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

Plains Rice-flower on fire

Here is another good news story about Plains Rice-flower and burning. Recently a course to train CFA burn controllers was held at Adekate Camp, near Creswick. It was open to volunteers who just wanted to know more about what was involved, including fuel moisture monitoring, weather requirements, fire behaviour and planning. Hancocks Victoria, who are a CFA Forest Industry Brigade also attended.

Participants learnt how to conduct controlled burns in forest and grasslands and then lit up some burns to gain some on ground skills. One of the burns involved a long unburnt roadside with a population of Pimelea spinescens ssp. spinescens. Instructions given to the crews included to avoid driving on the grassland unless absolutely necessary.

Grasslands on roadsides require burning every few years when the grass becomes too thick or the phalaris gets out of control. Burning is usually conducted to create strategic fire breaks but has the spinoff of providing environmental benefits where there is native grassland.

a Plains Rice-flower after the burn

Do you ever wonder where we would be if we didn’t have the local volunteer CFA brigades who burn thousands of kilometres of roadsides each year? They are the main reason we still have some great grasslands to visit in the spring.

Recently the CFA produced a brochure Roadsides Firebreaks in Native Vegetation.pdf. The aim is to give guidance on:

  • what native grasslands look like compared with introduced grasses
  • the differences in fire behaviour/fuel loads/flame heights between the native/introduced
  • best practice for achieving fire breaks for planned burning
  • relevant environmental legislation
  • CFA contacts for roadside burning

If you are interested in more information about pimelea then here is a link to a presentation given by Vanessa Craigie at a CCMA forum last year about translocation of the species.

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