With all fires in Victoria now contained, Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic), in partnership with the CFA, has commenced planned burning across Victoria.
FFMVic look for every opportunity to conduct planned burning, when weather and other conditions allow it to be carried out safely.
It is one of the many strategies employed by Victorian agencies as part of an integrated approach to protecting life, property and the environment from the impact of bushfire.
While burns are in progress, smoke may be present in communities and some roads and forest areas may be closed for public safety.
In the coming weeks, when it is safe to do so, planned burns will take place in the Dandenong Ranges at Mount Dandenong, Upwey and Olinda, and north of Melbourne around the Macedon Ranges and Bendigo.
Planned burns are also scheduled for the south west in Colac, Cressy and Camperdown and around townships along the Great Ocean Road.
FFMVic Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said forecast average rainfall and mild temperatures over the next few months are expected to provide favourable conditions to safely conduct planned burning.
“After the scale of the recent bushfire season, smoke from our autumn planned burns may understandably cause concern for some people, so we thank the community for bearing with us while this important work is carried out,” FFMVic Chief Fire Officer Hardman said.
“Victoria is one of the most bushfire prone regions in the world. While planned burning will never be a cure-all, it is a key part of bushfire preparedness.”
“With a changing climate it is increasingly difficult to find weather appropriate days for safe and effective planned burning, when conditions do allow for burning, we take advantage of the opportunity and act to reduce fire risk,” Mr Hardman said.
FFMVic carry out planned burning to reduce the size, intensity and impact of future bushfires to communities and the environment. The aim of the planned burning is to reduce fuel loads in strategic locations close to communities and in more remote back country areas.
“We will always have bushfires in Australia. Planned burning is part of a suite of measures we use to reduce the impact of bushfires on communities,” said CFA Chief Officer and CEO Steve Warrington.
All agencies work closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to assess weather conditions – such as humidity, temperature and wind speed – and will only carry out burns when conditions are appropriate.
For the latest information about when and where planned burns are happening visit www.vic.gov.au/plannedburns or call 1800 226 226.
EPA’s air quality monitoring and forecasting capability has greatly increased, with the addition of short-term monitoring locations and Incident Air Monitoring equipment.
Air quality assessment is also undertaken using satellite imagery and data sourced from the CSIRO and the Bureau of Metrology, which combine to provide a reliable statewide picture to inform alerts, forecasts and public information.
For information about air quality go to the EPA Air Watch site at https://www.epa.vic.gov.au/for-community/airwatch
Page last updated: 12/03/20