CENTRAL Victoria's first planned burn of 2020 will take place on Wednesday despite the continuing fire danger period.
It's the first of about 30 burns planned before next season's fire danger period.
Forest Fire Management Victoria will burn 81 hectares two kilometres to the west of St Arnaud at the town's Tower Track.
FFMVic Forest Fire Operations regional manager Paul Bates said weather conditions dictated when planned burning began.
Mr Bates said rain over central Victoria and cool nights meant the organisation was ready to start burning.
He said autumn was the peak time for planned burns, while the spring program was smaller.
Mr Bates said burns were decided by a strategic plan to reduce fire risk to communities.
He said FFMVic planned to burn where they would most reduce fire risk to communities.
Its strategy was based on bushfire risk analysis and spread modelling, he said.
"We undertake modelling of bushfires under total fireban conditions," Mr Bates said.
"That indicates where we're best placed to do planned burning to reduce risk to communities during the small window we do have to complete planned burns."
Mr Bates said it could take two to three years to organise a burn, because of checks on biodiversity and cultural values, upgrades to containment lines and community engagement.
Mr Bates said the St Arnaud burn would be completed in one day, but crews would patrol every day for two or three weeks.
Burns at Holts Lane, Wedderburn and Mount Hooghly near Dunolly are scheduled for Thursday, depending on conditions.
Planned burns have been arranged near One Tree Hill, Castlemaine, the Pyrenees Ranges, Mount Macedon and Heathcote over the next few months.
Smoke may be visible near St Arnaud until Wednesday March 25.
Anyone experiencing symptoms that could be due to smoke exposure should seek medical advice or contact Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.
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