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A 'cool burn' on the Gundary Plains

A 'cool burn' on the Gundary Plains

One winter afternoon in July 2010 Museum curator George Main together with Museum photographer George Serras visited the Gundary Travelling Stock Reserve near Goulburn to photograph a 'cool burn' undertaken by the Gundary Rural Fire Brigade.

While summer bushfires generate massive amounts of heat, burning away organic matter from both the surface and underground, wintertime 'cool burns' happen slowly. Only the surface matter burns, and much organic material remains after the flames have died.

Gundary Travelling Stock Reserve is a rare remnant of the biologically diverse grassland that once cloaked the surrounding Gundary Plains. Endangered species like the striped legless lizard (Delma impar) and the button wrinklewort (Rutidosis leptorhynchoides) continue to thrive here. Before colonisation, the local Gundungurra people burned grassland in the Gundary area to maintain the productivity of the land. Over the last decade, with the assistance of the Gundary Rural Fire Brigade, managers of the Gundary Travelling Stock Reserve have regularly conducted winter burns to protect its biological diversity.

The Gundary Travelling Stock Reserve and objects used by the Gundary Rural Fire Brigade feature in the Never Enough Grass exhibit as part of the new Landmarks gallery, and images shot on the day will be included in a large multi-touch interactive.

All photography by George Serras.