News

Crews slash the risk of bushfires

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January 12, 2018

FOLLOWING a successful spring planned burning season, Forest Fire Management Victoria crews continue to reduce bushfire risk in local communities by undertaking slashing and mowing around towns.

FOLLOWING a successful spring planned burning season, Forest Fire Management Victoria crews continue to reduce bushfire risk in local communities by undertaking slashing and mowing around towns.

“Suitable weather conditions allowed firefighters to complete all planned burns scheduled for spring across the district,” Forest Fire Management Victoria acting Murray Goldfields district manager, Simon Brown, said.

“We are pleased we were able to complete these strategic burns to enhance bushfire protection to Maiden Gully, St Arnaud, Heathcote, Rushworth, Tarnagulla, Redbank, Maryborough and Newstead.”

“The risk reduction works we do via planned burning is obvious to people due to the smoke in the air but we also carry out mechanical works. We slash, mulch and mow on Crown land to reduce fire risk and clear tracks to ensure safe access to the bush for firefighters during fire season.”

Forest Fire Management Victoria crews have completed around 90 per cent (approximately 1600 hectares) of mechanical works since starting in late spring.

“We’ve been slashing, mowing and clearing tracks at 700 different parks, forests and reserves near towns in Central Victoria,” Mr Brown said.

“Forecasts for summer show that parts of Victoria are at above average risk of bushfire and grassfire, and this dryness and risk is already evident in most of Central Victoria.

“Once the mechanical works are completed, we will continue with road inspection works and remove overgrown vegetation on bush tracks to provide a clear pathway for emergency vehicles.

“The cleared track also provides a safer work environment for firefighters during a fire as the track acts like a barrier to slow down the fire and gives crews a better line of sight to monitor the fire’s behaviour.

“After the completion of road works, autumn planned burn preparations start with groundwork such a raking around bases of trees, establishing mineral earth breaks for control lines, and flora and fauna assessments.

“We hold community and one-on-one meetings, information sessions and listening posts throughout the year.

“By working with the Country Fire Authority and communities, we gain local knowledge and decide together what bushfire risk reduction method best suits the area and community.”

If you would like to discuss bushfire risk reduction works on public land in your local area please call DELWP on 136 186.

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