Fuel reduction project launches

December 24, 2021 BY

Fire safety: A new CFA task force recently conducted planned burns at Longwood. Photo: SUPPLIED

A NEW task force from the Country Fire Authority is aiming to increase the number of planned burn activities across the state.

The initiative is includes over 400 CFA members, and project manager Terry Ouroumis said it will allow for more planned burns in more locations that are seeking to reduce the impact and intensity of bushfires.

“The concept was to try and get a mobile workforce, specifically for planned burning, that is ready and available to help out with fire prevention activities and burning across the state,” he said.

“If the local area isn’t able to sufficiently resource volunteers for a burn that’s ready to go, then the task force is activated, and a request is sent out to help bolster personnel to a burn.”

The project has been responsible for several planned burns across the state, including recently at Longwood between Seymour and Euroa.

This week the task force was aiming to be in the Hamilton region.

Mr Ouroumis said the project could see multiple fire agencies collaborating to undertake fuel reduction activities.

“Task Force members could be requested for a single day, but they ’re usually multi-day tours,” he said.

“We try to cap it at a maximum of four days though as our members are volunteers of course, and they’re leaving their homes to help with these very important bushfire mitigation activities.”

The CFA is also seeking more volunteers who may want to be a part of the project.

“We can fill specific roles that are needed for specific burns, and we can also help volunteers gain valuable experience if that’s what they need,” Mr Ouroumis said.