Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, welcomed the trial which involved FFMVic crews working with a licensed operator to fly the drone to the proposed area to drop aerial incendiaries to ignite the burn, saving crews time from navigating the difficult terrain on foot.

The 3000-hectare ecological burn, near Halls Gap, was identified as ideal area to trial the new technology due to its thick vegetation, intersecting drainage lines and creek system, which make it difficult for crews to access.

Every year since 2017, FFMVic crews carry out the burn, which aims to create a patchy mosaic of burnt and unburnt land to break up the vegetation, encourage regeneration and provide habitat for threatened species, such as the Heath Mouse and Southern Brown Bandicoot.

It will also promote the growth of threatened native grasses and orchids and help to control weeds in the area.

Before the new trial, crews would walk into the area to ignite the burn which is often challenging due to the landscape in some locations, increasing the risk to firefighters and taking more time to complete the burn.

This trial is part of the Victorian Government’s approach to protect biodiversity, communities and the environment through a mix of different bushfire risk management techniques.

FFMVic works closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to assess that weather conditions, such as humidity, temperature, and wind speed– and will only carry out burns when conditions are suitable.

For the latest information about when planned burns are happening near you go to ffm.vic.gov.au/plannedburn, download the VicEmergency app or call the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226.

Page last updated: 26/10/21