Hotspot Fire Project

Summer Hill Creek/Clifton Grove

Workshop #1: 25th February 20128:30am to 4:30pm

Workshop #2: 29th April 20128:00am to 4:00pm

Location: Summer Hill Creek, Summer Hill Creek NSW 2800

Summer Hill Creek/Clifton Grove

The Clifton Grove/Summer Hill Creek area was identified as a good workshop location as the area combined high risk and high conservation values.

Workshop Day 1

Local landholders from the Clifton Grove/Summer Hill Creek region came together to discuss fire management issues in their area. The community is made up of people who have lived in the area for a long time and those who have recently arrived, all with varying experience with fire management issues. The first day of the workshop series provided the opportunity for an introduction to fire ecology principles and two site visits to discuss the local vegetation, plant and animal responses to fire, recent fire history in the area and discuss the responsibilities of a landholder. During the site visit participants discussed assessing fuel loads and monitoring vegetation and species change when using fire as a management tool.

In the afternoon, after discussing Forest NSW and National Parks and Wildlife Service fire management plans, landholders produced a map based fire management plan for their property. Landholders mapped assets, vegetation, fire history and recorded actions they were planning for their property over the next 12 months and beyond.

Workshop Day 2

The second day of the workshop training series, held 5 weeks later, began with participants reviewing their property fire management plans, their priority actions and reflecting on the planning process. Prior to observing a demonstration controlled burn on the Spring Glen site, participants got first hand experience in the necessary preparation that goes into using fire as a management tool on private property.

The workshop included discussion and group exercises on fire behaviour, assessing fuel loads, calculating Forest Fire Danger Index using the McArthur meter, and running through a formal risk assessment process and the burn plan. While observing the demonstration burn commentary was provided linking the ecological objectives to the burn objectives and control lines, lighting patters and fire behaviour were explained.

Following the workshop series, Geoff Selwood the local RFS Community Safety Officer is working with this community to facilitate completion of the workshop participant property management actions.

Evaluation Comments

What was the main benefit to you, from having attended this workshop?

Understanding fire as a holistic management tool

Meeting agencies and landholders - listening and learning from a diverse perspective

Community planning with other local landholders

- workshop participants

For additional information you can also refer to the Clifton Grove Workshop Series Report.


Bruce Hansen from the NSW Rural Fire Service
02 8867 7972

Twenty-five landholders and land managers attended the workshop series and are busily completing their property fire management plans.


This workshop was funded through the NSW Rural Fire Service


The NSW Rural Fire Service, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Forests NSW, Clifton Grove Rural Fire Brigade, Rurik Mackenzie, Eric and Rosalie Neville and all the Hotspots workshop participants.

People Profile: Rurik Mackenzie

Rurik Mackenzie

Rurik has lived in the area for six and a half years and manages a seventy-five acre property of largely dry sclerophyll forest. Rurik attended the Hotspots workshop series having had little previous experience with fire but aware of the risk of wildfire faced by his community.

Over the course of the workshop series, I came to appreciate how much time is necessary to deliver the extensive program. I believe it was an excellent program with lots of benefits and worth spending the time on. In particular I found it an effective way of getting landholders who may not have been interested in burning to do so in an ecologically sensitive way. Landholders can now see the role of fire for hazard reduction, environmental and renewal purposes and the program provided a way of getting people with a set view of fire to get involved.

I would also like to acknowledge the local crew Bruce Hansen (Hotspots Facilitator), Geoff Selwood (RFS Community Safety Officer) and Kevin Taylor (NCC Ecologist) who obviously put a lot of work in and worked hard to put the program together – they did a great job!

Rurik Mackenzie

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