Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Autumn is really coming?

Perhaps the season is really changing and the cooler weather is beginning.  Already the days are noticeably shorter.  Well, so they should be as the equinox is just about upon us.

Any rain will be gratefully received, not only to freshen up the gardens and the forests, but also to reduce the risk of wildfire.  Last week, near Balingup, we experienced a bushfire emanating from a nearby plantation, that took three days to control.  Friends, not far from the fire, decided to move out whilst the heat was on.

Eucalypts on the front verge can be a mixed blessing.  In this case this is
litter from remnant forest trees, Eucalyptus patens, Blackbutt, which over
summer routinely drop masses of leaves, twigs and bark that build up
against the front fence.  The mix contains volatile oils, is very dry and is
designed to burn.  Regular mowing and/or raking to remove the litter
is needed to reduce the fuel load.
The good aspect about the friendlier weather is that it is considerably more comfortable to be out in the garden.  There's plenty to do from a risk management point of view when it comes to reducing fire risks.  Even this morning I found a patch of dry grass in one section of the garden which I had overlooked all summer - just the place for an ember to fall and catch the grass and some well-placed dry eucalyptus leaves.

Time to make use of the gardener's friends: rakes and secateurs to tidy up and reduce the build up of fuel.

The garden will look more presentable, too!

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We'd like your tips as to how you have made your garden safer from bush fires.