During autumn 2021, FFMVic prepared and delivered a fuel reduction burn in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park in an area known as Wallace’s Gully, northwest of Chiltern.
The burn’s objective was to reduce fuels in the area to help protect Chiltern in the event of a bushfire and to protect an area rich in historical artefacts, including puddling machines and puddling pits used to separate gold during the 1850s Gold Rush. These relatively intact artefacts are an important remnant of Victoria’s gold-mining past and they, along with other important historical heritage, are in and around the planned burn area.
To successfully treat the area, protect historical heritage, and meet regulatory requirements, FFMVic planned and delivered the burn in close consultation with Heritage Victoria and Hume’s Heritage Management Team. Measures to mitigate harm included clearing fuel loads around important features, accurately mapping and recording historical heritage, and identifying heritage features to protect during and after ignition.
The burn was successful, with heritage specialists present during the burn and conducting follow-up assessments. No historical heritage features identified during the post-burn survey were affected. All timber features and artefact scatters were unburnt, and chimney remains were intact.
Some further improvements were identified in assessing the burn, including opportunities to better manage hazardous or potentially hazardous trees which could damage heritage assets, and better management of fuel loads adjacent to heritage features before the ignition of the burn.
The remains of a large earthenware jug identified and protected during delivery of the Wallace Gully fuel reduction burn, Photo credit: Jerem Leach, DELWP
Page last updated: 23/12/21