Client: Northern Beaches and Hornsby Council

Location: Northern Beaches and Hornsby Reserves

Record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought have fuelled a series of massive bushfires across Australia.

Both Hornsby and Northern Beaches Council ordered urgent fuel reduction works and Asset Protection Zone (APZ) installation and/or maintenance within their Council areas and reserves. Due possible threat of the fires entering the Kur-ring-ai Chase National Park and with the true spread of devastation across the country it became a focus to increase the protection of the community from the fires reaching their homes.

The days started early and finished late, weekends were not for relaxing. It took collaboration between Dragonfly staff and local council to make sure that we got every mapped out area cleared and safe from fine fuels and combustible materials. This works was needed within a short time frame and a huge area was needed to be covered. The smell of smoke and the haze that filled our skies, the knowing of people losing their homes, fire-fighters risking their lives gave the team an essential motivation.  This was to make sure we contributed everything to secure the path for those who need to fight the battle of the flames if the fires where to come into the national park. Here it is when you see the Dragonfly Environmental family pull it together, support and encourage one another in high spirited encouragement to get through a long and tireless day.  

The APZ sites work areas are located on the interface between bushland and an asset at risk from bushfires, are generally 10 m in width and vary in length. Assets include private or public structures/items, sites of cultural and/or biological significance. For the purposes of these works, assets are primarily residential dwellings.

Sites are designed to provide a fuel reduced area which:

  • facilitates fire fighter access,
  • containment lines if requried
  • prevents direct flame contact
  • reduces heat radiation impacts from a bush fire
  • Promote/maintain appropriate overall fuel levels
  • Promote/maintain discontinuous fuel
  • promote/maintain/establish appropriate species
  • Promote soil stability
  • Target weeds
  • Facilitate expansion of appropriate native species
  • Control weed dispersal
  • Keep ground covers as intact as possible                        

The primary purpose of these works is to reduce or maintain appropriate fuel loads and promote ongoing vegetation and soil stability.  Approaches range from broad scale general fuel management to fine scale bush regeneration.

We would like to acknowledge all the courage and bravery from all the people out fighting the fires, leaving their jobs to volunteer, RFS, Wild Life Services, Wires, SES, Red Cross and so many more.  To those who took time and care in rescuing animals, supporting those who have lost and suffered, cooking meals for those in need and volunteered, donated and supported people in need, Thank You.