News & Media

DEPI(DSE) planned burning milestone

By: CFA Media

Category: Community Safety

  4.16 PM 9 May, 2013

Location: General

Views: 2230

Victorian Government Media Release

The Victorian Coalition Government has hit a milestone with more than 200,000 hectares of planned burning already carried out on public land this financial year and more to come as weather conditions remain stable.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said reaching the 200,000 hectare mark was a significant achievement and reflected the hard work of fire crews from the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and Parks Victoria.

“Despite a prolonged bushfire season followed by significant rain, planned burning has been carried out on almost 220,000 hectares of public land.

This is 22,000 hectares more than was accomplished last year,” Mr Smith said.

"Our crews have done an amazing job and have been able to seamlessly switch from fighting some of the largest bushfires in the past several decades to preparing and undertaking the largest planned burning program in the last 20 years.

"We still have a good window of mild, stable weather conditions ahead of us and we’ll take every opportunity to carry out more planned burns to further reduce the risk of bushfires on our parks and native animals, as well as Victorian communities, people and property.”

Mr Smith said this year’s bushfires reinforced the need for an extensive strategic planned burning program.

 “This is a reminder of why we need to increase the amount of planned burning we do on public land, and why we need both large burns in areas like East Gippsland, as well as the smaller asset protection burns around areas like Melbourne,” Mr Smith said.

"We’ve also done a lot of other work to reduce fuel loads including slashing, mowing and clearing in high-risk areas such as the Dandenong Ranges.”

The Coalition Government announced in Tuesday’s State Budget it would invest a further $33.7 million to increase its planned burning program over the next two years.

“Scaling up the state’s planned burning program is a big challenge, one that has not been attempted at this magnitude before,” Mr Smith said.

"This additional funding will allow DEPI to make further improvements to expand the planned burning program.

“This stands in stark contrast to the previous Labor Government, which in 2005-2006 only managed to burn 49,000 hectares and repeatedly failed to even reach the 100,000 hectare mark.”

Fire crews from DEPI and Parks Victoria will take advantage of stable weather conditions to carry out planned burns across the state over the coming week.

To find out where and when planned burns are happening visit,  call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667, or listen to your local radio station.

The FireReady smartphone application also shows planned burns ignited today, on a map.

Last Updated: 09 May 2013