CFA firefighters from Heyfield conducted a planned burn in open woodland and grassland vegetation on Saturday, 5 December 2020.
The 1.6-hectare roadside burn on Golf Course Road, Heyfield was one of the several approved planned burns to be conducted by the brigade prior to, and following, this year’s fire season.
Planning for the burn was completed by CFA’s Vegetation Management Officer Steph Montague, with assistance from the brigade in consultation with the community.
Heyfield Fire Brigade Captain and Planned Burn Operations Officer, Ryan Johnstone, said despite restrictions earlier this year, the planning team persisted by meeting virtually to safely implement the burn operation.
“It was a challenge not being able to meet face-to-face during the planning stages but fortunately we’re at a point where we can safely take part in these activities, which is a great result,” he said.
“Access to the area is too small for larger tankers and the area can basically be our last line of defence if a fire were to come from the west of Heyfield.
“It’s really important to be part of these activities and it’s been great to get our members together for an opportunity to engage in training and skills maintenance.”
Neighbouring brigades, including Seaton and Winnindoo fire brigades also participated in the burn and blacking out operations.
Group Officer Craig Bennett assumed the role of COVID Safety Officer at the burn to ensure operations were conducted in a COVID-safe environment.
Captain Johnstone said the consultation process between CFA vegetation management and district personnel, as well as the community, was rewarding and encouraged all CFA brigades to get involved.
“This has been a great process for our brigade to be a part of, from planning to implementation and seeing it come together; it was a fantastic outcome,” he said.
“I’d encourage all brigades to actively engage with their relevant district teams to see how they might be able to contribute in this space.
“It’s a great way for us to work together to help prepare our area for fire so we can continue to protect lives and properties throughout the fire season.”