For our training on the evening of Wednesday 16th May we had a follow-up of our burn off Beacon Road in April. On the first occasion we successfully reduced the piles A, C and D to ashes but pile B was essentially untouched. It had some large, green logs, a big green tree trunk and lots of earth to make things difficult. On this occasion we returned to try to get B to burn and also to tackle three other piles E, F and G which were within the avocado orchard area. On the map the relative sizes of the icons roughly correspond to the relative sizes of the piles.
Roger made a very good decision to start the burn early so 11 members assembled at the Station at 1730 and took 52, 51 and 41 to site (where we were reacquainted with the friendly house cow). Eight others joined later in 81 or in their own transport. Those attending were:
Roger, John H, Paul, Karen, Don, Toni, Miguel, Neville, Maria, Keith, Neil, Paris, Cam, Nathan, Barry, Kent, Geoff and Robbo. Caie – a prospective new (Yr12) member was also there. Maria brought us Subway rolls just before 1900. VG!
The weather on the evening was again ideal – cool with humidity around 80% and a very gentle breeze from the east. This last was most helpful in keeping the flames from E, F and G clear of the avocado trees. E and G burned readily and members were diligent in moving any unburned or partially burnt logs on the edges of the fire into the centre of the flames so that they were consumed completely. Inspection on the following morning showed that they had been reduced to ashes. Pile F had some heavy timber and by morning was on its way to ashes but some sizeable logs were still smouldering. The avocado trees were unmarked.
The task of the night was to get pile B to burn. It was as we had left it but with a lot of green cuttings added on top. It was still very reluctant to take fire despite drip torches galore in every nook and cranny. The blower from 52 was then deployed. When used simultaneously with a couple of drip torches it created a mini-furnace and this got most of the pile alight. Morning inspection showed that much of the material (except for large amounts of earth) was now ash but the big, green tree trunk and its roots still stuck defiantly out of the heap surrounded by wisps of smoke.
By 2200 we were back at the Station and replenished the drip torches. We had used almost no water. We dispersed with thanks from TM1. Another good job with an excellent attendance of members.”
PS. You will see the gradient profile below the map. It is not significant for this burn but it does illustrate one of Google Earth’s many features which are very helpful in an extensive bush fire. R.