THERE’S no doubt its been a bit smokey through the Latrobe Valley lately.

If you’re among the many that have noticed the smoke, don’t be alarmed, because it’s from the myriad of controlled burn-offs around the region that took place over the Easter Weekend.

Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) took advantage of favourable weather and forest conditions across the state to keep Victoria safer from the threat of bushfires.

Closest to home in Tanjil, 1872 hectares (ha) of bushland at the Stuart Mine was burned to reduce fuel loads. This fire is now under patrol.

Other controlled burns were located at:

Willow Grove – Burns Road (312 ha) – Under continued patrol;

Cowwarr – Toongabbie (952 ha) – Under continued patrol, and;

Moondarra – Almond Track (210 ha) – Under continued patrol.

Further away fires at Glenmaggie – Forest Edge (1066 ha) and Valencia Creek – Okeefe Road (289 ha) may add to smoke levels in the Latrobe Valley.

Locals weren’t overly happy about the burn offs, going to social media to question why the fires had to be scheduled for a long weekend when Gippslanders are out and about.

One user wrote on Facebook: “A bit crazy considering it’s Easter weekend and so many will be up there camping.”

Others on Facebook noted poor air quality throughout the Valley last weekend.

FFMVic Gippsland Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Sam Quigley said planned burning is one of the tools FFMVic uses to keep Victoria safer from bushfires.

“Delivering our planned burning program takes a lot of planning and preparation,” Mr Quigley said.

“If you live in or are visiting an area where planned burning is taking place, there’s a good chance you’ll see FFMVic firefighters preparing locations or delivering planned burns. They’ll be the ones in our distinctive green firefighting uniforms.

“The bushfire risk management program is focused on creating a strategic network of fuel reduced areas on public land because it’s not just what’s being done now, but what we’ve delivered in the past and what we plan to deliver in the future that will keep our communities safer.

“Our climate is changing and that means finding the right days for safe and effective planned burning is also changing. While we’ve had a wet start to summer, the current weather outlook is favourable, which means FFMVic will be making sure all available resources are delivering the planned burning program.

“The bushfire risk management program is underpinned by scientific evidence, local knowledge and continuous improvement to make sure our work is focused where it will have the greatest impact in keeping Victoria safer,” he said.

FFMVic is made up of skilled and experienced staff from Victorian fire and land management agencies. Partners under the FFMVic banner include the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA), Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water and VicForests.

FFMVic works with emergency sector partners including the Country Fire Authority, Fire Rescue Victoria and Emergency Management Victoria to manage bushfire risk, prepare communities and respond to bushfires and other emergencies.

FFMVic says without planned burning and other bushfire risk management works, bushfires will be bigger and harder for our firefighters to control.

Some advice from FFMVic during this time:

You may see or smell smoke;

Watch for our crews and follow their directions, and;

If you experience symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure, seek medical advice or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24.

Detailed information about current air quality throughout Victoria can be found at and to find out when and where planned burns are happening near visit