Yass Landcare Group held its first Bushfire Readiness Forum on World Environment Day on June 5 with several key speakers from the community.

Speakers from Manton Rural Fire Brigade, Jeff Dau a Bushfire practitioner, Wally Bell from the Ngunawal Aboriginal Corporation and Alison Elvin President of Yass Landcare shared several key messages.

Manton Rural Fire Brigade leader Eric Gruber stated that when fighting a running fire, it is vital to access property. So having a gate and gaps in tree lane plantings, which would allow fire trucks through, are vital to ensure quick access to enable property protection. These should be seriously considered in future plantings.

Alison Elvin also suggested that an alternative to 20-30m wide tree lanes is to have small clusters of Eucalyptus with understory plantings and possibly plant the corners of a paddock as an alternative to tree lane.

Bushfire practitioner Jeff Dau spoke to the group about the need to address several items when preparing for the bushfire season. Including the asset protection zone immediately around the house, landscape, access, construction materials of the house, utilities that need to operate when the power fails, and your emergency management plan which contains knowing when to leave and the route to take for a safe exit from your property.

Wally Bell spoke about the attributes of cool burns conducted under the direction of Aboriginal fire management experts. Preparation before the burn is most important, the fire must be cool to regenerate dormant grasses and to activate dormant seed in the ground. The cool burn must be able to be manageable by one person and burnt in mosaic patterns which in spring will encourage the growth of fresh green grass, which is attractive to kangaroos.

The Yass Landcare President had several tables of plants of various flammability and Alison also provided some detailed resources like Reducing Bushfire threat with sensible Garden design.

The Yass Landcare Group is part of the YAN and has an active team of Landcare nursery volunteers who are growing regional plants from the Box Gum Grassy Woodland plant community. Their plant list will progressively increase to include plants with low flammability values to ensure that they are assisting local landholders to prepare for the inventible.