Fire re­stric­tions re­main in place un­til month’s end

Myrtleford Times - - News - By JUSTIN JEN­VEY

THE cur­rent fire dan­ger pe­riod will end at 1am next Tues­day.

De­spite the end of re­stric­tions in the early hours of May 1, au­thor­i­ties are ask­ing peo­ple to re­main vig­i­lant af­ter an un­usu­ally long fire sea­son.

This year’s fire dan­ger pe­riod was one of the long­est in re­cent his­tory ac­cord­ing to CFA Dis­trict 24 act­ing op­er­a­tions man­ager Adrian Gutsche.

“By May 1 it will have been 155 days long af­ter it was de­clared on Novem­ber 27 last year,” he said.

“Our boss Paul King has kept a bit of a record over the past 20-odd years and on av­er­age it usu­ally runs about 126 days.

“That means this year is about 30 days longer than nor­mal.

“When the fire dan­ger pe­riod is de­clared, May 1 is usu­ally listed as the end date, but I’m not sure how many times it would have gone un­til then.

“Given the dry­ness and no au­tumn break of rain in late March or early April it will just run out.”

Mr Adrian Gutsche said fires ear­lier this month, one in re­mote bush­land be­hind Mt Buf­falo and an­other at Thoona in neigh­bour­ing Dis­trict 23, were ev­i­dence that con­di­tions re­main dry.

Landown­ers look­ing to burn-off once re­stric­tions are lifted should re­mem­ber to check con­di­tions and reg­is­ter their ac­tiv­i­ties with the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties.

“Just be­cause the fire dan­ger pe­riod’s over doesn’t mean a fire isn’t go­ing to get away,” Mr Gutsche said.

“Peo­ple need to man­age the risk of light­ing a fire in the open and that means mon­i­tor­ing it and hav­ing wa­ter nearby.”

Lo­cal bri­gades have grown in­creas­ingly frus­trated at be­ing called out when peo­ple have failed to reg­is­ter their burn-offs.

To en­sure that the fire ser­vices are aware of your planned burn you can con­tact the Emer­gency Ser­vices Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Author­ity on 1800 668 511 or email burnoffs@esta.vic.gov.au.

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