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Smoke visible in Ballarat area
Residents around Ballarat might see smoke in the air tomorrow afternoon while CFA crews carry out a planned burn at Victoria Park in Newington.
The 9.5-hectare grassland burn will take place around 4pm on Friday, 19 February, on the western boundary of the park, around Gillies Street. The burn may be postponed to a later date if the weather conditions are not suitable.
Around 20 firefighters from up to five brigades, including Ballarat, Ballarat City, Sebastopol, Wendouree, and Miners Rest, will take part.
CFA regularly conducts fuel reduction (‘planned’) burns on private and council land which includes roadsides when weather conditions allow, because it is one of the most effective methods available to lessen bushfire risk.
Vegetation Management Officer Dom Uljanic said that planned burns aimed to make communities safer while also benefiting the environment.
“The higher the fuel load, the greater the risk, it’s as simple as that. By reducing the amount of vegetation in this area it ensures that any fire that goes through in future will burn with less speed and intensity,” Mr Uljanic said.
“This planned burn is predominately an ecological burn for native grassland that requires fire to maintain native species and reduce the occurrence of weeds and pasture grasses which will overtake the area without burning.
“Native grasslands have been heavily depleted in Victoria so it is important that we maintain and enhance these high value ecological areas.
“Many species of plants and animals have come to depend on fire to survive, so there are clear benefits to using the approach.
“This burn complements the other burns CFA undertook in Victoria Park in March last year.”
The western precinct of the park (the area west of Cedar Drive) will be closed to the public during the burn.
People with asthma, or other conditions that make them susceptible to the effects of smoke, are advised to consider staying indoors, reducing their exercise, taking their medications and following their asthma plan. Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical advice or contact Nurse-On-Call on 1300 606 024.