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Hume Region Burn Camp
The inaugural Hume Region Burn Camp was conducted at Shelley Forest Camp between Wednesday the 7 th and Friday the 9th of May.
Prevailing weather had initially caused a one week postponement and finally reduced the camp to three days instead of the planned five.
Despite the setbacks, the North East produced three perfect weather days, and up to twenty eight people attended over the course of the camp. The group included five HVP staff who are members of the Forest Industry Brigades at Shelley and Myrtleford.
This camp was organised in partnership with HVP and utilised tracts of native vegetation within their estate to conduct small-scale boutique burns; the limited size of the burn units offered the participants the opportunity to be fully involved in a range of activities necessary to prepare and then execute a planned burn.
The tracts available offered various orientations and gave participants the opportunity to evaluate fuels, fuel moisture, prevailing weather and fire behaviour relative to the aspect and topography of the burn units.
Activities undertaken by the crews included general hazard assessment, fuel moisture readings, over-all fuel hazard assessments, establishing and marking points of reference, identification and protection of environmental values, developing a burn plan and weather monitoring. In the burn phase teams were involved in the development of appropriate lighting patterns for each site and all were involved in the various tasks of the burn operations.
Over three days the teams were able to prepare three burn units and conducted burns in two of the units.
Quotes from attendees
“I was blown away by the amount of preparation and the importance of that in being able to determine the fire behaviour, and how that determined the lighting pattern. I learnt a lot, and I want to learn more.”
“I saw how the lighting pattern affects achievement of the burn objective.”
“I’d like to learn even more about lighting patterns; please can we have another one of these burn camps?”
“The meals were magnificent.”
“All aspects of the camp will help both myself and my brigade with planned burns.”
Planning for Shelley Burn Camp 2015, with some added aspects, is already underway.
Text - Phil Browne
Photos – Phil Hawkey and Roger Strickland