The 0.7 hectare burn was scheduled to reduce the risk within the area and to promote regrowth of native vegetation. The low-intensity burn began at 1pm and was completed by 6pm.
Ballarat Fire Brigade Captain Mark Cartledge emphasised burning off isn’t as simple as you may think because a lot of preplanning is involved.
“A lot of work goes into it to make sure planned burns are successful and safe,” Mark said. “Hours of writing burn plans, notifications to residents, checking weather forecasts, notifications to other agencies, taking weather readings on site, measuring fuel moisture content, organising crews, organising traffic control, getting approvals from CFA commanders and other key parties. All this is even before we strike the first match.
“We even undertake heritage and biodiversity checks.
“A burn permit is issued to brigades with very strict conditions on them and the extensive burn plan had more conditions that we need to comply with.”
The location sits within a bushfire prone area that was declared after the devastating 2009 fires. There is also major infrastructure in close proximity which makes it a high-risk area.
“The burn was a very slow and controlled burn,” Mark said. “The area is a mixture of vegetation, grass and bushland so it was important to take our time and clean the area up to promote native regrowth.
“The fire was 350 metres by 30 metres wide.
“Unfortunately, near the end of the burn the wind changed direction and started to impact local residence. I’d like to say thanks to the residence for their patience while we completed this burn."
Crew members continued to monitor the area for a few days in case any smouldering areas appeared.