Bushfire prep begins
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.”