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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bush fires

Submitted by Marcel Stieber

Bush fires are a constant danger to the airfield, especially during the dry season. Regular readers of the blog may recall previous mentions of the fires to the east of the airfield that got pretty close to the hangers and fuel depot. Careful management of our resources and the surrounding vegetation is what kept us safe.

Earlier this week we again saw the familiar plume of smoke across the airfield, this time it was close enough to warrant an investigation. We discovered a blazing bush fire just beyond the fence line for our cross runway that was burning, unattended, in the mango farm next door. Fortunately, our well maintained perimeter road stopped the fire from crawling onto our property, but we were sure to keep a close eye on it throughout the day until it burned out.

Bush fires are a natural part of the ecological system in the bush and are necessary to reduce excess growth and dangerous fuel loads on the area. Unburned areas are exceptionally dangerous when they do burn since they will be very large and uncontrollable. Careful management of our property through mowing and cutting back growth in our safety areas is critical to maintaining a safe airfield. Occasionally a controlled burn is needed on the field to prevent neighboring fires from jumping the fence line and damaging the operating areas of the airfield.

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