Jan Juc Coast Action (JJCA) has partnered with the local CFA to conduct an ecological burn as part of a trial to investigate how important grasslands respond to different treatments.
A five year ecological burn plan has been developed between JJCA group and Torquay CFA in an effort to optimise the flora vegetation at the Jan Juc cliffs.
The conservation plan is designed to increase overall biodiversity in the area by allowing plants time to set seed before the second fire.
Australian flora needs fire for plants to seed and regenerate evolving from thousands of years of controlled burns by Indigenous Australians.
JJCA Chairperson – Luke Hynes is hopeful the ecological burns will improve the coastal vegetation along the cliffs and was grateful for the local CFA support.
“Our main challenge organising the ecological burns was finding a day to complete the burn when the weather is appropriate.
“We rely on fantastic local CFA volunteers to undertake the burns and really appreciate the time they put in,” he said.
The fire creates space between native grasses which allows smaller, indigenous herbs and plants room to grow.
Torquay CFA Captain, Phil Campbell was pleased at the outcome of the ecological burn, and said that the day was well organised and uncomplicated.
“We were very lucky with the wind and weather conditions. It was a coincidence that the weather on the day was perfect for burning, which made it a lot easier for us to control,” he said.
Mr Hynes is eager to see the results from the initial burn and hopes more native species will grow in the area.
“The Jan Juc cliffs were revegetated over 10 years ago with positive results, so hopefully we will be able to see a larger variety of herbs and grasses regrow along the cliffs,” he said.
The JJCA group is particularly interested in whether the fire will increase populations of the native rare orchid, Swamp Diuris, in the area.
Funds has been provided by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne to collect and grow seeds of the rare orchid and the JJCA group hopes the ecological burn will improve the populace.
The JJCA group works to preserve and revegetate the Jan Juc coastline with Indigenous species and the removal of environmental weeds.
Ongoing environmental conservation works are being conducted in the are to help combat erosion, pest invasion and the provision of tracks and lookouts.
Check out the JJCA Facebook page to keep up to date with what’s happening along the cliffs.
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