Our spring burns offs de­pend on weather

Nom­i­na­tions sought for our Aus­tralia Day awards

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - By SA­MAN­THA DICK

PLANNED spring burn offs are ex­pected to take place around Wan­garatta ahead of what has been pre­dicted to be an abovenor­mal fire sea­son.

Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning (DELWP) pro­gram man­ager of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Dar­ren Skel­ton, said the Goul­burn Fire District is plan­ning to con­duct a num­ber of con­trolled burns dur­ing spring if weather and for­est con­di­tions are suit­able.

Key planned ar­eas in­clude the Glen­rowan Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tow­ers

PHOTO: Emma Hil­lier

and Glen­rowan Ridge Track in the Warby Range, the Wan­garatta Com­mon, and Win­ton Wet­lands - Win­ton North Road Strate­gic Break.

For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria’s se­nior for­est fire man­age­ment of­fi­cer, Bren­dan Pur­cell, said the spring burn­ing pro­gram would be con­tin­gent on the weather over the next six to eight weeks.

“We want clear sta­ble weather for a num­ber of days with low wind that al­lows us to con­duct the burns safely,” Mr Pur­cell told the Wan­garatta Chron­i­cle yes­ter­day.

“It’s par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to con­duct small burns with good as­set pro­tec­tion at this time of the year.

“We need good phone and ra­dio con­nec­tions in fire sea­son, which is why we’ve planned burn offs around the com­mu­ni­ca­tions tow­ers in the Warby Range.”

Mr Pur­cell urged ev­ery­one who lives in ru­ral ar­eas in Vic­to­ria to be aware of their sur­round­ings as the weather warms up.

“If you’re liv­ing ad­ja­cent to large open grass­lands or for­est, you need to take care dur­ing sum­mer and make sure you’ve got a good fire plan,” he said.

“Small burns will re­duce the im­pact or spread of a fire dur­ing the warmer months, but it is still im­por­tant to be pre­pared.”

The for­est fire man­age­ment ex­pert said his team would also be do­ing slash­ing in a num­ber of pub­lic land ar­eas to re­duce the risk of fire spread­ing.

“Burn offs in grass­land ar­eas such as Wan­garatta Com­mon and Win­ton Wet­lands re­ally de­pend on how much growth we get dur­ing spring time,” he said.

“Dur­ing the plan­ning stage, our bio­di­ver­sity staff mem­bers check what an­i­mals are in the area and put mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures in place.”

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