Bush­fire prep be­gins

Myrtleford Times - - News - By JUSTIN JENVEY

FOR­EST Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria will soon be­gin rou­tine fuel man­age­ment op­er­a­tions ahead of sum­mer.

But res­i­dents don’t need to be con­cerned about smoke with no planned burns sched­uled, the fo­cus in­stead on clear­ing, mov­ing and slash­ing to re­duce the bush­fire risk.

Ovens fire dis­trict man­ager Jar­rod Hayse said mul­ti­ple fuel re­duc­tion burns were suc­cess­fully com­pleted in au­tumn.

“We will be do­ing some work around the Bright, Myrtle­ford and Mt Beauty as well as Pore­punkah and Free­burgh, a lot of that will be slash­ing on pub­lic land al­lot­ments that are va­cant,” he said.

“In Bright we’ll be fol­low­ing up to see if we need to do any slash­ing around Walk­ers Lane and Har­g­reaves Road were we did fuel re­duc­tion burns in au­tumn.

“We’ve got some mulching to do around Re­form Hill in Myrtle­ford and around Mt Beauty and up on Ta­wonga Gap we’ll be mak­ing sure our fire ac­cess tracks are open and clear.

“There’s also a lit­tle bit of work to be done up on Mt Buf­falo around the Chalet and Lake Catani.”

“We’ll see what the spring growth looks like first and then get stuck into it, we of­ten try to re­duce the amount of times we visit a cer­tain area.”

Cur­rent pre­dic­tions are for a hotter sum­mer and Mr Hayes said re­cent bush­fires in Gipp­s­land and NSW and Queens­land were a re­minder how quickly con­di­tions can change com­ing out of win­ter.

“For NSW, Oc­to­ber is there bush­fire sea­son and they’re deal­ing with those con­di­tions right now as are Gipp­s­land which is ear­lier than usual,” he said.

“If we don’t get a lot of mois­ture from now it could be an early start to the sea­son here too.

“It’s im­por­tant to not have short mem­o­ries, last year was very kind to us in the North East but we have to be ready from Oc­to­ber on­wards.”

Mr Hayse said now was a good time for peo­ple to be­gin pre­par­ing for sum­mer and re­duc­ing po­ten­tial fire risks around prop­er­ties.

“We want to en­cour­age peo­ple to un­der­take all the nec­es­sary mea­sures lead­ing into sum­mer by re­duc­ing fuel loads on their land,” he said.

“Ob­vi­ously burn­ing off is a re­ally ef­fi­cient way of do­ing that and we re­mind peo­ple that they need to reg­is­ter with VicFire and make sure a person is al­ways in at­ten­dance and has wa­ter close by.”

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