A firebreak is any gap in the vegetation or combustible material that acts as a barrier to slow down or stop a veldfire. They can either be natural, like the Kudwini river that meanders down from Rockwood Forest Lodge or the logging roads you’ll travel on to Rockwood Mountain Lodge.
The main goal of any firebreak is to remove deadwood and undergrowth down to mineral soil. Of course, they also maintain the ecology of the indigenous forest of the Karkloof Nature Reserve.
When we burn:
We chemically prepare the trace line on the perimeter of the proposed firebreak in April which makes the actual burning – about 3 weeks thereafter – easier and more controlled. We then wait until about mid-June to burn all the non-treated grass in between. Our entire fire season is from April to August, but varies yearly depending on the weather.
Where we burn:
On the road to Rockwood Forest Lodge, we burn about ¾ of the way up the mountain. This takes about 2-3 days of active burning, depending on the weather. The grasslands around Rockwood Mountain Lodge are protected by the bush, so we only burn down the road next to the wattle. Guests of Rockwood Farm House and Cottage will also notice firebreaks in-season.
What to do if you see fire:
Immediately phone the manager on duty who will contact the Lions River Fire Protection Association if necessary.