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Safer Together in action at Nelson
The fire risk to the township of Nelson, in the state’s far South West, has been significantly reduced thanks to a multi-agency planned burn on private land.
Crews and staff from CFA, Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic), Green Triangle, the Glenelg Shire Council and South Australia’s Country Fire Service (CFS) worked together to plan and carry out the small but crucial treatment on a property abutting the Lower Glenelg National Park.
CFA Vegetation Management Officer (VMO) Anthony Watt, burn controller on the day, said the level of available fuel for a fire on the property at the Northern edge of the township was extreme.
‘You wouldn’t find higher fuel loads anywhere – it has been at least 70 years since a fire has been through the area,’ Mr Watt said.
‘But the day went perfectly, thanks to the weather, the enormous amount of preparation and work put in by VMO Heath Bunting, the Burn Plan and endorsements, and the fantastic crews,’ he said.
Vegetation Management Officer Heath Bunting was also pleased with the level of cooperation between agencies, which meant an 80 percent coverage was achieved over the 7.5 hectare burn block.
‘The fuel reduction burn has significantly reduced the risk to the town and the community if a fire were to come from the North,’ Mr Bunting said.
Community Education Coordinator Mandy Maglaras lead the extensive community engagement program surrounding the prescribed burn. Property Advice Service team members door-knocked residents and tourist park operators in the lead up to and on the day of ignition, and Community Liaison Officers set up information points around Nelson.
‘Including and providing information to the community is an important part of our work,’ Ms Maglaras said.
‘We aim to work in partnership, not just with other agencies, but with the very people we strive to protect,’ she said.