Down the hill behind the shed was over grown with tangled, impenetrable blackberry bushes. It doesn't look like anyone has tried to combat them in the past, or if they have the bushes have simply come back again.
As I am against using toxic chemicals for weed control I decided to burn the bushes to the ground and then install a goat based mowing system to keep any new growth in check. (perhaps I was just looking for an excuse to play with fire)
Because of the proximity of trees and the sloping nature of the ground I took some time to cut a number of fire breaks through the bushes, as well as attacking the edges somewhat to reduce the size and height of the pile. I also took care to pick a day with little to no wind. The ground was damp having had quite a bit of rain recently. I felt confident.
I invited my father-in-law to help knowing how he loves to burn stuff and his history in the California fire service. Connect 3 garden hoses together to reach, soak an old cement bag in oil and petrol, strike the match and we're off.
In the picture to the right you can see three stages. the first, in the foreground shows where we burnt a couple of months ago and the green shoots are coming away again. Second, where the flame is devouring the dry wood and green stems and finally the white ashy area that is left when the fire has done its work.