Chris Hardman March was a busy month for Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews with our planned burning program taking advantage of the good weather to ramp up activity across the state.

While we look to burn all year-round when the conditions are right, as you would know typically 80 and 90 per cent of planned burn delivery is carried out during autumn, in particular March and April.

At the time of writing, we had completed 168 planned burns treating 17,249 hectares of public land and we have been able to focus on some of the most important burns that deliver the most effective bushfire risk reduction. In addition, to that, a further 6,366 hectares have been treated by non-burning methods including slashing and mulching.

With such a busy time in the planned burn space, I would like to thank our FFMVic crews for their hard work and dedication in delivering our program.

And I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those Country Fire Authority crews who have supported FFMVic’s planned burn program to date and into the future. Your help ensures we continue to deliver our bushfire risk management program.

If you haven’t already done, I would encourage you to register on the Planned Burns Victoria website to receive planned burn updates for your local area:

With the holidays coming up I hope you will all take the opportunity to explore the state’s much-loved network of parks and forests.

We will have increased patrols, engaging with campers one on one as well as rolling out a wide-reaching social media campaign to help spread awareness of the impacts of unattended and abandoned campfires. You can find out more about campfire safety here

Remember, it only takes one stray ember to cause a destructive fire.

And finally, I would like to congratulate all of those who recently participated in the Victorian Police and Emergency Services Games. Your sportsmanship and teamwork did you proud.

Victoria Police Emergency Services games participants

Swifts Creek and Gippsland/Head Office netball teams

The annual event provides an opportunity for those competitive and sports-loving Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) staff to go up against teams from other emergency service agencies. We had 117 staff participate in 23 different sports, and it was a great team-building opportunity in a fun environment.

I look forward to seeing the final standings once all the results are in.

Until next month,

Chris Hardman, Chief Fire Officer