TRADITIONAL owners are planning to conduct more cultural burns in the central Victorian region this year than previous years.
Forest Fire Management announced it would start its autumn planned burning program in the Loddon Mallee region in the coming weeks.
The agency's Deputy Chief Fire Officer Scott Falconer said Forest Fire Management would work with traditional owners this year to conduct more cultural burns.
Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans Corporation chief executive Rodney Carter said the organisation had planned about 12 burns for autumn.
The traditional owner group has led about eight burns since they started working with Forest Fire Management in 2017.
"As a methodology, it achieves just as much as the massive resource-smashing approach, but it's better for the environment," Mr Carter said.
"It's a different way of looking. It's more about connecting with the landscape rather than turning the area all black."
More than 30 people died and thousands of homes were destroyed in fires this summer.
Mr Carter said while there was more public interest in cultural burning as a result of the fires, there was still a lack of knowledge around the techniques.
"Understanding is still very low," he said. "But emotionally people have suffered in the last few months. They want solutions and leadership.
"So when people come to a low threshold of understanding they are more tolerable to alternatives and solutions.
"Those sort of people can be angry when it doesn't work out. They don't understand it's not the complete solution but part of it."
Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations national resource management adviser Matt Shanks said it was important to expand public awareness and perception around cultural fire techniques.
He said the Victorian Traditional Owner Cultural Fire Strategy, launched last year by Minister Lily D'Ambrosio, outlined how traditional owners and agencies could work together for cultural fire management.
Mr Shanks said traditional owners were meeting with government to share their knowledge of fire.
"Cultural fire is not the answer, it's only part of the solution," he said.
"It's part of the solution that traditional owners have been working towards and are really pushing for and doing a lot of work on.
"The Dja Dja Wurrung have done a lot of cultural burning and the responses have been really positive in terms of community understanding, but also physically in the environment.
"Generally the narrative and understanding from the community is increasing, but there is still a long way to go."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.