Canyonleigh workshop participants conduct independent burn
Wednesday, 23rd January 2019
After attending a Hotspots workshop series in May 2018, Canyonleigh property owners Susie and Jeff Foster conducted a small controlled burn on their property in mid-July. Their aim was to safeguard their property against the threat of wildfire and encourage ecological diversity on their land. The vegetation on the burn site was mostly Central Gorge Dry Sclerophyll Shrub/Grass Forest, dominated by grey gum (Eucalyptus punctata) with an open understorey of grass, sedges and shrubs.
After seeking a Hazard Reduction Certificate and confirming with their local NSW RFS Fire Control Centre it was safe to go ahead on the morning of the burn, Susie and Jeff implemented a cool controlled burn on their 100 acre (40 ha) property. With the help of two neighbours they burnt an area the size of a tennis court into the forest understorey, using the raking and wet-mopping techniques they learned at the Hotspots workshop. A 1000-litre tank water pumping system mounted on the back of their ute was also on hand.
“The burn satisfied our objectives of being able to initiate and control a fire in a heavily wooded environment with few people and minimal equipment,” Susie said.
“Thanks to the lessons learned at the Hotspots workshops we felt in control.
“We were grateful for the information and experience gained at the Hotspots workshops and look forward to carrying out further small mosaic burns to diminish bushfire risk and promote conservation values.”
Follow-up: After the burn Susie and Jeff noticed that the threatened species Persoonia mollis subsp. revoluta began to rejuvenate on their property. After contacting an ecologist, they have now included it in their Fire Management Plan and will plan future burns around encouraging this rare species’ return.
Click here to read Susie’s account of how the day progressed and the techniques they used.
Click here to watch a video produced by the Wingecarribee Shire Council of the Hotspots workshop series run on Susie and Jeff’s property back in May.