Gel-burning weeds at Yourka- a blazing success!

on 11 Feb 2013 
Lantana and siam reduced to ash.

Ten inches of rain in late January was exactly what we needed at Yourka to 'break the drought' and provide good conditions for some intensive weed burning.

Last year the Yourka Fire Management Plan was reviewed to accommodate a change of approach to lanscape-scale weed management..and last week was the first time we got to put that revised plan in to action.

In a chopper trailing a gel-burner, Paul commenced intensive burning of the Sunday and Oaky Creek catchments in an attempt to knock down thick infestations of lantana and siam which are choking the upper reaches of the Herbert Catchment. Early season burns and a well-maintained network of fire breaks provided some security for the ensuing fire-front but, needless to say it was a busy..and nerve-racking two weeks. This is certainly the first time that we have intentionally lit a fire of this scale and managing this sort of activity with seven properties neighbouring the reserve is quite a challenge.

Unfortunately 'the Bureau' was out by one week with their prediction of follow-up rain which meant extra days patrolling boundaries and blacking out (and extra sleepness nights for Paul!) but the result was all good. In fact, the lengthened window in burn conditions allowed our Parks neighbours to conduct a research burn in an adjoining section of the Wet Tropics which is potential habitat for Northern Bettongs. This is very exciting because Parks have been waiting for over four years for this opportunity.

Qld Parks, property neighbours and Rural Fires have all been impressed by BHA's commitment to an active burning program and were very complimentary about how professionally this particular burn was managed. We are just stoked to be stepping up the weed control program ...and relieved that the rain did finally come :-)

Lantana and siam reduced to ash.