THE NEWLY created Thungutti Cultural Burning Team got the chance to test out their skills after Macleay local Karen Anderson invited them to help clean up parts of her property.
Interested landowners, along with Bellbrook and Willawarrin RFS units joined the fledgling team to observe and learn.
The not for profit venture is still in the early stages, but Arthur Bain, CEO of Thungutti Local Aboriginal Land Council, hopes it will be the first of many cross-cultural burns.
"This is a new beginning; we are just starting to formalize a plan as we move forward," he said.
"We are looking to work with other land councils, and also with the community, both indigenous and non-indigenous, to learn and grow together.
"We've already been receiving a lot of interest from landowners who would like to support a burn."
Joining the cultural burning team were Thungutti mob from Bellbrook, friends, supporters and a few keen youngsters who began the burn by lighting clumps of grass and spot burning.
The burn used techniques developed by indigenous peoples over thousands of years, which focusses on a cultural connection to country during the management of traditional lands.
"Cultural burning has a focus on doing; the fires are small, contained, and are allowed to spread to the areas that the country decides need to be burnt," Arthur said.
I would highly recommend a cultural burn to any other interested landowners in the Macleay.Karen Anderson
"The fire burnt well into the partially cured grasses, spreading nicely and kicking up a bit when a breeze nudged it along.
"The fire extinguished itself on the predicted edges, except where it was encouraged to move along; we ended up burning an extra section as the burn was so successful.
"This process heals the land, bringing back all the nutrition to the soil and rejuvenating the vegetation."
Landowner Karen has a keen interest in cultural burning, which is why when she heard about the new Thungutti Cultural Burning Team, she jumped at the chance to have them on her property.
"When I heard a local mob were doing cultural burns, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get their help cleaning up my property and establishing a riparian protection zone and wildlife corridor," she said.
"During the bushfires last year, we lost half our paddocks, equipment, livestock, cleaning up the land will hopefully reduce the risk of that happening again.
"I learnt a great deal, a cultural burn is completely different to anything I've experienced before; the slow burn allowed any small animals hiding in the undergrowth to escape.
"I would highly recommend a cultural burn to any other interested landowners in the Macleay."
If you would like the Thungutti Cultural Burning Team to support a burn on your property, contact Arthur Bain at the Thungutti Local Aboriginal Land Council on 6567 2050.