Firefighter access to some of north-east Victoria’s most bushfire-prone areas has been improved thanks to the Victorian Government’s $272.3 million Reducing Bushfire Risk program.
Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews and contractors have completed 84 roading projects in forest areas, totalling more than 1340 km, improving FFMVic’s ability to respond to bushfires.
“Timing is everything when it comes to responding to bushfires, particularly in remote forest areas,” FFMVic Hume deputy chief fire officer Aaron Kennedy said.
“By getting firefighters and machinery on site as quickly as possible, we greatly improve the chance of controlling fires before they spread and impact communities and the environment.
“Across the region we have completed $2.1 million of works in the third year of the program to improve the condition of critical forest-access roads.
“Better roads, with less hazardous roadside trees, give firefighters safer access when responding to bushfires, while also providing the community safer evacuation routes during an emergency.
“Thirty-five local businesses helped carry out the work, providing more jobs for community and helping forest contractors maintain and gain skills that allow them to help fight bushfires in remote and difficult terrain.
“Additional works are planned in the lead up to summer, including managing fuel loads and road and bridge upgrades across the region.
“This program complements our planned burning, slashing, and mulching works, and collectively helps reduce the impacts of bushfires on communities and the environment.”
Mr Kennedy said the works would also improve access to some of the region’s most popular recreational reserves and tourist destinations.
“Some roads will be temporarily closed to ensure the safety of forest users and visitors, but we will work with staff and contractors to reduce disruption as much as possible,” Mr Kennedy said.
All activity complies with DHHS requirements and prioritises the safety of the Victorian community as well as our staff.
● For more information about the Reducing Bushfire Risk program, phone 136 186 or visit this link.