Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

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Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby Lyrebird » Sun 08 Sep, 2019 3:15 pm

This was really sad news :cry:
These bushfires are really unprecedented. As a frequent visitor to Cunnungra and surrounds it's heartbreaking to see the damage and loss of homes in this area.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-08/ ... d/11489860
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby ofuros » Sun 08 Sep, 2019 4:31 pm

Whoa...very sad news.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby hikingoz » Sun 08 Sep, 2019 6:48 pm

It's very dry in that part of the world at the moment. Even in the rainforest.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby coimon » Sun 08 Sep, 2019 11:11 pm

I had planned to walk in Lamington on Saturday but obviously called it off due to the conditions. Instead I spent the time reading a book I picked up recently - 'One Mountain After Another' which tells the story of, among other things, the establishment of Binna Burra. It was surreal to this post on Sunday evening. Very sad :(
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby dalehikes » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 8:43 am

I walk in Lamington all year round. Most recently the trees were wilted like never before, the ground was crunchy like ive never seen. The surrounding country was brown and desolate. Now it is black and burnt :(

It all started last summer when we had no storms which didnt allow much new growth and breakdown in the forests, then a dry and warm winter gradually dried it all up.

Then there is Barney & Main Range NP.. its a dust bowl! Any fire out there would be catastrophic!
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby Aardvark » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 8:46 am

coimon wrote: 'One Mountain After Another' which tells the story of, among other things, the establishment of Binna Burra. :(


A good read. There's lots of gems of information about SEQ in that book.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby CBee » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 10:00 am

Then there is Barney & Main Range NP.. its a dust bowl!

Yes, southern Main Range was very, very dry. Including the rain forest between Superbus and Roberts, despite an overnight thunderstorm.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby dannnnn » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 8:22 pm

sad to hear about the lodge, but what about the rainforest?? was it just an isolated fire, or is there wide-scale damage to lamington national park? if they got their act together they could rebuild the lodge in a year or two.... the forest would take much longer to replace, if at all it even could.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby leave no grapes » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 8:23 pm

There is still Springbrook and O'Reilleys for the tourists, so I hope the government does what it can to ensure Binna Burra returns to the wild. Unfortunately I see that the chairman is reassuring shareholders that they will rebuild as soon as possible.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby izzeho » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 9:39 pm

dannnnn wrote:sad to hear about the lodge, but what about the rainforest?? was it just an isolated fire, or is there wide-scale damage to lamington national park? if they got their act together they could rebuild the lodge in a year or two.... the forest would take much longer to replace, if at all it even could.


100+ years is usually the quoted numbers for canopy recovery.

There's an updated article from ABC here:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-09/ ... n/11491364

As far as I'm aware it's still isolated to pockets, western Lamington got more rainfall through winter than the surrounding valleys and Binna Burra. Hopefully Shane O'Reilly's confidence isn't misguided.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby Lyrebird » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 9:43 pm

I walk in Lamington all year round. Most recently the trees were wilted like never before, the ground was crunchy like I've never seen. The surrounding country was brown and desolate. Now it is black and burnt...

Same. I walked up Springbrook from the Numinbah Valley last week and was amazed by how dry it was. It didn't feel like Springbrook at all. There were a few patches of ferns hanging in in the dry creek beds, but that was it. That was about two days before the bushfire alerts went out :( .
sad to hear about the lodge, but what about the rainforest?? was it just an isolated fire, or is there wide-scale damage to lamington national park?

From what I can tell the fire came along the ridge the road follows from Beechmont, taking out houses and the lodge. They believe the teahouse area is intact at this stage, and the ABC footage supports that. It looks like the rainforest that begins at the Border Track trail head has not burned, but the sclerophyll forest leading up to it has taken a big whack. Of course that's in no way an expert opinion, only what I've been able to figure out so far. The lodge itself was down the mountain a bit. I'd guess that the area around the Lower Bellbird Circuit and Poondhara has some damage.
Following tonight's news it seems the same has happened at O'Reilly; the road has been cut at the lower point where the plateau meets the Sarabah range, but the rainforest at the top appears intact at this stage.Happy to be proven wrong, particuarly if it's with good news. :shock:
Last edited by Lyrebird on Mon 09 Sep, 2019 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby coimon » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 9:46 pm

Aardvark wrote:
coimon wrote: 'One Mountain After Another' which tells the story of, among other things, the establishment of Binna Burra. :(


A good read. There's lots of gems of information about SEQ in that book.


Indeed. I have found it very interesting, really valuable context for current times and deeply interesting from a purely historical perspective besides.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby coimon » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 9:49 pm

Lyrebird wrote:From what I can tell the fire came along the ridge the road follows from Beechmont, taking out houses and the lodge. They believe the teahouse area is intact at this stage, and the ABC footage supports that. It looks like the rainforest that begins at the Border Track trail head has not burned, but the sclerophyll forest leading up to it has taken a big whack. Of course that's in no way an expert opinion, only what I've been able to figure out so far. The lodge itself was down the mountain a bit. I'd guess that the area around the Lower Bellbird Circuit and Poondhara has some damage.


This article is about as 'factual' as I have found as to the damage - not extensive, but worrying, seems to be the summary. One of these things where time will tell once we can walk there again, I suppose.
Last edited by coimon on Mon 09 Sep, 2019 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby Lyrebird » Mon 09 Sep, 2019 9:58 pm

Thanks for the link; interesting article. I guess we'll find out more in the coming weeks; as far as I know no-one has gotten in yet except by chopper to repair the Rural Fire Service communications tower.
P.S. this update from QFES an hour ago sounds like it's getting very close to O'Reilly.
Residents on Lamington National Park Road, between Sarabah Road and Kamarun Lookout Road, are advised to evacuate north to Moriarty Park, Canungra.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby tastrax » Tue 10 Sep, 2019 10:27 am

Is there a public site anywhere with the fire boundaries in QLD? I am struggling to find one.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby coimon » Tue 10 Sep, 2019 2:59 pm

Not that I've seen. QFES and the RFS have maps with fire locations (starting points at least) indicated by markers, but nothing showing the extent of each fire. QFES updates on Facebook etc often provide roads that surround a threatened / affected area, but that's about it.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby ofuros » Wed 11 Sep, 2019 7:48 am

No extent of the fires are shown on the maps yet...I'd like to see the scorched area too.

Screenshot_2019-09-11_073725.jpg


Screenshot_2019-09-11_072635.jpg
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby tastrax » Wed 11 Sep, 2019 9:35 am

Thanks folks - just spoilt in Tasmania where we get boundaries and the ability to download them!
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby Kuhr » Fri 15 Nov, 2019 9:07 pm

Three days ago I saw this article on the ABC which talked about the possibility the ADF (Australian Defense Force - our Army) conducted live firing on their land near Canungra at Kokoda Barracks just before the fire that burnt down Binna Burra.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-12/ ... f/11694280

More disturbing was the report of some of the locals that ADF had asked a facebook page where locals reported hearing the live firing just before the fires to remove all references to it.

As if this was not disturbing enough though, less than day later this article appears on the ABC where the Queensland Police state they had questioned a 17 and 19 year old who threw a cigarette butt on out their car window in the area, and that the fire was accidentally lit.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-13/ ... s/11699474

At face level this appears to be the police attempting to clear up the true cause of the fire, however for me there are several red flags in these articles.

The first is simply the timing. This statement has issued less than one day after the article suggesting the ADF were involved. The Binna Burra fire occurred quite some time ago, yet the police did not come forward at any point before then, but they do just now, right after the ADF were implicated?

The second is that the ADF apparently tried to remove references to the possibility of their being involved from social media.

The third is in the second article. The Queensland Police mention that the 17 and 19 year old will not be charged and deserve the right to their privacy. I do not agree with the first (I do agree with the second). There are currently several other people being charged for starting other fires reported in the media within the last few days, whether accidental through rubbish burning (I saw an article on this), or boiling their billy tea on an open fire (another article I saw), or for deliberately lighting fires. Yet these two are let off with no charges whatsoever. At the least in my mind, they should be fined (since it was an accident) or at the least be required to perform some sort of community service, perhaps assist with the cleanup of Binna Burra, or restoring some of the National Park tracks up there.

The fourth is the stated cause of the fires - many people consider teenagers to be irresponsible, and many also dislike seeing or hearing of smokers throwing cigarette butts out the window, combined the two factors hardly make for sympathetic figures for the public, and certainly do make for easy scapegoats that most are likely to feel resentful towards. I have unfortunately heard the rabid social media sphere has been filled with comments including 'string them up'.

A cynical mind might come to the conclusion that they are not being charged so that their names do not appear on official documentation, they do not appear in court and thus cannot be reached by journalists, and so no one can discover who they are to talk to them.

A more cynical mind than this might come to the conclusion that they in fact do not exist, and this is rather convenient for the ADF.

In the last 24 hours I have heard the ABC radio talk repeatedly about the dangers of smokers discarding cigarette butts out the window, and also generally having a go at smokers in general. Do not get me wrong, I do not smoke (I have in the past) and I have little sympathy for smokers doing the wrong thing, but then neither does anyone else in the public. It seems to me this issue is rather taking up all the oxygen in some segments of the media and social media.

I would like for the investigations into the ADF live firing exercises during the high fire danger, and subsequent burning of the areas surrounding Canungra, and the Binna Burra lodge to be more thoroughly investigated. If there actually are teenagers who did this ridiculously stupid thing, then by all means maintain their privacy if possible - but some recompense should be made - a fine, and/or community service, tailored to the offense - such as assisting in cleaning up the damage. The Binna Burra lodge is a heritage building that has stood for many decades, and is beloved by many, it and the old growth forest deserve better than this.

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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby Kuhr » Sat 16 Nov, 2019 8:09 am

Hello all

I just want to correct myself on my previous post. I did not notice that in fact the ADF live firing article was referring to the recent Gold Coast Hinterland fires started just this last weekend, not the Binna Burra fires.

The two events (and fires) appear to be in fact separate, so the ADF live firing exercises do not relate to the Binna Burra fire, and I want to be sure that everyone understands this, I was mistaken.

However many of the same points I made regarding the two teenagers implicated in the Binna Burra fires remain - why are authorities taking a softly, softly approach to charging or fining these individuals, when they have taken a heavy stick to other individuals who have been violating the fire ban? Especially with the scale of the damage done, particularly the Binna Burra Lodge.
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Re: Binna Burra lodge destroyed by bushfire

Postby Lyrebird » Sun 17 Nov, 2019 7:14 pm

why are authorities taking a softly, softly approach to charging or fining these individuals

I think the legislation fails them. The Queensland Criminal Code specifies offences wrt fires. S461 - Arson and s432 - Endangering particular property by fire, require that to commit an offence a person must 'willfully and unlawfully set[s] fire to any of the following things'. The following wilful damage offence sets the same standard. There is no reference to reckless actions, such as dropping cigarette butts; there must be a wilful and unlawful setting of a fire, which would be satisfied by violating a fire ban by unauthorised hazard reduction burning, even if it were done with best of intention.
Of course maybe there should be a reckless provision (I certainly think so), but my understanding is that that's the law as it stands.
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