CFA and Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) are introducing fire restrictions for all Gippsland Municipalities, starting from 1.00 am on Monday 14 December 2020 and continuing until 1 May 2021 unless stated otherwise.
CFA’s Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) South East, Trevor Owen reminds locals that from the 14th onwards – the declared Fire Danger Period (FDP) – fires cannot be lit in the open air without a written permit from the CFA or a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer.
“FDPs are based on local conditions and take into account fuel moisture, fuel loads, grassland curing, weather and rainfall” said ACO Owen.
“This fire season’s outlook and current conditions indicate that this summer has the potential to be a grassfire-dominated season, with average rainfall seeing significant grass growth across many parts of the region.
“This may mean shorter-duration fires in grassed areas and dry forests during hotter and windier days.
“While CFA and our partner agencies Fire Rescue Victoria and Forest Fire Management Victoria are doing everything we can to prepare for the bushfire season, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.
“There is still a short window of opportunity to clean up your property if you haven’t already done so, but people need to be aware that if using fire to clean up properties they need to register these through the Fire Permits Victoria website or by calling 1800 668 511”.
FFMVic Acting Deputy Chief Officer, Kelly Rash said “despite the rain over the past months, forest fuels can still be quite dry and it may not take much of a spark from a burn-off or an unattended campfire to start a bushfire.
“CFA and FFMVic crews had a huge season last summer and we want to do everything we can to minimise the risk of another this summer.
“All fire services are well-prepared to respond to the threat of bushfire with 250 firefighters, new equipment and infrastructure, and an aircraft fleet based at Bairnsdale, Latrobe Valley, Heyfield and Benambra, all ready to go” said A/DCFO Rash.
“Prepare your property, prepare yourself and prepare your family for fire. Have a fire plan in place and most importantly, practise it.”