Editor’s Note: This report by Frank McKee first appeared in the Boyne Valley District News. Frank also wrote our Fire Management Plan. This burn was on the fourth of July.
Recently, I was approached for a fire permit from a local in Builyan.
The property backed onto the old Railway corridor. John asked if I could help him with the burn, as he was on his own. I looked at the job and we could have done it easily enough, but I had bigger plans.
I suggested we create a training exercise and get the newer members of the local rural fire brigades involved.
This way, we could include a section of the disused rail corridor in the burn, giving them valuable experience under controlled and safe conditions.
This would also help the newly formed BBIRT who are working on a rail trail concept for the old rail track.
The date was set and after liaison with the management of the local sawmill, fire breaks were put in place. Assembly was at 20 Pine Street at 2.00pm on Saturday 4th July.
Brigade vehicles were Boyne Valley 51, Many Peaks 41 and also
the Many Peaks trailer. After a briefing of the plan, we commenced at the northern end of the burn area, and slowly worked our way along to the southern end of the section.
While this was a relatively small and easy burn to manage, it is the perfect training ground for the newer members to learn new skills, and hone the
ones they already have.
It is no fun trying to get this learning in a wildfire situation, when the fire is
dictating the terms.
We were down on numbers because of school holidays, but still had a very successful training event with a really good outcome. Many thanks go to the members of the Boyne Valley and Many Peaks Rural Fire Brigades.
After a small debrief, we all went our separate ways. We hope to have a few more of these training runs in the coming weeks. Watch this space.