Forest Fire Management Victoria and the Country Fire Authority are working together to conduct planned burning throughout spring to reduce bushfire risk to Victorians before summer.
Ahead of what is forecast to be an above average fire season, Forest Fire Management Victoria Chief Fire Officer Stephanie Rotarangi said: ““Agencies are working together to ensure Victorians are prepared for whatever the season may bring.
“Planned burning activity is underway in regions where conditions have been suitable, so community members may be seeing or smelling smoke.
“This spring, efforts will focus on reducing risk where we can, with the aim of reducing the potential risk to communities.
“All indications are that it will be a longer and hotter summer than average. We need to act now to protect Victorian communities.
“Working with CFA is a vital part of our planned burning program to make sure that we are using local knowledge to manage bushfire risk together to deliver maximum benefit to the community.”
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said: “The partnership between CFA and FFMVic is all about reducing the bushfire risk faced by our communities and environment – regardless of the location or land tenure.
“This increased cooperation to work more closely is part of our Safer Together approach. This helps us measure how effective our fuel management activities are, not just how much we have burned,” said Mr Warrington.
“It is essential that our crews conduct this important work now so we are prepared for a potential early start to the bushfire season.”
Planned burning, and other fuel management such as clearing, mowing and slashing, are part of a program to reduce bushfire risk for communities and the environment.
“Local communities provide valuable input into decision making about bushfire management all year round, working in partnership with fire and environment experts,” said Dr Rotarangi.
“We’d like to thank the community for their patience and understanding while we complete this vital work.”
For the latest information about planned burns go to www.ffm.vic.gov.au/plannedburn download the VicEmergency app or call the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226