Brigades support crucial burn for Lorne community

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) and CFA crews have again carried out crucial fuel reduction work together at a planned burn on the outskirts of Lorne.

Members from Aireys Inlet, Anglesea and Lorne brigades provided support at a recent 387 hectare planned burn at Big Hill on the Great Ocean Road.

CFA Chief Fire Officer, Steve Warrington endorsed the complex burn as yet another great example of the agencies working as one.

Ross Girvan, Risk Landscape Coordinator for Barwon Otway and Coastal Group Officer, believed the camaraderie between the agencies was fantastic.

‘FFMVic really took the time to make sure CFA volunteers were actively involved and being given opportunities to learn’, Mr Girvan said.

For some members, this was the first time they had been part of a lighting crew, and it was a great chance to gain an understanding of lighting patterns and different fuel types.

Aireys Inlet brigade member Conrad White was on the lighting crew.

‘It was the first time I had ever used a fire lighter and it was a great chance to have someone who knew what they were doing to teach me out in the field,’ Mr White said.

He felt that he learnt a great deal at the planned burn from FFMVic staff.                        

 ‘They took the time to explain why it’s important to light in different pattern depending on fuel type,’ he said.

DELWP Burn Officer in Charge Paul McCoughtry was pleased with the outcome of this complex burn.

‘It is the culmination of extensive joint agency planning, preparation and execution,’ Mr McCoughtry said.

‘The professional manner in which the operation occurred is testament to the excellent relationship between Otway Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) staff and the local CFA Coastal Group and brigades,’ he said.

Mr McCoughtry wanted to thank all those involved for their contribution and support.

‘I hope that the opportunities for firefighter development afforded by this type of operation can be continued and capitalised on into the future,’ he said.

The new Forest Fire Management Victoria brand covers staff from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water and VicForests when undertaking emergency management and planned burning activities.

Author: Planned Burning Project