Construction has commenced at the site of the new fire tower at Mt Barambogie, near Chiltern.
The major project will see the construction of the new tower which will provide fire detection across both public and private land in the Indigo and King valleys.
This includes areas such as Barnawartha, West Wodonga, Beechworth, Chiltern, Springhurst, Rutherglen, Yarrawonga, Wangaratta, Eldorado, Glenrowan, Milawa and Moyhu.
Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer - Hume, Gill Metz, said: “While above average rainfall has delayed the commencement of works, we are still working hard to have the fire tower operational as soon as possible.”
“Through our engagement with the community we understand that having the tower operational is important and we are doing everything we can to make that happen,” Ms Metz said.
“Because of the rainfall, heavy machinery has not been able to access the site until recently.
“Site clearing and access track works have commenced, however, any additional rainfall may impact on the timing of completion of the project.
“The tower and cabin are being built off-site and will be ready to be installed when site preparations are complete.
“Fire towers play an important role in the early detection of fires. Early detection is critical to responding to incidents and containing fires before they have the opportunity to spread and impact communities and the environment.
“Working with the CFA, we use a range of fire detection methods including aircraft and on-ground patrols to ensure a quick response to any fires. Members of the public also report many fires via the increased use of mobile devices.
“The new fire tower at Mt Barambogie replaces the Mt Pilot fire tower, which did not operate during last fire season due to its lightning protection system not meeting current Australian standards.
“Mt Barambogie is located within the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park and is nine kilometres to the west of the Mt Pilot tower.
“The new tower will replicate the view of the Mt Pilot tower closely and will have improved viewing into some areas.”
Forest Fire Management Victoria operates a network of 72 fire towers, located strategically around the state to ensure maximum coverage of Victoria’s parks and forests. This includes 16 towers in the Hume Region.