FIREFIGHTERS teamed up with Geelong council and volunteers to complete a successful ecological burn at Kingston Park last Sunday.
The small northerly test area measuring less than a sixth of the park, was burned in stages while cordon CFA and city workers ensured it was limited to the planned area.
The burn was led by the Ocean Grove CFA Brigade with support from Queenscliff and St Leonards CFA Brigades and Council.
“The weather was ideal with dry conditions and a light breeze. Enough heat was generated by the fire to achieve the aims of a reduced fire risk from leaves and branches and improved biodiversity outcomes,” City of Greater Geelong Environment and Waste Services Manager Rodney Thomas said.
The burn was started at approximately 1.30pm and took around two hours to complete.
Each stage of the burn involved using torches to light a ten metre section and then progressively retreating in the direction the wind was coming from. That way the section was always burning into the previously burned area and control was maintained.
The workers had to deal with four wind changes during the burn and small alterations were made in the process to accommodate each change.
At its height dense wattle, which crackles and burns intensely, sent flames shooting up eight metres.
Hoses were used to douse trees to ensure that the burn stayed at a relatively low level and did not take hold of timber that would take time to be extinguished later.
It was followed by a post burn damping down or blacking out of the site. The acting operations manager visited the site some hours after this was completed to ensure there was no flare up.
The site was signposted and the public were excluded during the burn.
“The City of Greater Geelong would like to commend the work of the CFA and the 20 or so volunteers for supporting Council to manage this significant conservation area,” Mr. Thomas added.
Based on the success of this operation other burns are expected to be planned for the park.