Bush Fires

Winter is our dry time of the year combined with frost the grass turns brown and if it doesn't gets slashed, grazed our burned it becomes a fire hazard. Back burning with a "cool fire" is still pretty popular, and has been used for thousands of years. The lands needs management, aborigines have always honoured that. Trees need it for seed dispersal and within the week it will be green again. But a wet July has pushed it into August, the windy month. The wind can pick up any time and will be very strong. If you happen to have a harmless, cleaning grass fire going, it can get tricky very quickly when the winds starts howling again and it gets out of control. On Sunday when the wind lay low, the rural fire brigades started fighting down 4 of the 20 fires that had become out of control in our Valley. 8 aircraft started water bombing fires to protect assets. We are right on their flight route, it sounded like we were living on an airport, with planes and helicopters flying over every ten minutes! No lives were lost, some property damage was reported, it was a good practice run if this turns into a dry Summer. At this time of year fires, even when they are out of control, are pretty harmless.
In September back burning becomes prohibited, the temperatures are then on the rise everything get even drier, with even more fuel and the fire get hotter. And that is when it gets scary, a "hot" fire, where everything in it's path burns, nothing survives, and a long time is needed to recover.
We're keeping the area around the house cleared, and have paddocks that keep either grazed or slashed as a second buffer. Our bush area at the back is a fire hazard, the bladey grass stands man high, but give it a couple more years and trees and under storey will all but smother this, it will become a forrest again. We're still saving up for more fence and a couple of head of cattle to help to keep the paddocks clear, they would serve us more purpose then a tractor.
These are the neighbours cattle, we have them close now they are in the top paddock, Tim likes playing peekaboo with them...

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