Skip to main content

Property fire management plan

Last week we spent a day at a fire management plan workshop organised by our local council in conjunction with the rural fire service.  I wasn't sure what to expect from the workshop.  I knew what I wanted to get out of it - a plan for managing/preventing bushfire on our property.  Considering that about half our 250 acres is covered with very flammable gum tree bushland and we have an old wooden house, this seems like something that we should prepare for.





Interestingly the workshop also covered ways to use fire to manage vegetation on roadsides and properties.  I'm not a huge fan of this, due to not actually wanting to accidentally start a destructive fire, however, by the end of the workshop I was convinced that the occasional, very carefully managed fire in our bushland area could be a good thing for regenerating the vegetation.  Burning of pasture, however, was confirmed to be a pointless exercise.

Fortunately, in preparing for an uncontrolled bushfire, we will also have the tools ready to manage a controlled fire for our own benefit, so it was a really good workshop.  We were shown how to fill out a bushfire survival plan.  And we had a good chat with a rural fire officer who was able to recommend equipment for us to set up a fire-fighting rig for the back of the ute.

When we registered for the workshop, the council took down our details and on the day they had prepared aerial maps and vegetation maps to help us work out our plans for using fire on our property.  They helped us to interpret what vegetation was on our property and how often it could or should be burnt.  Some Australian vegetation actually requires fire to regenerate, and ecologists have found that plant and animal species can die out in an area that has not been burnt frequently enough.

We then market up our map into zones - Asset Protection Zones ( areas that you want to keep clear and non-flammable, using materials such as gravel - around the house and sheds) and Strategic Fire Advantage Zones (areas such as driveways that you want to keep clear in a bushfire emergency and might consider burning regularly).  Then we looked at Land Management Zones based on the different vegetation types (we only had one type on our property - Eucalyptus open forest, and its suited to burning every 4-8 years in order to regenerate), this is where we could then plan management techniques and frequency of planned burning.  Note that some vegetation types do not benefit from fire and should actually be protected from fire.

If this is something you would find useful talk to your local council or rural fire service.  SEQ Fire and Biodiversity Consortium is organising these sessions in SEQ, I'm sure there would be something similar in your area.  If you can't make it to a workshop, check out the resources on their site, get yourself an areal map from google maps and mark out your zones.  You can also create a bushfire survival plan here or through your state rural fire service.  Those in southern states probably already have a plan, but here we have less frequent fires, less building requirements for fire-proofing and onus is more on the landholder to find out what to do.

We have some work to do to finish our maps and plans as a one day workshop was not quite long enough, but definitely gave us all the information we needed to make a start.  It completely changed my opinion on the use of fire in maintaining our property and we will look at controlled burns in the future.  Long-term, I really want to volunteer with the rural fire service and learn more skills for protecting our property and our neighbours' properties in future.

Do you have a bushfire survival plan?  Have you used controlled fires to manage bushland?





Comments

  1. Hi Liz, My sister and brother-in-law are actively involved in the rural fire brigade in their area and I have to admire their commitment and also of others involved.

    When I was in Woodford not so long ago they were called out in temperatures in the 40'sC and with all their gear it must have Ben an exhausting task.

    So glad you took advantage of the course offered. It can make such a difference.

    In Vancouver it has rained almost non stop for the past few weeks.. Days are getting longer but we long for temperatures to pass 10C. The gardens are soggy! Luckily I have a little cold frame and my lettuce is thriving.

    Take care.
    Regards Janine

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

Chicken tractor guest post

Sign up for my weekly email updates here , you will find out more about chickens, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon.... Tanya from Lovely Greens invited me to write a guest post on chicken tractors for her blog.  I can't believe how many page views I get for chicken tractors, they seem to be a real area of interest and I hope that the information on my blog has helped people.  I find that when I use something everyday, I forget the details that other people may not be aware of, so in this post for Tanya, I tried to just write everything I could think of that I haven't covered in previous posts.  I tried to explain everything we do and why, so that people in other locations and situations can figure out how best to use chicken tractors with their own chickens. The dogs like to hang out behind the chicken tractors and eat chicken poo.  Dogs are gross! If you want to read more about chicken tractor

Getting started with beekeeping: how to harvest honey

While honey is not the only product from a beehive, its the one that most beekeepers are interested in and it usually takes a year or so to let the bees build up numbers and store enough honey before there is enough to harvest.  There are a few different ways to extract honey from frames.  We have a manual turn 2-frame certifugal extractor.  A lot of people with only a few hives will just crush and strain the comb.  This post is about how we've been extracting honey so far (four times now), and there are links at the end to other bloggers who use different methods so you can compare. Choose your frames Effectively the honey is emergency food stores for the bees, so you have to be very careful not to take too much from the hive.  You need to be aware of what is flowering and going to flower next and the climate.  Particularly in areas with cold winters, where the bees cannot forage for some time.  We are lucky to have something flowering most of the year and can take honey

The new Eight Acres website is live!

Very soon this blogspot address will automatically redirect to the new Eight Acres site, but in the meantime, you can check it out here .  You will find all my soaps, ebooks and beeswax/honey products there, as well as the blog (needs a tidy up, but its all there!).  I will be gradually updating all my social media links and updating and sharing blog posts over the next few months.  I'm very excited to share this new website with you!