2015 Fire guard or Fencing part 1

It’s that time of year again =  time to prepare for the inevitable bush fires.

With Hurler the Tractor overlooking Troutbeck Lake

With Hurler the Tractor overlooking Troutbeck Lake

Hurler brings water supplies

Hurler brings water supplies

 Refilling backpack sprayers

Refilling backpack sprayers

The three of us fill up with glyphosate

The three of us fill up with glyphosate

And 4 weeks later ..

Ramius and Co scrub the 6m strip of land

Ramius and Co scrub the 6m strip of land

Tendai in profiled against the fireguard

Tendai in profile against the fireguard

Below you can see to left and right of the fireguard the dead trees – i.e. a reminder why a denuded strip of land is necessary.

Hornbydale fireguard

Hornbydale fireguard

Mufenge overlooking Troutbeck Lake

Mufenge overlooking Troutbeck Lake

My favorite tree: Mufenge (Cussonia spicata) {NB: soft ‘g’ in chiShona}

Mufenge

Mufenge growing new leaves (in winter)

Operation Fireguard

It’s a cold, dry winter here in the Eastern Highlands. Soon the grass burning season will begin as the vegetation becomes completely dry like tinder. For the last month we have urgently been working on our fire guard. This will protect the property from fires that get out of control and blown in our direction. Judging by the tree height it looks like this is the first time in 20 years that it has been properly done. We have chosen a 6m wide, 4.5km route right round the property that has to be totally denuded of vegetation, trees, grass – the lot . This will hopefully prevent any fire jumping onto out plot. Below is a picture of the new fire guard, taken from one of our southern side boundary pegs going west for 900m.

Hornbydale fireguard

Hornbydale fire guard

Following is a ‘before and after’ of a northern 700m stretch facing Troutbeck. In the top right you can see some of our cleared fields showing brown in colour.

Hornbydale northern boundary

Hornbydale northern boundary

And after the team has been through!

Hornbydale northern fireguard

Hornbydale northern fire guard

This picture is a very good example demonstrating the reason why a fire guard is important. A nearby property (in white) completely burnt out. Our own property suffered a huge amount of tree loss 2 years ago and lost one small building – which we are now refurbishing.

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Now lets to meet the team. Below on the southern side

Mr Garikai on Hornbydale fireguard

Mr Garikai on the Hornbydale fire guard

Mr Didimus, on Hornbydale fireguard

Mr Didimus on the Hornbydale fire guard

Mr Tongai

Mr Tongai

And yes it really is a cold winter up here – it’s frosty in the morning too

Frosty morning at Hornbydale

A frosty morning at Hornbydale

Frost on the fireguard

Frost on the fire guard

Mr Lamek on Hornbydale fireguard

Mr Lamek on the Hornbydale fire guard

Mr Albert

Mr Albert

And below in green the ‘fireguard champion’ Mr Willard – he completed the most 10m stretches round the boundary

Clearing the fireguard

Clearing the fire guard

Fireguard champion - Mr Willard

Fire guard champion – Mr Willard

Mr Tongai in action

Mr Tongai on the fireguard

Mr Tongai on the fire guard

Mr Tongai on the fireguard

Mr Tongai on the fire guard

Mr Tongai at work

Mr Tongai at work

Mr Didimus

Mr Didimus