Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) have released the latest Joint Fuel Management Program (JFMP) providing details of bushfire prevention activities across Victoria.
FFMVic Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said each year, the agencies review their fuel management activities on public and private land and then consult with communities across the state before releasing a new JFMP.
“It sets out where planned burning, mowing, slashing, clearing works and creating and maintaining fire breaks will take place to reduce bushfire risk over the next three years and is updated annually," Chief Hardman said.
“We review and update the JFMP as required – at least yearly, so it includes the most up-to-date local information and potential impacts on people, property and the environment and builds on the latest long-term Bushfire Management Strategies.
“The program is designed to be flexible, allowing the timing of proposed activities over the three-year period to change in response to weather and other conditions. This means activities such as planned burns may be carried out in a different year than indicated.
“FFMVic and CFA staff have developed the program in consultation with local councils, wineries, tourism industry, beekeepers, flora and fauna specialists, and knowledge from local communities including Traditional Owners, key stakeholders and any other parties who registered their interest.
"When and where we do fuel management activities is guided by our understanding of bushfire risk and informed by local knowledge and bushfire modelling.”
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said planned burning is a vital part of the fuel reduction work conducted throughout the year by highly skilled fire crews from FFMVic and CFA.
“Reducing bushfire fuel means fires are less intense, making it more likely that firefighters can contain them before they impact on people, property and the environment. Planned burning has a cumulative effect with benefits realised over many years, not just the year of a burn,” he said.
Victorians can provide input and feedback on the JFMP at any time by talking to a Fire Management Officer at their local DELWP or Parks Victoria office, by phoning the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136 186, or by speaking to a Vegetation Management Officer at their CFA District Office.
To view the latest JFMP, go to www.ffm.vic.gov.au/jfmp
To view the Bushfire Management Strategies, go to www.safertogether.vic.gov.au/strategic-bushfire-management-planning