CFA’s Assistant Chief Officer South East, Trevor Owen and FFMVic Deputy Chief Officer, Beth Roberts said that restrictions are being enforced early again in East Gippsland to minimise the risk of grass and bushfires being started by private burn-offs and escaped campfires in the current dry conditions.
“The seasonal bushfire outlook for this year has focused on East Gippsland as the driest part of the state, with three years of lower than normal rainfall and drought conditions across much of the region,” Mr Owen said.
“Our forest fuels are tinder-dry and it wouldn’t take much of a spark from a burn-off or an unattended campfire to start a bushfire.
“CFA and FFMVic crews had a huge season last summer and we want to minimise the risk of another, or worse this summer.”
Ms Roberts said both fire services were well-prepared to respond to the threat of bushfire with additional firefighters, new equipment and infrastructure, and an expanded aircraft fleet.
“The community needs to be fire ready early too – especially those living in high risk areas. Fire restrictions are in place for a reason – to help prevent fires from starting,” she said.
“It’s critical that residents understand and comply with these fire restrictions to help to prevent bushfires like the ones we saw earlier this year.”
The Chiefs urged residents to make preparation for fire a habit, so they are not caught unprepared when bushfires strike.
“Prepare your property, prepare yourself and prepare your family for fire. Have a fire plan in place and most importantly, practise it,” Mr Owen said.
To find out more about getting ready for the fire season visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au or call 1800 226 226.