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Bushfire recovery timelapse

Learn more about NSW National Parks' response to the 2019-2020 bushfires.


Timelapse images show parks recovering after fire

Jump to timelapse

Timelapse camera images show the amazing resilience of our NSW national parks after the devastating 2019-2020 bushfires.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) placed timelapse cameras in several fire-affected national parks between March 2020 and May 2021. The solar-powered cameras captured images every 30mins during the day for up to 11 months, depending on the location. While some solar panels failed, or animals chewed through camera cables, 7 locations were successfully captured.

We have chosen 50 images for each site to create timelapse videos that tell the story of how different landscapes and vegetation have different recovery rates and methods.

Watch how many eucalypt tree species have adapted to bushfire by sprouting regrowth, often only days after fire. This is known as epicormic growth, where normally dormant buds on the tree trunk sprout to help the tree continue to function. In many areas, fast-growing ground covers colonise the undergrowth. Plants that grow from seed in the soil are slower to return.

Different parks, different recovery rates

Some parks, where fires had burnt earlier in the season, already showed promising signs of regrowth by the time NPWS staff were able to safely install the cameras. Other locations that aren't adapted to fire, like rainforest and alpine environments, are regenerating more slowly, and may take decades to fully recover.

Many Australian plants have evolved to cope with fire, recovering by resprouting or seed germination. Some plants are more sensitive to fire, especially when fires are too frequent or intense, or if drought continues for a long time. These species may need our help to recover, while others may be affected by weeds or feral animals. NPWS fire management and conservation activities are helping to increase the resilience of these vegetation communities through fire prevention, pest and weed removal. With the support of NPWS staff, volunteers and visitors, the future of our protected areas looks hopeful.

Click the map to preview timelapse images for the following locations:

  • Yuraygir National Park
  • Crowdy Bay National Park
  • Yengo National Park
  • Blue Mountains National Park- Blackheath area
  • Kosciuszko National Park - High Plains area
  • Kosciuszko National Park - Selwyn area
  • Ben Boyd National Park

You can click the ‘view timelapse’ button for more information and to use the interactive timelapse slider.

Tell us what you thought of the timelapse experience.

Click map points to view timelapse images