Investment in being ready for bushfire season

Alyssa Fritzlaff

THE state government has invested $517 million into bushfire preparedness.

More than 600 seasonal firefighters have been recruited and trained in the lead up to
bushfire season.

“Victoria is one of the most bushfire prone regions in the world – the impacts of climate
change and associated extreme weather events are changing the nature of bushfires,” Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said.

“We’re constantly adapting to the challenges of climate change ensuring the risk from
bushfires is minimised and we are prepared for the summer ahead.”

An extra 154 Fire Operations Officers have been added to Forest Fire Management Victoria
(FFMVic), creating a workforce of more than 100 people, including 300 new recruits.

FFMVic reportedly completed more than 470 burns in the 2020-2021 financial year, as part of its year round burning program.

This has covered more than 133,000 hectares
of public land.

Since July 1, 2021 to the end of October, an extra 49 burns have been completed.

Throughout the reporting period, FFMVic has been performing more precision burning close to where people live, aiming to help protect homes, catchments, power supplies, schools,
hospitals and key transport routes.

In addition to these burns, crews have supported 15 cultural burns led by Traditional
Owner Groups.

“We look for opportunities to conduct our planned burns 365-days-a-year, focusing on
precision burns with the biggest community benefit to protect where people live, we also
put more work into slashing and mulching and growing our strategic fuel break network to
protect lives, homes and property,” Chief Fire Officer FFMVic Chris Hardman said.