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Strong start to planned burns
*Victorian Government media release*
Victoria’s planned burning program has started strongly, with more than 45,000 hectares treated so far this financial year as part of a statewide plan to reduce bushfire risk to people, property and communities.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said the figure was 17,000 hectares up on the same time last year, with fire crews from the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and Parks Victoria taking every opportunity to carry out planned burning to prepare for the fire season.
“Planned burning is an effective way of reducing fuel hazard on public land to reduce bushfire risk to human life, communities, essential infrastructure, industry, the economy and the environment,” Mr Smith said.
“Every one of these planned burns means we are better prepared for the fire season.”
Mr Smith said despite wet and variable spring weather conditions, fire fighters from DSE and Parks Victoria had already carried out more than 180 planned burns across the state this financial year.
“This achievement reflects the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to protecting Victorians from bushfires and the enormous effort our crews have put into planning and preparing burn sites so they can be treated when the weather and conditions are suitable,” Mr Smith said.
“We’re increasing the amount of planned burning we do and we’ll continue to take every opportunity when the weather and other conditions are right.
“We also do a lot of other work to reduce fuel hazards, such as slashing, mowing and clearing to create and maintain fuel breaks.
“Reducing fuel loads near communities and in remote areas can help protect communities and the environment from the threat of large, damaging bushfires,” Mr Smith said.
To find out where and when planned burns are likely to happen within 10 days, weather permitting, visit www.dse.vic.gov.au/burns, call the Victorian Bushfires Information Line on 1800 240 667 or download the FireReady smart phone application to see burns on a map.