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Vols on Hot Coals: How Ecological Hazard Reduction Burning Has Rekindled The Flame Within Bushcare Volunteers 

29-08-2022 16:27

The use of fire is often absent in many bush regeneration and bushcare programs. This is due to the risky nature of applying fire to a fire-prone environment, but when used appropriately the transformation of a site can have a profound impact on both volunteers and trainers.

Since its formation after the 1994 bushfires, the Fire Hazard Reduction Team at Willoughby Council has developed a controlled burning technique that meets fire mitigation obligations with the ecological needs of the bush and the wildlife it supports. The planning, the preparation and the lighting of its burns are never based on fuel loads and square metres covered alone. Intimate knowledge of the local ecology and the needs of native vegetation that rely on fire for survival are also carefully considered.

This presentation explores the ‘Low and Slow’ philosophy of Willoughby Council’s burning, which offers wildlife the opportunity to seek refuge, while the canopy is left unharmed. It outlines how volunteers are guided and encouraged to participate with the burn preparation process, providing a rich learning environment, and will address how post-fire care will be the greatest learning curve for volunteers as specialised weeding strategies and techniques are introduced.

Presenter/s: Phil Sarkies & Geoff Scheutrim.
Powerpoint slides: Vols on Hot Coals: How Ecological Hazard Reduction Burning has rekindled the Flame within Bushcare Volunteers.

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