26 September 2023

Fire fighters have shot at fire bombs

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Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) has brought in a drone to drop aerial incendiaries into the Grampians National Park as part of a trial to save time and reduce the risks to its firefighters.

Welcoming the trial, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio said FFMVic crews worked with a licensed operator to fly the drone to the proposed area to ignite the ecological planned burn.

“Before the new trial, crews would walk into the area to ignite the burn which is often challenging due to the landscape in some locations, increasing the risk to firefighters and taking more time to complete the burn,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“The 3000-hectare ecological burn, near Halls Gap, was identified as ideal area to trial the new technology due to its thick vegetation, intersecting drainage lines and creek system, which make it difficult for crews to access,” she said.

“Every year since 2017, FFMVic crews carry out the burn, which aims to create a patchy mosaic of burnt and unburnt land to break up the vegetation, encourage regeneration and provide habitat for threatened species, such as the Heath Mouse and Southern Brown Bandicoot.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said the planned burn would also promote the growth of threatened native grasses and orchids and help to control weeds in the area.

The Minister said FFMVic worked closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to assess weather conditions, such as humidity, temperature, and wind speed, and ensured burns were only carried out when the conditions were suitable.

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