On January 3, NSW NPWS issued a leave alert for Kosciuszko National Park. Resorts, campgrounds and homes were evacuated and the fires, as predicted, spread into the park.
Fast forward one week, the park is still closed and the NSW Rural Fire Service are still working tirelessly to save as much of the park and surrounding towns as possible. We thank them and recognise them for their efforts.
11 Kosciuszko Huts Lost to the Fires
Kosciuszko National Park is home to a huge variety of native flora and fauna, but many people might not realise that it’s also home to a great number of historic high country huts. Before the fires began blazing through the park, there were over 100 huts littered throughout the landscape; built by stockmen, fishermen, prospectors and the Snowy Mountains Authority in the ’60s.
Sadly, at the time of writing, 11 of these historic huts have been lost to the fires. According to NPWS, the list of lost huts currently includes: Delaney, Sawyers Rest House, Happy, Brook, Wolgals, Kiandra Court House, Patterson’s, Mathews, Round Mountain, Bradley and O’Brien’s and 4 Mile.
The first time I came across one of the Kosciuszko Huts was during a 3 day bikepacking trip in the Jagungal Wilderness. During that weekend I visited two of the huts listed as lost. Round Mountain and Happys Hut. I’d always hoped to revisit these huts, alongside many of the other backcountry huts, as they hold a certain charm, beauty and history that isn’t easily found.
What’s happening now?
The fires that have been burning through Kosciuszko National Park are continuing to blaze, with several still labelled ‘out of control’ on the NSW RFS website. The RFS and NPWS are working to protect the heritage and history of the high country huts, where possible and have taken several measures to protect the huts from fire damage. Protective measures include bulldozing fire breaks around the huts and, in some cases, wrapping the huts in protective foil.
Photo from Kosciuszko Huts Association Facebook Page
What can you do to help?
The first thing that we can do to help the efforts of all those involved in protecting our beautiful country is to keep up to date with all park closures and avoid areas that are closed or at risk. This will help the RFS and NPWS focus their attention where it is needed.
Here are some great practical ways to help bushfire victims.
Or you can support the Kosciuszko Huts Association directly.