Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Lighting up the heaps
Fourteen months ago a huge bushfire surrounded our bush property and the community was under threat or on high alert for nearly three months. At one point we were unable to access the place for three weeks as the roads in were burning or too dangerous.
One of the good things about this was the support from the department of primary industry who provided a bulldozer to do any work required around the house. We took full advantage and pushed back the bush from the north, south and west. All the area below the house - which is the area at most risk of a fire running uphill is now cleared. Behind the house and on the side of the prevailing wind there is also a cleared area.
This work inevitably left some large piles of debris sitting in heaps around the property, with one in particular directly below the house. As part of the recovery process the department sent a contractor up to set fire to these and keep piling the stumps up until all is burnt. He was very adept at using his machine to pick up stumps and pile them in the best way to maximise burning.
While he was on the property he was quite happy to help out to remove stumps that remained in the ground, to level off uneven ground and clear a track into a firewood stash. Weeds will grow where the fire has been but once they are dealt with, the whole area will grow grass and this can be mowed annually. It is wonderful to live right in the middle of the bush but it is also vital to have a good cleared space around the house to offer some protection from the ravages of a fire.