Not looking good for Asquith Bridge

 
  Kafoopsy Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth, WA
There are two large bushfires burning in WA at the present.  The biggest one is at Northcliffe and the whole town has been evacuated.  There are rumors that the fire is unlikely to be contained and may burn right out to the cost.  The other fire is near Boddington and according to a map I just saw, the location of the Asquith Bridge is inside the burnt area.  I visited this bridge a year or two ago and was planning to go again this March.  I hope it has survived as it is the largest remaining timber trestle rail bridge (that I know of).

Best of luck to all the firefighters out fighting these fires, and many thanks to those who have come from Victoria to fight the Northcliffe fire.

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  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

I will drop through when the Harvey-Quindanning Road is opened up again and have a look. Our bridge crew said that was the second one they closed to walkers when the fire started heading that way, but fingers crossed it may be all right.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Just a quick update - sadly the entire bridge is gone. The DEC guys on the ground were trying very hard to save it, as they have taken great pride in it with their restoration/rebuilding work lately, but it seems it is completely gone. They have noted that there are no abutments, or piers left standing.
  Kafoopsy Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth, WA
Oh dear, that is sad news.  Sad After seeing the map of the burnt area, I was fairly sure it would be gone, but there was always hope...  I was going to go and take a series of photos of it in March.  I photographed it in November 2012 and have been wanting to go back and get better ones.  Sad

A new bridge of some sort will need to be built to carry the Bibbulmun Track over the Murray River.

I'll have to use a bit of dodgy HDR to improve my photos of the bridge.

  Bushboy68 Beginner

The majestic lady under threat...
  Bushboy68 Beginner

The majestic lady has gone...
  garethsh Junior Train Controller

If ever there was a need for the opposite of a "LIKE" button. Words cannot describe the feeling of sadness to see such a beauty lost.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

The guys from DPAW did try to protect the bridge on Monday night, spending a number of hours pouring fire retardant over the whole structure, so there were big attempts made to save it. Unfortunately the fire on Tuesday had reported spread rates of close to 5,000m/hour, running to the west right through the bridge site.
  Kafoopsy Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth, WA
Oh, such sad photos!  I'm curious as to why the bridge has been burnt completely to ash while the trees around it have not been burnt severely enough to burn off the leaves. I'm guessing that it is the dry timber of the bridge.

Bushboy68, do you know what time those two photos were taken?
  Bushboy68 Beginner

Oh, such sad photos!  I'm curious as to why the bridge has been burnt completely to ash while the trees around it have not been burnt severely enough to burn off the leaves. I'm guessing that it is the dry timber of the bridge.

Bushboy68, do you know what time those two photos were taken?
Kafoopsy
The pics are from Tuesday 4th Feb ,the second pic of her gone id say is Tuesday 4th , the first pic of at the bridge about to burn  would be Monday 3rd around late arvo
i also wonder if the old Tumlo tank survived, thats only just down the road from Asquith
  Bushboy68 Beginner

Found a picture of the bridge being built back in 1949
  wagrttn Locomotive Driver

Oh, such sad photos!  I'm curious as to why the bridge has been burnt completely to ash while the trees around it have not been burnt severely enough to burn off the leaves. I'm guessing that it is the dry timber of the bridge.

Bushboy68, do you know what time those two photos were taken?
Kafoopsy
The bridge timbers were bone dry and rotten and in close proximity to Paperbark trees which burn fiercely. No ground crews would have been able to remain near the bridge to actively defend it as the fire passed through. The significance of the bridge was known to many people at the fire but saving it was a lost cause.

The state of the taller trees after the fire depends upon how intense the fire was in that location which is influenced by many factors. In some areas nearby the forest has been reduced to little more than burnt matchsticks.

That last ever photograph of the bridge was taken Tuesday evening.
  Radzaarty Junior Train Controller

To give an answer as to why the trees look untouched in that particular area is this fire was moving through the treetops, it was a fast and very hot fire moving at 5kph. Doesn't sound fast, but it is. The trunks of the trees are also in comparison very wet not igniting easily at all.
  Kafoopsy Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth, WA
Here are a few photos of the site as it is now.  The remaining metal parts of the bridge have been cleared away.  Something interesting was an old rail formation on the north bank running perpendicular to the bridge.  The zamia palms are resprouting amazingly quickly.  They are over a foot tall already.

I still hope they will rebuild it.  The main problem will be money, materials would not be hard to get.




  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
Devastating pics;lost an old friend really.always had so much respect for the pioneers to have built this massive timber bridge with local material. vale.

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