Photographer Jocelyn Carlin

The Black and Brown State of Victoria

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Land Care

Copyright © Jocelyn Carlin 2009
'Landcare' projects plant native seedlings on private or public land such as roadside reserves. The endeavour however honorable is simply creating future fire hazards. Heavy growth on roadsides provide 'fuel' for wildfire forming death traps, - particularly when there is no-where else to run. The shed leaves of Ecalypts take years to break down building a large and dry fuel load and along with fallen branches and trunks create a potential danger to road users. Of dozens planted here 70-80% of the seedlings will survive to grow as a spindly copse of 'vertical fuel'. A better and safer option would be to plant deciduous trees further apart, they shed 'wetter' leaves in Autumn putting nutrients into the soil, and are nowhere near as flammable as the dry sclerophyl Eucalypt leaves that store volatile oils. Councils generally don't look after roadsides except to clear fallen trees and limbs off the roads that are then piled back onto the verges to provide more fuel for the next wildfire. It's interesting to note that one of the most common complaints to The Royal Commission's enquiry into Black Saturday is specifically this topic, how country roads have become death traps during fires.
Other Galleries in this exhibition
General Postcards | Aspects of Tokyo | Christmas Cards | The Black and Brown State of Victoria