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FLAME ON! Using fire on the paddock

 by Hot Wire

Things are hotting up around here! Can you feel the radiant heat? We sure can.

2015 saw the introduction of the Fire Art Response Team (FART) to facilitate smoother burning in and around the Paddock. This included a formalised application process for theme camps to host burn barrels (open fires in a barrel or brazier) as well as for artists wishing to incorporate fire into their art pieces using carbonaceous solids (A class fires), liquids like diesel or kerosene for fire twirling (B class fire), LPG gas (C class fires) as well as an interesting and extremely exciting oil/air hybrid fire cannon thingy (F class fire).

Any flammable mediums on the Paddock each need careful consideration when it comes to placing, controlling or fighting them and this is where FART steps in. Add to that the three major burns (Friday night art burn, Saturday night main Effigy and Sunday night’s Temple burn plus all the smaller fires) and we were busy little FART bees in 2015!

The heat is on! 2016 is shaping up to be the most flammable event yet!! So what’s the score with Fire Art in 2016?

First Principles

First, burning anything on site IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED without prior consent. This includes random camp-fires or burn barrels, potato cooking ovens, hexayurt saunas or groovy citronella torches at the entrance to your sweet sweet orgy dome.

Why? Matong State Forest falls under the umbrella of NSW forestry and as such Burning Seed needs to meet some very strict controls regarding fire. Add to that the fatal nature of Aussie bushfires and things get very interesting indeed.

Ultimately we all want to have fantastic and wild burns but keeping a weather eye on safety is mandatory. A citronella candle left untended next to a tent has the potential for mucho devastation.

So how do we as a community ensure we have an awesome burn sans emergency?

Work with FART and ARTery

Easy! Working closely with the Artery, Department of Mutant Vehicles and Theme Camp Teams, FART will send out information packs to those of you who want to make fire applications so that you can start wrapping your brains around the process of expression through fire.

All art projects must be registered with the Artery department and you can alsospecific info on fire art guidelines on the Seed website. The packs will include all info that you will need to make safe and happy burning.

The cut off time for fire applications is August 17th 2016 (note this is two weeks before general art registration closes). This will ensure that you have enough time to make sure your rig is kosher and give us time to evaluate and approve fire permits and add your project to the map/WWW. If it ain’t on the map/WWW guide and hasn’t gone through our on-site approval process, it will be shut down.

We need to make this clear from the outset: Do not assume that you can show up and burn without prior consent. Even if your permit to burn is granted, once on-site your rig (including extinguishing mediums) will be inspected before approval is given.

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Fire ArtArt: Deep Sea Angling by Stephanie Selig, Flame Effects Australia (left) and Ham’s Vile Heat by Brendan Jones, Sage Lian, Haig Jason & Flame Effects Class (right). Photo: Matt Walsh.

Photo: Ryan McRobb

Photo: Ryan McRobb

Leave No Trace

Did we mention you need to Leave No Trace? That includes all ash and MOOP your flames produce or attract during the course of the event. Yes even the major burns are required to tend their precious flames until there is no trace.

Cooking with Gas?

Gas cookers and BBQs are permitted provided they are up to Australian standard and you have taken all steps to ensure their safety (can be as simple as turning off your “swap and go” gas bottle when not in use… Seriously).

You may have seen that butane camping stove tops made prior to a certain date have been BANNED in Australia. Go check yours now.   Consider the worst case scenario as a definite possibility. Would you risk it? Is it worth it? No. No it isn’t.

Sounds a bit doom and gloomy right? Nah. It’s really simple and super fun!! Now that we have established some basic boundaries we can start talking soon about best practice. Stay tuned.  I’ll hold your beer. You GOT this!

Posted in Blog.