One of the Brigade’s ongoing issues concerns pile burning.
Our members are happy to help residents with those piles, if they need assistance. However, their contents are frequently frustrating, particularly if a machine has been used to push the material together.
Not in The Hills Shire, not in Hornsby Shire, nowhere across this wide brown land, will soil, earth or dirt, burn. Some machine operators seem to think it will. Earth mixed in with tree stumps makes our job much tougher because earth does not burn and it hinders combustion of wood. Some pile builders believe that star posts, chicken wire and assorted scrap metal will burn. Nope, sorry, it won’t. You may have hidden it in your pile, but it’s all exposed when the legal, permitted material has burned.
In addition, building materials, asbestos, old furniture and carpet are sometimes exposed. All these are illegal in your pile. In The Hills, we can only burn dried vegetation.
If you are unsure about the best way to build your pile or its permissible dimensions, a handy brochure is available from the District Office (9654 1244). You are welcome to pick one up from the District Office at the Kenthurst end of Annangrove Road. Many useful and informative pamphlets are available free of charge to help you and your animals live safely, free from the threat of unexpected fire.
As you know, before you light that pile, you have to give your neighbours and your Shire District Office 24 hours notice.
This is so that your neighbours don’t become alarmed and ring 000. In the fire season (1 October to 31 March) you also need a permit from your Brigade captain (Middle Dural, Len Best 0408220705). Further conditions apply if you live in Hornsby Shire. Pay expert rubbish removalists if you’ve got a fridge or other hazmat/whs risks in your pile. Working with fire poses enough challenge (physical and health and safety) for our volunteers. Please don’t add potentially toxic or otherwise hazardous materials to your piles. If we identify these risks in a pile prior to or early in a burn when can be extinguished, you’ll find you are paying for professional removal anyway. If you are unsure about what you can include in a pile burn, just ask.
On a lighter note, Middle Dural Brigade welcomes new members, male and female. As you can see, we can man a totally female crew (oops, ‘woman’ a crew?)