Hot work this ...

Posted on Mon July 9, 2018.

Hot work this ....!!!

Burning firebreaks and clearing old lands at Amohela ho Spitskop Country Retreat and registered Conservancy.

It is July, old grass is long and tinder dry, much of it unpalatable and moribund, and so just before the windy season begins we here at Spitskop take on the huge task of burning firebreaks.Strict government regulations only allow landowners to burn at certain times of the year to prevent damaging runaway fires and so we must work within the dates given and take the opportunity when it becomes available, if we miss the given dates we have to wait for the next opportunity several months ahead.

Apart from the obvious protection that will be given to our signature koppie “ Spitskop” and all the flora and fauna that depend on it, burning not only helps to stimulate fresh new grass growth but also begins the germination cycle of some of our wonderful wild flowering plants.

In Clocolan, our local area, there is a fully trained and equipped fire team ready to help us do this dangerous work in safety, sponsored by the Government they are reliable professionals.

Thanks to their efforts things go smoothly and efficiently with little fuss or drama.

Yes, we still have an occasional visit by a White Stork overwintering in South Africa

Fortunately a fast burn causes little real damage but it does quickly clear the lands of troublesome alien plants, most small creatures move to safety and rodents are often seen scurrying to shelter nearby. 

Herons and raptors rapidly move onto still burning ground in search of any injured rodents or insects and these are dispatched speedily.

The following morning reveals lots of fresh spider webs between the unburnt stalks, they too have survived the burn and are ready to catch insects .


Long dry grass burns quickly and HOT with some spectacular results, and we have much fun later when looking through the photographs to see what fantastic and wonderful creatures the flames produce.