Crews slash fire risk around town

January 26, 2018

Forest Fire Management Victoria crews are cutting the risk of a bushfire.

FOLLOWING a successful planned burning season, Forest Fire Management Victoria crews are continuing to reduce bushfire risk in our community by slashing and mowing around town.

On top of strategic burns in Heathcote during spring, crews are now carrying out less evident — but just as crucial — mechanical works to reduce bushfire risks.

‘‘We slash, mulch and mow on crown land to reduce fire risk and clear tracks to ensure safe access to the bush for firefighters during fire season,’’ Forest Fire Management Victoria Acting Murray Goldfields district manager Simon Brown said.

“Forest Fire Management Victoria crews have completed around 90 per cent (approximately 1600 hectares) of mechanical works since starting in late spring.

“We’ve been slashing, mowing and clearing tracks at 700 different parks, forests and reserves near towns in Central Victoria including Bendigo, Castlemaine, Maryborough, Echuca, Maldon, Eaglehawk and Heathcote.’’

Mr Brown said forecasts for summer show parts of Victoria are at above average risk of bushfire and grassfire, with this dryness and risk already evident in most of Central Victoria.

“Once the mechanical works are completed, we will continue with road inspection works and remove overgrown vegetation on bush tracks to provide a clear pathway for emergency vehicles,’’ he said.

“The cleared track also provides a safer work environment for firefighters during a fire as the track acts like a barrier to slow down the fire and gives crews a better line of sight to monitor the fire’s behaviour.’’

After the completion of road works, autumn planned burn preparations will start with groundwork such as raking around bases of trees, establishing mineral earth breaks for control lines and flora and fauna assessments.

And Mr Brown said Forest Fire Management Victoria would continue to liaise with the community in the meantime.

“We hold community and one-on-one meetings, information sessions and listening posts throughout the year,’’ he said.

“By working with the Country Fire Authority and communities, we gain local knowledge and decide together what bushfire risk reduction method best suits the area and community.”

If you would like to discuss bushfire risk reduction works on public land in your local area please call DELWP on 136 186.

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