Forest Fire Management Victoria is preparing to start its autumn planned burning program on public land across north-east Victoria in the coming weeks.
Deputy chief fire officer Aaron Kennedy said forecast average rainfall and mild temperatures over the coming weeks were expected to provide favourable conditions for planned burning.
“Planned burning is one of the key strategies employed by FFMVic to protect life and property from the risk of bushfires,” Mr Kennedy said.
“We are doing this work to reduce the potential size, intensity and impact of future bushfires on the community and environment.”
If weather and forest conditions are suitable, FFMVic will complete planned burns near Marysville, Kinglake, Merrijig, Sawmill Settlement, Chiltern and Granya.
FFMVic has also undertaken other fuel management activities, including slashing and mulching works, and created and maintained fuel breaks.
“We are extremely aware of the magnitude of the fires and the impact they have had on the community and environment this summer,” Mr Kennedy said.
“Our crews will be focused on taking opportunities to deliver planned burns, to reduce the risk to life and property, while also balancing the impacts of smoke on communities and industry.
“Some of the burn areas which were planned in both the Upper Murray and Ovens fire districts have been directly impacted by the fires.
“As a result, a revised program is currently being planned.
“We understand that smoke from these burns may cause concern, but we are taking every opportunity to burn while conditions allow and it is safe to do so."
FFMVic works closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to assess weather conditions, such as humidity, temperature and wind speed, to carry out burns when conditions are suitable.
Throughout the planned burns, communities may see and smell smoke, and some roads and forest areas may close for public safety.
For more information, visit: www.vic.gov.au/plannedburns or phone 1800 226 226.