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Parks Victoria collaborates to protect historic huts from bushfires

Parks Victoria rangers, Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) firefighters and the Victorian High Country Huts Association (VHCHA) have recently been challenged with protecting hundreds of historic huts from the current bushfires given their scattered locations among the forested areas of Victoria’s alpine region.

The historic huts were built by a wide variety of groups including graziers, prospectors, the Forests Commission, Country Roads Board, utility providers, and recreational users such as ski and hiking groups.

They were built to provide shelter and refuge in remote areas with whatever bush materials were at hand or could be carried in, such as corrugated iron.

Over the last twenty years, concerted efforts to restore these huts has been made thanks to the VHCHA and the incredible volunteers.

For extra protection, the Howitt, Gantner, Cope, and JB Plain huts were covered in a unique Kevlar and foil wrap called Firezat. A special tape material is used to join the foil wrap sheets together. The foil helps prevent embers from sneaking in through the cracks and setting fire to the huts.

Parks Victoria are thankful that the wrapped huts have survived the current fires and have announced the huts will remain wrapped until the threat of fire is over and the park has fully reopened.

The Alpine National Park is still partially closed with some areas reopened to the public.

Image of Firezat wrapped huts courtesy of Parks Victoria

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