Following a relatively mild summer and ongoing La Nina conditions, our bushfire risk reduction program is ramping up across Victoria.
It is imperative that we do this planned burning to protect the community and environment from the risk of bushfires. You may know planned burning as prescribed burning, burn-offs, controlled burning, or backburning. Planned burning helps us to reduce bushfire risk small by reducing fuel loads that can accelerate bushfires.
Climate change is creating more frequent and more intense, large-scale fires, and while planned burning isn’t the only tool we use – it’s one of the most effective.
As we continue our planned burning program across Victoria, you may also smell and see smoke from planned burns, private burn offs and roadside burns.
We know that smoke from planned and private burns make people nervous. Smoke emitted from planned burns is significantly less than from a bushfire and disperses more quickly. We work closely with the Environment Protection Authority and Bureau of Meteorology to keep the smoke impact as low as practically possible while delivering the required program.
We continue to invest in innovative technologies and systems to help us better understand the dispersion and impacts of smoke.
FFMVic is carrying out planned burns and community members are preparing their own properties across the state. During the fire danger period, private burns are conducted under a permitting system.
Once the fire danger period concludes, you can expect private burn-offs to increase – these may be large-scale agricultural burns or smaller private burn-offs. We encourage people planning this activity to chat to their neighbours so that you’re aware of what to expect.
If you are concerned about smoke and you want to know ahead of time when planned burns burns and private burn offs are taking place there are a number of ways you can be prepared.
For information about where and when burn offs are taking place on private property visit www.firepermits.vic.gov.au.
For information about where and when planned burns are taking place on public land visit www.vic.gov.au/plannedburns
We recommend you register for notifications at www.vic.gov.au/plannedburns to be notified ahead of time when burns are taking place near you or your business. All official burns are registered on this site and regular updates are provided.
A wetter than usual January, dry February and heavy rainfall at the start of March has meant that our program has had a slow start, but burns have been getting underway since the end of March and will continue throughout April. Burns can often be organised very quickly because the window to conduct a burn during optimal weather conditions can be narrow.
Follow the specific DELWP Facebook pages for your region and the FFMVic Facebook page, which has up to date notifications prior to, during and after all burns as these often start with short notice. We also recommend you follow your local CFA brigades Facebook pages for information and notifications about local burn offs.
If you have concerns or would like to talk about a particular burn planned in your area, we have key personnel across the state ready to chat and please reach out if you need to.
- DELWP Phone 136 186. Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
- VicEmergency hotline. Phone 1800 226 226 for bushfire information and advice.
- Department of Health
We’ll provide further updates in the coming months on the progress of this year’s program.
Chief Fire Officer
Forest Fire Management Victoria
Country Fire Authority
Page last updated: 08/04/22