The Gospers Mountain Fire was the largest wildfire on record in New South Wales. All of the swamps on the Newnes Plateau were burnt, with some areas experiencing fire of very high severity. Despite this severity, the vegetation in all unmined reference swamps recovered relatively quickly, with substantial vegetation cover and biomass returning within 10 weeks. These swamps retained most of their peat and plant species, and both their surveyed endangered fauna species (Blue Mountains Water Skink Eulamprus leuraensis; Giant Dragonfly Petalura gigantea). This demonstrated the resilience of reference Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamps and their endangered species populations to significant bushfire events.
In stark contrast, after the wildfire there was evidence of extensive combustion and oxidization of peat soils in swamps located above the footprint of prior longwall coal mining operations. Populations of endangered species, which were already in significant decline (due to longwall mining impacts on swamp hydrology), are now vulnerable to localised extinctions in these undermined swamps. Mining is ongoing in these areas and failure to protect the remaining Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamps from the hydrological impacts of longwall mining will likely lead to further ecosystem collapse in undermined swamps, and further localised extinctions of endangered species populations in these swamps.