The 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfires burnt an unprecedented area of land in the Blue Mountains. Four major fires impacted at different times: Gospers Mountain Fire, Ruined Castle Fire, Green Wattle Fire and Erskine Ridge Fire.
Despite this, large areas of unburnt bush remain, painting a green corridor from west to east, right across the Great Western Highway corridor. Areas of high risk remain around all Blue Mountains villages.
Here is a map showing the burnt areas from the four fires, the large unburnt areas are clearly evident.
Note: These maps have been prepared with the Blue Mountains in mind. The full extent of these fires is much greater.
Ruined Castle Fire
The first fire to impact the Blue Mountains was the result of lightning strike on the well known Ruined Castle, which can be seen from the popular Echo Point lookout in Katoomba. The fire spread in all directions including north towards Katoomba and would eventually join up with fires burning from much further south.
Gospers Mountain Fire
The massive Gospers Mountain fire wreaked havoc in the far northern parts of the Blue Mountains for weeks before eventually spreading south to reach towns on the Bells Line of Road, Blackheath then threaten the rest of the Blue Mountains. This map shows only the southern part of the fire that impacted the Blue Mountains. The fireground extended much further north.
Here is a great article about this fire, including a unique timeline of the fire’s progression shown on a map.
Green Wattle Fire
Starting at the end of November and reaching as far south as the Southern Highlands, the Green Wattle Fire threatened the Blue Mountains on approach through Megalong Valley, and would later jump Lake Burragorang to form the Erskine Ridge fire. This map shows only the northern part of the fire that impacted the Blue Mountains. The fireground extended much further south and to the east.
Erskine Ridge Fire
After the Green Wattle fire jumped Lake Burragorang into the southern Blue Mountains the Erskine Ridge Fire was declared. It was a change of weather and a strong fire fighting effort that stopped the fire from impacting villages.
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Maps prepared by former Captain Peter Bennett.