Grassland burn learning exercise

CFA and Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews have been working together to complete roadside fuel reduction planned burns in the south-west of the state.

The conditions were perfect recently for a planned burn along the Hamilton Highway from Lismore to Berrybank in the Western District. CFA and FFMVic crews burned a 20km stretch under the direction of Burn Controller Bevan Deppeler from CFA’s Derrinallum brigade.

Crews came from as far as Grovedale and Geelong West to take advantage of the training opportunity. 

Geelong Group Officer Keith Ross brought 11 new members from across the two brigades. He believes that Minimum Skills is excellent theory. "The best thing you can then do for yourself is to quickly follow it up by getting on to the back of a truck at a planned burn," Keith said.

"This is where you learn fire behaviour, how hot even a short grass fire can become, how to cope with smoke and the importance of conserving water.

"We really appreciate the country brigades letting us come along to learn from them – they’re the experts at grass fires," he said.

David Rourke, Forest Fire Management Otway District Manager, agrees.

"It was great for our crews to join some grassland fire specialists for a successful day burning, building on our grassland fire experience," he said.

"While we are preparing the autumn planned burning program these grass burns are a good opportunity for our crews to support the local brigades which give so much to our local communities."

Forest Fire Management Victoria is the new branding for DELWP and Parks Victoria forest firefighters.

Author: Planned Burning Project