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Jenolan Caves Road – After the fires
February 1, 2020

During the last few months of 2019 and most of January 2020 much of Australia was on fire. The fire nearest to my place in Oberon was the Green Wattle Creek fire which consumed much of Kanangra-Boyd National Park and threatened the infrastructure and tourist facilities at Jenolan Caves. The Green Wattle Creek fire eventually burnt out in excess of 260,000 hectares.

The road to Jenolan Caves was reopened on February 1, 2020, once the fire was completely contained. (Access was only allowed from the Oberon direction. The normal tourist road into Jenolan remained closed until it could be rendered safe.)

I drove into Jenolan on the day that the road was opened, but first a couple of photos showing some of the burnt trees.

The hills immediately behind the Jenolan Caves tourist village.

Looking out across Kanangra-Boyd National Park. The burnt area goes well beyond the hills in the far background.

This is the drive down to Jenolan Caves from the intersection with Kanangra Walls Road. I make no apology for the quality of the video. It was officially the hottest February 1 in Oberon since records have been recorded and the camera was up near the top of the windscreen in full sunlight. I completely destroyed an SD card once by videoing on a very hot day, but I've done a test and there seems to be no permanent damage to either the SD card or the camera. Electronic things do not like heat (the manual for the camera tells me not to use it in temperatures exceeding 55°C, and while I have no intention of ever going outside in anything like that it is probably quite possible for the camera to get this hot inside the greenhouse of a car on a hot day).

For comparison (and showing that weather can be a bit variable around here), here is the same stretch of road on September 17, 2019. (The same camera was used.)

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