t stabilised,” he said.

The corporation has been busy with roadworks alongside their burnt timber salvage operations, maintaining and mending more than 1000km of roads since the fires; “basically Batlow to Adelaide,” according to Mr Anderson.

“As well as those roads there’s roads outside the area we harvest that we’ve tried to fix and Blowering’s probably been the hardest one, because of how steep it is and how hot it burnt over there,” he said.

“With the ground being so bare and then we had those heavy storms, the water rushed through at a phenomenal rate and blew a lot of the roads out.”

Currently, the biggest threat to motorists is the potential of falling trees.

“The pine trees have now started to fall, the ones that have been burnt but not harvested,” said Mr Anderson.

“It could just be the top coming out or the whole tree coming down. People just really need to be careful in burnt forests.”

Forestry Corp will clear all the burnt timber in time, but extensive portions of the area which was hit by the Dunns Road fire will have to be destroyed, since the timber is either too young or too difficult to reach in time to harvest.

“All the pine trees will be brought down eventually, so we can replant,” said Mr Anderson.

Since the 2019/20 fires, Forestry Corp has spent more than $8 million on road and infrastructure repairs, with remedial roadworks continuing.