As we are reaching the peak of paddock burning across the state, we thought it wise to recap a few best practice tips for burning. They might be obvious, but who knows they might be the gentle reminder some people need- especially after such a bountiful harvest the fuel load in some areas is much higher than normal.
Cool fires are often a slow burn, relatively low burning temperature and flame height, and are usually easier to control. Hot fires are fires with intense heat and high flames, best practice is to ensure a back burn is in place, and you are well prepared prior to lighting a hot fire.
Consider fuel load, temperature, fire breaks, humidity, wind direction, and your available resources prior to burning. All are major influencers upon fire behaviour and ensuring a safe, but effective outcome. Keep in mind a hot still day can be just as dangerous as a strong wind, as fires create their own wind and can change the fire’s front rapidly.
Ensure you have enough available labour to safely execute a burn along with excellent communication methods. All participants should be outfitted with proper safety equipment including heat resistant overall, face masks, goggles, and clean drinking water.
Another factor you should prepare for is an emergency plan should the fire get out of control. Every person involved should have a role from communicating to neighbours and calling local authorities to refilling of fire suppression equipment.
Stay safe as we approach seeding, as we said there are some heavy fuel loads around! If you are unsure if you have enough people or equipment to safely burn, speak to local authorities. Better to be safe than sorry!