Residents in Cohuna, Tarnagulla and surrounding areas can expect to see smoke on Tuesday (17 October) as Forest Fire Management Victoria begins the spring planned burning program on public land in Central Victoria, weather permitting.

Forest Fire Management Victoria Acting Murray Goldfields District Manager, Adrian Parker, said: ‘The first burn will take place tomorrow at Gunbower State Forest at Rifle Butts Track, approximately five kilometres north of Cohuna township.

“The 15-hectare burn is in a priority area for risk reduction and will provide strategic protection against bushfires coming from the north west,” Mr Parker said.

“People in Tarnagulla, Eddington, Laanecoorie, Newbridge and the surrounds may also see smoke tomorrow as firefighters undertake a second planned burn in Waanyarra Natural Conservation Reserve, directly adjacent to the south east of Tarnagulla township at Crystal Hill Road.  It is 14 hectares in size.

“The burn aims to protect the town of Tarnagulla from potential bushfires.

“These burns aim to reduce the speed and intensity of future bushfires. This is important work because smaller and less intense fires have less chance of growing to a size that will cause damage to communities and property.

“Weather is the biggest challenge for the planned burning program so Forest Fire Management Victoria works closely with the Bureau of Meteorology.  We will only undertake planned burning when the weather conditions, such as humidity, temperature and wind speed, are assessed as suitable so plans can change at short notice.

“Every burn we do now means we are better prepared for the coming fire season.

“Planned burns are carried out by experienced crews, under carefully managed conditions.

“We understand that smoke from planned burns may cause concern for some people, but it’s important that experienced fire crews take the opportunity while conditions are right, so we can reduce bushfire risk for communities.

“Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighters will patrol both burn sites for the next few days.”

People experiencing symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure should seek medical advice or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24.

To keep up to date on burns planned for the next 10 days in your area, go to

You can also register for Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Planned Burning Notification System (PBNS) at for notification about a burn and/or to help you prepare ahead.