IT'S never too early to prepare for fire season.
That's the message the Country Fire Authority wants to relay to Wimmera residents.
The region's fire season is estimated to start in early to mid-November. This is later than 2018's season which started in October.
Country Fire Authority District 17 commander Lindsay Barry said the region had experienced significant rainfall over winter which would affect how the fire season would play out.
"It's been a fantastic start to the year for the agriculture sector. We've already seen good growth in cropping and on roadsides, and it will determine when the fire danger period comes into affect. Like every year it will be a transition from the northern part of the district to the southern part," he said.
"This will bring risks because there will be an amount of leftover material that is available to burn due to large crops and we will see far less hay this year."
He said the high number of fuel available would impact how fires looked this year.
"If fires do occur they will be more intense and more difficult to manage, but we are well-prepared going into the season," he said.
"Fixed-wing bomber aircraft will be pre-positioned at Nhill airbase. They work through our high-risk times, including harvest, then follow that risk south. Once harvest moves south, the aircraft are then relocated to different areas.
"There are 50 aircrafts contracted for the state this season which is a record number. Along with the two positioned at Nhill, we have the ability to call on other aircraft out of Hamilton and Stawell."
Mr Barry said it was important to look at fire prevention year-round.
"It's the responsibility of home and land owners to clean up around their homes," he said.
"Outside of the summer, it's important that people still practice home fire safety. That could be making sure air conditioners and heaters are serviced. We can't become complacent and think the risk is gone."
He said the CFA advised people to install 10-year life cycle smoke detectors in every bedroom of their homes.
District 16 operations manager Bernie Fradd said his district had also received significant rainfall.
"People are probably looking for the rain to ease up a bit. It means, unless there is a radical change in the next six weeks, crops and roadside growth will be lush," he said.
"Sooner or later when things do dry out, we expect there will be significant growth which could lead to fairly intense fires. If the rain stops now and we get some windy days, it doesn't take long for the moisture to evaporate off."
He encouraged people to clean up around their properties and homes as soon as possible.
"One thing we've found over the last few weeks is that farmers had some fairly significant bonfires over winter. They've found that when they've opened the piles up, there is significant heat still in them," he said.
"We've asked people to start opening up those piles while they can and make sure they are fully extinguished."
Mr Fradd said his district heavily relied on the aircraft resources it had.
"The more aircraft assets we can use, the easier it is for our people. They are getting more and more valuable to us, so I can only see the role of aircraft increasing as the years go by," he said.
Both District 16 and 17's fire danger periods are expected to start in mid-November.
Forest Fire Management Victoria will start its spring planned burn program in the Wimmera soon.
District manager Glenn Rudolph said the controlled burns would help ease the spread of any potential fires.
"We take a whole system approach to fuel reduction that builds on our management of threatened and vulnerable species, involving the development of ecological models and measures of ecosystem resilience under different fire regimes," he said.
"We carry out fuel reduction through planned burning, slashing and mowing works, and creating and maintaining fuel breaks. These techniques are applied to predetermined areas under specific environmental conditions to achieve a desired outcome."
He said FFMV would complete planned burns within the Grampians and Little Desert national parks, and around key townships in the region.
"There are only limited opportunities where conditions are suitable to undertake these important burns, so it is vital that we take advantage of every opportunity to complete them. These opportunities may occur during the school holidays, public holidays and over weekends," he said.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.