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Casterton planned burns

Casterton planned burns

Over more than 1,000 hectares

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) has begun a series of planned burns to reduce the risk of large-scale bushfires around Casterton and surrounding communities.

Aircraft, heavy machinery and more than 100 firefighters will be involved in the planned burning which is expected to cover more than 1,000 hectares in forest and heath areas in the coming days.

Planned burning has begun near Lake Mundi today (April 28), and weather permitting, further planned burns will be ignited north of Casterton around Lake Mundi, Dergholm and Chetwynd.

FFMVic is planning for crews to then move south, igniting planned burns around Digby and Hotspur before forecast rain moves across the region next week.

All the planned burns aim to reduce the risk of large-scale bushfire with many having the dual purpose of treating the infestation of pine saplings, which are an invasive weed in local native forests.

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Pine infestations disturb the local ecology of forests, and in particular, impact the health of heathy woodland forest, a key habitat for the endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

FFMVic planned burning aims to compliment prior pine wilding treatment and also regenerate and improve the health of these important ecosystems.

Under the current public health advice, FFMVic’s planned burning program can continue for now. If that advice changes, any adjustments will be made, in consultation with CFA, EPA and DH.

FFMVic understands that smoke from planned burns may cause concern, and encourages those who are sensitive to smoke to remain indoors and keep windows closed until the smoke passes.

Find out when and where planned burns are happening by visiting www.vic.gov.au/plannedburns or calling 1800 226 226.

FFMVic Far South West District Manager Mark Mellington says, “We’re taking advantage of these suitable conditions for planned burning, with light winds, low temperatures and cool nights forecast for the rest of the week and across the weekend."

“This burning is targeting heavy infestations of pine saplings, in a bid to prevent more pine canopy in our forests and to provide space for native species to flourish”.

“The operations will range from small single-day planned burns to large-scale landscape burns with support from aircraft, numerous fire tankers and heavy machinery.” Mr Mellington said.

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