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Women's Burn DayS

"The plan was to give CFA women an opportunity to learn and experience roadside burning on their own, and to have some fun while doing it. The result was that all the participants learnt new skills, everybody had loads of fun, there was a lot of networking, a lot of sharing of experiences and problems as female firefighters, the birth of many new friendships and, at the end of the weekend, those members of our Brigade that were involved realised that they had learnt just as much from our guests as they had from us. Truly an example of volunteers helping volunteers". Brenda

Link to the Women's Burn Day Movie - just released


Brenda's WBD Cape Clear Facebook page
Movie, Roadside Burn, Rokewood Skipton Rd, Cape Clear
Link to a great Ballarat Courier article

Saturday 30 March and Sunday 31 March 2019
A really big weekend - Women's Burn Days - Two massive days in Cape Clear on roadside burning for visitors from all across the state. A total of 72 Women from 32 brigades attended the two burn days

Day One
Meet and greet from 9am at the Cape Clear Recreation Reserve - with a cooked brunch and friendly faces. It was a good start. Michael had everyone's attention as he told the history of our brigade's burning of the roadsides for community protection. The creation of long firebreaks in the grasslands and the preservation of the native grassland species. How you do this safely is the key and the knowledge of how to do it was being shared with all participants this weekend.



Day One Crew

We had a bit of a change at 10.35am with a Code One fire call to a fire in a paddock in Springdallah. Michael had had a show of hands to see who had never been to a fire and made sure they were mixed with the crews that went to the fire. The fire report will make interesting reading with a page of names from brigades all over the state..







Back to Cape for a brilliant lunch followed by a bit of practical on the oval on the basics of roadside burning - 101 on "How to do Wet Break" - everyone had a go. Unfortunately we could not arrange good burning weather, but everyone had a good time on the oval.






Lots and Lots of smiles

All with heaps of support from our brigade members


Day Two
A new group arrived for the second Women's Burn Day day and for a master class in roadside burning. Once again greeted by a friendly welcome and a delicious breakfast/brunch for the travellers at the Cape Clear Recreation Reserve. The weather had been a little moist overnight but we were still optimistic we would be burning after lunch.

Once again Michael had everyone's attention as he told the history of our brigade's burning of the roadsides for community protection. The creation of long firebreaks in the grasslands and the preservation of the native grassland species. The history of significant and lethal fires in this part of the Western District is one of the main reasons we burn the roadsides. Looking back helps us plan for the future.







Plenty of bright yellows.

One thing we have to say is the meals organised and provided by Brenda and the catering crew were definitely 5 star - nobody left hungry - a big thanks to all who helped.

Most had a go at driving or putting a wet break down on the oval.










Michael talked everyone through some of the details about a recent burn on the adjacent road.


The tankers needed to be refilled after all the wet breaks that had been sprayed on the oval. Filling the tankers from the quickfill and bore tank at the Cape Recreation Reserve was a hands on and a new experience for many.









Once again Lots and Lots of smiles

It has been a very dry year in Cape Clear. Unfortunately we cannot control the weather and the drizzle returned and made it impossible to burn. Hope for better luck next year..

Day Three - When we get to do a roadside burn.

Early in the following week the weather cleared. With short notice we managed to put together a planned burn for Tuesday afternoon with some of the participants from the weekend. We are sad that not everyone had a go at roadside burning. We planned an afternoon burn in Ryans and Derwent Jacks roads. A SMEACS briefing in the Cape Clear fire station followed by an onsite briefing by Michael at the Ryan's road burn site.












A bit of a chat and After Action Review of the Ryans rd burn.


We moved on to Derwent Jacks Rd - leaving a HVP slip on at Ryans rd as the Tail End Charlie.

The north side of Derwent Jacks Rd we are burning is about 2.5kms long and is a prime example of preservation of remnant native grasslands as part of a roadside burning program - a major proportion of the grass is now native kangaroo grass.
Light winds - It begins with three lighters



Getting ready to light the second part















A steady controlled burn



A good chimney effect - with the smoke elevating within the burn zone








Pause at the bridge for a bit of drone watching and a " look what we have burnt".



Phalaris near the bridge






A perfect burn. Made it to the end of Derwent Jacks rd.

















A fantastic few days in Cape Clear.
We would like to thank all those who contributed to make the Women's Burn Days such a huge success. The CFA, Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP), Golden Plains Shire, Western Plains Motors and especially all the volunteers from Cape Clear Fire Brigade who willingly gave their time and expertise.

Thanks to Dylan and Peter from Falcon Aerial Photography for the countless hours they have spent on this project and the great flexibility they have shown working around us to turn the ideas and into a great story.




Original Flyer