Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) has begun the spring planned burning program in Gippsland.
This summer's devastating bushfires had a significant impact across East Gippsland and it's important that FFMVic continues to look forward to progressing further works to protect our communities and the environment across the region.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Dr Beth Roberts said: "Planned burning is a vital part of the work that FFMVic and our partner agency CFA do to reduce the size, intensity and impact of bushfires on our communities and the environment."
"Without planned burning and other fuel management work like clearing, mowing and slashing, bushfires will be bigger and harder for our firefighters to control, so we're taking every opportunity to burn while conditions allow, and it's safe to do so," Dr Roberts said.
"The periods of cooler weather in spring and autumn are the most suitable and safest for us to carry out our planned burning operations - they can only go ahead when the weather conditions are just right.
"The spring program is generally smaller than in autumn as the weather can be more variable and we focus on smaller, strategic community protection burns in spring.
"When conditions are suitable for burning, communities may see and smell smoke, and some roads and forest areas may have to be closed for public safety while burns are being undertaken.
"We understand that smoke from planned burns can cause health concerns, so we're monitoring smoke levels across the state. Detailed information about current air quality in your area can be found through Environment Protection Authority Victoria's AirWatch, an air quality map with data from EPA's air monitoring stations around Victoria.
"We aim to reduce the impact of smoke on communities from planned burning and continue to invest in new technologies and systems to help us better understand the dispersion of smoke.
"Our crews are adhering to appropriate physical distancing and hygiene requirements to ensure operations are carried out safely.
"If advice from the Chief Health Officer changes, we will make any adjustments necessary in consultation with Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Environment Protection Authority Victoria, Country Fire Authority and Emergency Management Victoria."
To find out when and where planned burns are happening near you go to www.vic.gov.au/plannedburns or call 1800 226 226.