PREPARATION is underway for a planned burn on Mt Buninyong scheduled for spring 2015.
The three hectare burn at the top of the mountain will provide protection for the DELWP fire lookout tower and fire lookout observer, and the telecommunications tower used by Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, SES, CFA and Telstra. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has been working closely with the CFA, City of Ballarat (which is Committee of Management for the site) and the Buninyong Advisory Committee regarding the planned burn and its preparation. DELWP Midlands District Fire Manager Merydth Whitehead said: “Fire crews have started the burn preparation, which includes the removal of hazardous trees,” Ms Whitehead said.” “Mt Buninyong roads and walking tracks will be closed from Monday 6 July to Wednesday 8 July in daylight hours during tree removal works. Key stakeholders will be given access to the tower infrastructure during those days if required.”
“DELWP is responsible for providing a safe workplace for firefighters and a safe environment for people visiting public parks and forests. Hazardous trees pose a significant safety risk during and after planned burns and other fuel reduction work.”
“Before fuel reduction work starts, DELWP carries out an on-site assessment of safety risks, including those of hazardous trees. We look for trees with structural weaknesses caused by fire, disease, drought or insect attack, that may cause branches or the entire tree to fall during or after a planned burn. We then take appropriate action to reduce the risks.” “Local biodiversity is considered during the assessment and DELWP seeks alternatives to removing trees where practical.” “The consequence of a fire at Mt Buninyong would be severe, as we know from the Mt Warrenheip fire experience in 2013. Lightning started a fire at the base of Mt Warrenheip which burnt at high intensity up the mountain covering a significant percentage of the reserve and damaging the radio tower and power lines. We were fortunate DELWP and CFA crews were able to supress the fire before the whole area was affected.” “The planned burn at Mount Buninyong will be at a lower intensity than a bushfire and will introduce fire into the landscape in a controlled manner. This will provide protection to the infrastructure as well as create a mosaic of fire history and fuel loads.” “DELWP has a strategic approach to reduce the risk of bushfires in Victoria. We use bushfire modelling technology, local knowledge and expert advice to predict how bushfires will behave, and carry out planned burning and other activities that help to reduce or prevent them.”