Bushfires are a constant summer threat in the Blue Mountains, and Mount Wilson has experienced a number of these in the past 50 years.
In November 2019 a fire began burning out of control at Gospers Mountain in the Wollemi National Park, some 60 km north of Mount Wilson. By mid-December it and additional fires threatened and burnt out some 520,000 hectares in the Blue Mountains and in areas to the north and west of Sydney. In an attempt to protect the Blue Mountains from the Gospers Mountain bushfire, Rural Fire Service firefighters commenced a large backburn on 14 December in the Mount Wilson and Mount Irvine areas. Due to heavy fuel loads and erratic weather conditions, the backburn quickly grew out of control, threatening houses in Mount Wilson and Mount Irvine, several of which were burnt down.
Fire-fighting helicopters filled their water buckets from Breenhold’s main dam. Road tankers also sourced water pumped from Breenhold’s dam, as they have done in past firefighting operations. Breenhold survived. The main garden areas were not impacted. The greatest fire impact was on the western sector of Breenhold, adjacent to the Blue Mountains National Park, where the fire swept across the Fire Trail and up Breenhold’s slopes to the Sub Alpine Way and Terrace Drive. Due to wind-borne embers, the fire jumped The Avenue and irreparably burnt a 60 years old stand of Japanese Cedars in the Dam Paddock. In total 12 hectares of native bushland were burnt on Breenhold. Much of this is beginning to naturally recover.
Click here to view our videos from the 2019 bushfires.