Cool lesson on ‘cool burns’ at workshop

Residents and landholders of the Woodstock/Majors Creek region received a cool lesson on cool burns at a “Fire as a Tool for Conservation and Land Management” workshop held on Saturday.

Workshop organiser, NQ Dry Tropics project officer Jennifer Walker said the workshop, held at the Rural Fire Service (RFS) Scott Brigade, was attended by 30 participants.  As part of the Healthy Habitats project, and funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, the aim of the workshop was to provide information about using fire as a tool for land management and conservation.

Expert presenters shared information on a range of topics including landscape ecologist Dr Tony Grice, who spoke about the interactions between fire and weeds, and bushfire safety officer for the Burdekin, Gordon Yorke, who spoke about fire management in the area, and the capabilities of the RFS and why landholders are required to have a cohesive fire management plan.

Centrogen’s Brendon Walters spoke about hazard reduction burns, and Katrina Christen, also of Centrogen, spoke about how burns can support and protect local threatened species.

Ms Walker said the workshop ended with a demonstration of a “cool burn” with help from members of the Scott Brigade.

“When carried out correctly, cool burns are one of the best ways that you can reduce fuel load, reduce the impact of some non-native weedy species, and promote the germination of native species on your property while doing as little damage as possible to the native ecosystem and its wildlife,” Ms Walker said.

“Fire can be safe and effective in certain scenarios – it’s all about having the right tools for the job.

“The workshop also provided residents with the resources for making decisions about using fire as a conservation and land management tool on their property,” she said.

A variety of resources were provided to attendees by NQ Dry Tropics and the RFS Scott Brigade.

Main photo: Dr. Tony Grice giving a short presentation on weed management using fire at the Fire as Tool for Conservation and Land Management Workshop