Forest Fire Management Victoria crews are gearing up to start planned burning across the Otway District in the coming weeks.

More than 40 firefighters will attend a pre-season briefing in Gellibrand on Thursday (23 February 2017) to hear about comprehensive plans to reduce bushfire risk for local communities.

Otway District Manager David Rourke said: “Small grassland burns near Breamlea and Cressy will begin the burn program this month.”

“These will be followed by a series of significant burns around Lorne, the largest of which will be around 1,200 hectares.”  

“Part of the program’s focus is on undertaking burns that continue to reduce risk to communities along the Great Ocean Road from Anglesea to Kennett River.”

“There will also be significant planned burns further inland, around Forrest and Gellibrand.”

“Most of the large burns we are carrying out will be similar in size and activity to those we’ve undertaken in previous years.”

“The current weather outlook is favourable for planned burning from late February through to the end of April, which could see a considerable amount of burning activity occur across the District.”

“Our crews will use a range of equipment to deliver planned burns safely for our communities.”

“This will include helicopters for aerial ignition, water bombing and observation, and we will also use a range of fire tankers and bulldozers.”

“Stakeholder meetings are underway and residents close to planned burns are being informed about the upcoming burn program.”

“Reducing bushfire fuel means fires are less intense, making it more likely that firefighters can contain them before they impact on people, property and the environment.”

Drivers can expect to see electronic information signs along major arterial roads in the District, alerting residents when nearby planned burns are taking place.

Stay up to date on planned burns in your area by searching online for Forest Fire Management Victoria or calling 1800 226 226. If you see smoke and want to know if it is a planned burn or a bushfire, visit, check the VicEmergency app or call 1800 226 226. Sign up for notifications about planned burns in your area by going to