FFMVic Senior Fuel Management Officer Jonathan Andrea said due to the recent higher-than-average rainfall and flooding this spring, crews have begun slashing works to address the increase in grass growth.
“We carefully monitor weather conditions and will be initially targeting priority areas for slashing that will have the greatest impact on reducing future bushfire risk to communities and the environment,” Mr Andrea said.
“Even though our crews are assisting with flood recovery and response, it is important slashing still happens to protect the community and environment from bushfires this summer. Therefore, FFMVic have engaged additional contractors to assist with delivery of this fuel reduction work.
“Approximately 2,000 hectares of grass will be slashed across Central Victoria in Avoca, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Cohuna, Maldon, Echuca, Heathcote, Inglewood, Maryborough, Dunolly, Bealiba, Macedon, Tarnagulla, Rushworth and St Arnaud.
“Reducing bushfire risk is a shared responsibility – private landowners, council and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) also play an important part in bushfire fuel reduction.
“Fuel reduction on public land can only do so much – communities and households need to know how to be prepared and take action to reduce their bushfire risk.
“Homeowners are encouraged to be prepared for grass and bushfires by cutting long grass regularly, removing leaves and twigs from the yard and clearing space around their house of all flammable materials.
“Due to the floods, there may be rapid regrowth this summer and certain areas may require follow-up treatment.