Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) is preparing to start its Autumn planned burning program on public land across north east Victoria in the coming weeks.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Aaron Kennedy said forecast average rainfall and mild temperatures over the coming weeks are expected to provide favourable conditions to conduct planned burning.
“Planned burning is one of the key strategies employed by FFMVic to protect life and property from the risk of bushfires,” Mr Kennedy said.
“We are doing this work to reduce the potential size, intensity and impact of future bushfires on the community and environment.
“If weather and forest conditions are suitable and it is safe to do so, we are aiming to complete several important planned burns across the region including burns near Marysville, Kinglake, Merrijig, Sawmill Settlement, Chiltern, and Granya.
“We have also been undertaking other fuel management activities including slashing and mulching works, and creating and maintaining fuel breaks.
“We are extremely aware of the magnitude of the fires and the impact they have had on the community and environment this summer,” he said.
“Our crews will be focussed on taking opportunities to deliver planned burns to reduce the risk to life and property, while also balancing the impacts of smoke on communities and industry.
“Some of the burn areas which were planned in both the Upper Murray and Ovens fire districts have been directly impacted by the fires. As a result, a revised program is currently being planned. “We understand that smoke from these burns may cause concern, but we are taking every opportunity to burn while conditions allow and it is safe to do so. FFMVic works closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to assess weather conditions – such as humidity, temperature and wind speed – and will only carry out burns when weather and forest conditions are suitable. When planned burns are ignited, communities may see and smell smoke, and some roads and forest areas may close for public safety. For the latest information about when and where planned burns are happening visit www.vic.gov.au/plannedburns or call 1800 226 226.