THE Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) says Victorians can expect to see smoke from planned burns over the next week.
Speaking last week, DSE State Duty Officer Dennis Ward said forecast weather conditions looked generally good for planned burning.
“Much of Victoria has had a wet late winter and early spring, so the forest fuels have generally been too damp to allow planned burning. The approaching warmer weather is likely to dry some of these fuels out and allow us to complete some important planned burns.”
He added: “The wetter conditions mean we may be able to conduct planned burning later into summer this year than in recent drier years. We will be grabbing every opportunity available and trying to conduct burns whenever the conditions allow, and communities may be seeing planned burns right through into December.”
Foster-based DSE Fire Management Officer Dave Gallacher said that only a couple of small debris heap burns are planned for the local district in the foreseeable future.
“We hope to burn a debris heap at the Parks Victoria depot in Victory Avenue later this week or next week, and perhaps do a similar burn at Tidal River. Other than that, there’s a fuel reduction burn we started at Grantville in spring which we would like to finish.”
DSE is encouraging residents and landholders to take the opportunity to clean up and reduce fire risk wherever possible in the lead-up to summer.
Suitable weather conditions for planned burning are when it is dry enough for the burn to spread at relatively low intensities through the forest but mild enough that the burn will remain controlled. DSE staff work closely with Bureau of Meteorology weather forecasters who provide detailed information on a daily basis, to assist with planning and timing of burning operations.
For more information go to www.dse.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.