News

Planned burns scheduled

By Benalla Ensign

Forest Fire Management Victoria has ramped up its planned burning activity in some parts of the north east, as conditions become more suitable to reduce the threat of bushfires to communities.

With stable conditions forecast for the week ahead, more than 130 planned burns have been scheduled across the state, including 30 in the north east.

‘‘While conditions are suitable, it’s essential that we take opportunities for planned burns whenever possible, so we can reduce the risk of bushfires for our communities,’’ Forest Fire Management Victoria’s assistant chief fire officer for the Hume Region, Gill Metz said.

‘‘We have burns scheduled across the region, subject to weather and forest conditions.

‘‘These burns will coincide with a number of private and agricultural burns, which will potentially result in increased smoke haze in the atmosphere.

‘‘You may see and smell smoke from these planned burns and some roads and parks may close.

‘‘This autumn firefighters have successfully reduced future bushfire risk through planned burning for towns including, Myrtleford, Yackandandah, Bright, Jamieson, Marysville, Alexandra, Toolangi, Granya, and Eskdale.

‘‘We aim to reduce the impact of smoke on communities from planned burning, but it’s important that our crews take every opportunity while conditions are right to reduce bushfire risk.

‘‘We work closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to assess weather conditions — such as humidity, temperature and wind speed — and will only carry out burns when conditions are suitable.’’

Forest Fire Management Victoria will continue to work with local communities to ensure residents and visitors are informed about the program.

●For the latest information about when planned burns are happening near you go to www.ffm.vic.gov.au/plannedburn, download the Vic Emergency app or phone the VicEmergency hotline on 1800226226.

●If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be because of smoke exposure, the Department of Health and Human Services advises people to seek medical advice or phone Nurse-on-Call on 1300606024.