Photo courtesy of Alexandra Fire Brigade Facebook page
After a season dominated by grassfires and intermittent rainfall, the final fire restrictions in Victoria were lifted today marking the end of Victoria’s fire season.
The fire season was similar to last year’s season not just in nature but by the numbers as well.
CFA responded to more than 12,800 incidents, including false alarms, between December and March in both the 2021-22 fire season and the 2022-23 season.
However, small vegetation fires were down more than 25 per cent this fire season at around 990, while crews responded to around 1360 during the 2021-22 season.
Vegetation and other outside fires were steady across both seasons, with 275 in 2021-22 and around 260 in 2022-23, and a slight increase in the number of vehicle, extrication and rescue incidents this season, with 1423, compared to 1347 last season.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan thanked every CFA volunteer for their continued commitment to protecting the communities in which they live for another fire season.
“As the 2022-23 fire season draws to a close, I want to express my gratitude to the more than 52,000 volunteers across the state who have supported Victoria through another summer,” he said.
“CFA crews have been pivotal in protecting communities through significant grass and bushfires this year such as incidents seen in Flowerdale, Northwood, Glenmore, Maintongoon and Boisdale.
“Our members continue to work seamlessly with our emergency service agency partners including VICSES, FRV, FFMVic, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria and others all year round.”
He acknowledged the wide range of incidents CFA members attend, which was best highlighted this season by CFA’s response to the Victorian flood emergency late last year.
More than 3,080 individual CFA members played a part in the response to the floods across the state.
“CFA volunteers don’t stop their valued work now that fire season is over – we know that the colder months brings a new set of challenges, with a focus on responding to fires inside the home and supporting landowners with private burn-offs.”
The area within Mornington Peninsula Shire was the final municipality in Victoria to end the Fire Danger Period (FDP) at 1am this morning.
The end of the FDP will be an opportunity for some landowners to burn off again, however it’s important that residents check the conditions are safe and register their burn before undertaking these activities.
Residents must also contact their local council directly for advice before lighting up, as burn-offs outside the FDP may still be subject to local council laws.
“Registering your burn-off ensures that if smoke or fire is reported, the incident is cross-checked with our register, which prevents firefighters from unnecessarily responding,” Chief Officer Heffernan said.
Landowners can register their burn-off online at www.firepermits.vic.gov.au or call 1800 668 511.