Smoke may be visible from planned burns across the state as Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) crews take advantage of favourable weather conditions this Easter long weekend.
FFMVic Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said: “Planned burns greatly reduce the impact of bushfires by minimising fuel loads, and it is critical we take every opportunity to conduct them when it is safe to do so.”
“Our experienced fire officers work closely with the Bureau of Meteorology year-round to only carry out planned burns when conditions, including humidity, temperature and wind speed, are suitable,” Mr Hardman said.
“People may see and smell smoke from nearby planned burns, and we ask that people remain aware of the conditions and take action if you or your family are exposed to smoky conditions.
“Smoke can affect people’s health. Signs of short-term smoke irritation such as itchy eyes, sore throat, runny nose and coughing usually clear up in healthy adults once you’re away from the smoke.
“People with pre-existing conditions should follow their treatment plan, and if you are experiencing any symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure from planned burns, seek medical advice or call Nurse-on-Call on 1300 60 60 24.
“Victorians are reminded to stay safe and do the right thing in state forests and national parks over the long weekend, especially when it comes to lighting campfires.
“Illegal campfires, the dumping of rubbish, damage to forest roads and vandalism is unacceptable, so we ask everyone to respect the forest and use bins provided or take their rubbish home with them.
“There are on-the-spot fines up to $484 for people who do not comply with campfire rules, and a maximum penalty of up to $16,119 if the matter is prosecuted in Court.
“Our officers will be out conducting patrols but we can’t be everywhere, if you see any suspicious or illegal behaviour please report it to us on 136 186.”