Cultural Burn Workshop

koalaboi

Ray Mears
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Hi All,

Last weekend I attended a workshop run by Koori Country Firesticks.

The purpose of the workshop is to teach people how to burn country to manage the environment to ensure healthy country.

It was a great weekend. We started with a smoking ceremony then sat around a campfire to introduce ourselves before a bit of a yarn about cultural burning, why it's done and some of the basic principles behind it from both an Aboriginal lore perspective as well as environmental.

We then were taken to the boundary of a burn that had been done 12 months before. The difference was dramatic. The burned country had lots of grasses and healthy shrubs. The trees had scorch marks up to about a metre or so: it is important in a cultural burn that the canopy is not damaged. The other side of the old containment line had not been burned in over 40 years. A lot of fuel on the ground, lots of senescent shrubs that were not looking all that healthy and it was not open and clean like the burnt patch. Harder to see and walk through.

We then moved onto the next patch of bush to be burned. How to make a containment line and prepare the area for the burn. How to set ignition points and watch the fire to keep it in check. How to ensure maximum escape routes for fauna, amphibians, mammals insects etc. To see the slow gentle progress of a cool burning fire as it crept along the ground was something. Small patches of bush didn't even burn and whilst n most did, it was still patchy. With the heavy rain this weekend it will be interesting to go back in a few months to see how it has recovered.

It really was an eye opener and later in the week I was with an elder as we drove through an area that had been subjected to a hazard Reduction burn by NPWS. The difference between to two was immediately noticeable.

The canopy had been burnt and the earth totally scorched. It was a hot fire.

If any of you are interested in learning about this I will place a notice about where and when the next workshop will be held..BTW it was free.

KB
 
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MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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Sounds very interesting. My wife is lucky enough to go on a cultural awareness course in the Pilbara next month for work, I am very jealous.


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koalaboi

Ray Mears
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Thanks KB, where was the workshop held?
On private property near Yengo National Park on the Wollombi side of the park. The property is called Ngurrampah and is set up for teaching people about Aboriginal Culture albeit a bush camp.

The cultural knowledge available from the people there is immense.

KB
 
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koalaboi

Ray Mears
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The property was written up in the Sydney Morning Herald recently as many of the structures on the property were not destroyed by the fire as the cultural burn a couple of years ago left little fuel on the ground to ignite.
 

Chigger

Les Hiddins
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Thanks for all of this, there should be more of these practices promoted.
 
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