EMERGENCY services are preparing a long, hot summer by starting their planned burning program.
Forest Fire Management Victoria chief fire officer Stephanie Rotarangi said planned burning activity was underway in regions where conditions had been suitable.
“So community members may be seeing or smelling smoke,” she said.
The upcoming fire season is predicted to be above average, prompting FFMVic and the Country Fire Authority to take action.
“This spring, efforts will focus on reducing risk where we can, with the aim of reducing the potential risk to communities,” Dr Rotarangi said.
Other fuel management techniques include clearing, mowing and slashing.
“It is essential our crews conduct this important work now so we are prepared for a potential early start to the bushfire season,” CFA chief officer Steve Warrington said.
He said the increased co-operation between FFMVic and the CFA was part of a Safer Together approach.
“This helps us measure how effective our fuel management activities are, not just how much we have burned,” Mr Warrington said.
Dr Rotarangi thanked the community for its patience and understanding while the agencies completed this “vital work”.