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Fire services stand ready

Slashing works are ongoing in critical areas. Photo - FFMVic

Forest Fire Management Victoria

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) and our partners in the Country Fire Authority (CFA), Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV), and local government have been busy preparing for the upcoming bushfire season.

The Bureau of Meteorology has declared a combined El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole climate pattern.

These conditions mean a drier and warmer Spring, an earlier arrival of high-risk bushfire weather and a prolonged fire season compared to recent years.

To reduce bushfire risk, authorities undertake planned burning and mechanical works like mowing and mulching, remove hazardous trees and maintain strategic fuel breaks.

Planned burning occurs all year round when it is safe to do. In the coming weeks, planned burns will continue at key sites across the Wimmera and Midlands Districts.

People may see smoke, firefighting vehicles, aircraft, and crews in the area, as a normal part of planned burns.

Maintenance of an expanded network of strategic fuel breaks is also underway, with crews slashing and mulching these critical assets.

Strategic fuel breaks are a modified corridor of vegetation that support safer access for backburning during fire response, as well as planned burns. They also help firefighters defend private property, significant transport routes and critical community assets like water and power supplies from the impact of bushfires.

FFMVic Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mark Mellington said FFMVic and its partners work every day to reduce bushfire risk.

“Year-round, we are focused on actions with the greatest impact to minimise bushfire risk for communities and the environment, including planned burning, slashing and maintenance of strategic fuel break networks,” Mr Mellington said.

“The community has an important role to play as well, which is why we’re reminding everyone to understand their local risks, stay informed and take action now to prepare themselves and their properties.”

National Parks and State forests will be closed on Catastrophic fire danger days during Summer and may be closed on other days when the risk to life is considered unacceptable. Visitors should check local weather conditions before travelling into forested areas.

Campers are also reminded to stay alert and follow campfire safety rules. Never leave a campfire unattended and always use water to put campfires out until they are cool to touch.

To find out when and where planned burns are happening near you sign up at plannedburns.ffm.vic.gov.au or download the VicEmergency App.

For more information on preparing your property, go to www.cfa.vic.gov.au/planprepare/how-to-prepare-your-property.

For safety tips on campfires visit www.parks.vic.gov.au/get-into-nature/safety-innature/visitor-safety-tips-in-parks/campfires.

For more information about fire restrictions and regulations go to www.vic.gov.au/unattended-campfires.

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