With Australian researchers reporting that climate change is lengthening the fire season and increasing the risk of bushfire, residents of the Northern Agricultural Region are being given the chance to learn vital skills that could prove invaluable in protecting themselves and their properties from the ongoing threats of fire.
The Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) in association with the Forever Project and with funding from the State NRM Program, is hosting an interactive Fire Recovery and Resilience Workshop in Gingin at the Granville Recreation Centre on Thursday 5 April – between 1pm to 4pm.
The event has been designed to help people with small blocks who are living in the Shire of Gingin and surrounding districts, but also offers information of benefit to large-scale farmers and other Shire residents.
The workshop will feature the award-winning ABC TV and radio gardening presenter Dr Chris Ferreira.
Dr Ferreira has more than 20 years’ experience in land management, and has taught more than 120,000 people through his award-winning programs Great Gardens and Heavenly Hectares. He has established himself as a leading authority on sustainable living in the public eye, developing projects such as the Hamilton Hill Sustainable Home – the only sustainable home retrofit project in WA.
The Fire Recovery and Resilience Workshop discussion topics will include:
- Specialist advice and design ideas on setting up and retrofitting your property to minimise the impacts of fire and drought, both to the homestead area as well as the larger property.
- Specialist advice on fire retardant plants and landscaping techniques
- Techniques to help landscapes and homesteads effectively recover post fire – focus on reducing impacts of erosion and weed influx.
- After the fire – if you have had a fire, things to watch out for and things that will need to be done – erosion control, weed regrowth. Making the best of a catastrophic fire – how we can use a ‘black slate’ to redesign the farm more effectively.
- Principles of fire safe property design – we explore the basics of whole farm planning, Land Management Units and Sustainable Design to create a more fire safe, productive and sustainable property, the aim being to help participants appreciate the value of planning and how this can help them have more certainty to be prepared and confident to defend their homes
- Fire resilience principles – how we can be safer and better able to cope with the impacts of fire
- The Home, understand the design and retrofit principles to make your home more fire safe. – The bushland, understand the link between weeds, fire risk and declining biodiversity. Principles of IPM weed control, mosaic burn principles for bushland, alternatives to burring to control fuel loads. Helping degraded bushland recover. – The broader farm, understand strategies to reduce fire risk and increase fire resilience across the farm, including fire retardant plants and how to keep them that way. The principles of a ‘Firewise Windbreak’ and how they can effectively protect a property. The role of the ‘firebreak’ in a fire resilient home and how to maximise its value.
NACC Regional Landcare Facilitator Stanley Yokwe, who is organising the event, said it was important that everyone understood the fire risks on their own properties and how to manage and respond to those risks.
“This event will help create a more knowledgeable and engaged community, when it comes to fire, and through this vital workshop, participants will be able to gain skills to address fire management and be better prepared,” said Stanley.
NACC is inviting members of the community, especially those living at the bottom end of the NACC NRM region, to take advantage of this free event. Places are limited, so please secure your place now by RSVP your interest to Stanley at Stanley.Yokwe@nacc.com.au or by mobile 0428 649 775.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ellie Honeybone – Ellie.Honeybone@nacc.com.au or call 9938 0124.