Victorian Volcanic Plains Conservation Management Network

Raising awareness about the value and use of native grasslands, seasonal wetlands, grassy woodlands & other ecosystems on the Victorian Volcanic Plains

Partnerships, persistence and pimeleas

This article by Frank Carland from VicRoads indicates the persistence needed in some situations to gain an environmental  and community benefit. In this case a burn was required to provide a strategic firebreak, as well as to enhance a population of Spiny Pimelea, Pimelea spinecens subsp. spinecens.

If you have tried to get one of these burns to happen you may realise how much discussion, planning and good will is involved, then add in the weather and the availability of CFA crews, not to forget the person tasked to put in a firebreak avoiding threatened species.

‘Last week saw the culmination of 9 years’ work, with the burning of Mortlake-Ararat Road between Olympic Road and Norbank Road for the first time since (I have been told) the 1970’s. The majority of the roadside as shown in the photo was burnt.

The extremely dry conditions were tempered by some light early morning drizzle, which took a lot of heat out the fire, and a south westerly breeze that carried the smoke away from the road.

The Pimeleas are now clearly visible in the burnt area, as are those on the slashed break. The slashed break combined with water did the job well, although it did require more effort on behalf of the CFA Brigades.

Credit must go to Tony Brady (CFA Vegetation Officer) for marshalling the neighbouring brigades to help with the burn – there was great turn out from Lake Bolac, Willaura and Mininera, supported by several private units, large and small, as well as a large mobile water storage vehicle.

This burn will reduce the fuel load for subsequent years and as well as acting as an important strategic fire control line, the grassland values of the site will be greatly enhanced. Thanks to all who have contributed to this project over many years.’

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