Fire as a Management Tool
25 August 2007. Having heard from many members about their interest in using fire to manage vegetation the CMN held a field day looking at techniques and management issues related to fire and vegetation management.
This day was a follow up from a workshop series run earlier in the year by the Nature Conservation Council (NCC) called ‘Hotspot’. It was a chance for participants to see first hand how fire has been used to manage native vegetation.
During the two hour walk hosts Jackie Miles and Max Campell showed the results of over a decade of previous burns which improved the vitality of native herbs and grasses.
“Many native plants have evolved strategies to cope with fire”, said Jackie. “As well as benefiting these species, fire can be used to reduce fuel load and protect property.”
The information shared included details on when best to burn, the results of different fire intensities and factors contributing to intensity such as wind speed, temperature, humidity, slope, fuel load and the structure of the vegetation.
The weather was kind to us and we actually got to observe two small low intensity burns on the day. Almost all those who attended who hadn’t seen or used fire before said it was invaluable to actually see how the fire behaved in particular how it moved down slope and against the wind!
After the walk participants felt more comfortable attempting small ‘cool’ burns on their own property. The walk concluded with afternoon tea and a chance for everyone to chat and catch up.
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