Update 3:30pm: The annual Apsley Common planned burn in the West Wimmera has been completed.
Wimmera district manager Glenn Rudolph said it was important burn for the Wimmera district.
The area has been identified as important for the protection of the Apsley township, and is conducted annually to reduce bushfire risk in the area,” Mr Rudolph said.
“It is essential that we ignite this burn during summer to ensure the grass is suitably dry for burning. We work closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to assess weather conditions, such as humidity, temperature and wind speed, and will only carry out burns when the conditions are suitable.
“Working with the CFA as part of the Safer Together approach is a vital part of our planned burning program; this burn has been conducted in partnership with the CFA Apsley Group for several years and has proven to be extremely successful.
The CFA also ignited a 25 hectare burn at the Apsley Racecourse on Wednesday evening which was also completed successfully.
“The area is currently being patrolled and will continue to be patrolled across the weekend if necessary,” Mr Rudolph said.
For the latest information about when planned burns are happening near you, go to www.fmm.vic.gov.au/plannedburn or call 1800 226 226.
Tuesday: Guidelines for community response released
The CFA’s Wimmera division has also produced a set of guidelines for the benefit of residents who might want help fighting fires with their private equipment.
District 17 operations manager Craig Brittain said the guidelines could be found at District 17’s office in McLachlan Street, Horsham.
He said the guidelines could provide people with information about setting up their equipment for safe use, and how to operate on the fireground.
“Private equipment may include slip-on units, water trailers and water tankers that are appropriately set up for firefighting, along with farm machinery and heavy plant,” he said.
“When you arrive on scene, present yourself to the nearest fire tanker or command vehicle, usually marked CFA with lights and sirens, and take instruction from the CFA member in charge. We ask that you work co-operatively with CFA crews to ensure your own safety and effective firefighting.
“Be aware of the situation around you and any hazards likely to cause harm. Be particularly careful about vehicles moving in poor visibility and hazardous trees which may fall without warning.
“It’s really important to wear appropriate personal protective clothing and safety gear, such as long trousers, work boots, long sleeves, gloves, goggles, a helmet and a face mask to protect you from smoke inhalation.”