Low winds and clear skies have allowed fire management authorities to undertake planned controlled burns in the Canadian area on Friday.
As earlier reported by The Courier the shrinking burn-off season caused by the expanding fire danger period and the approach of wet weather, when it is too damp to burn, has made burn windows increasingly limited.
But Friday proved the exception with the planned burn set for 3pm in an area where they planned to cover seventy hectares of the Canadian forest or Woowookarung Regional Park about 5km south east of Ballarat.
Prolonged dry and windy weather has led to a extended fire danger season, with Forest Fire Management Victoria admitting it has been a struggle to find sufficient burn off conditions during our hot autumn.
It comes as residents near Cardigan received another fright on Thursday, when a grass fire, allegedly started by a private burn off swept through five acres of grass land.
Fortunately, the fire was able to be brought under control before it threatened houses or livestock, but smoke could be seen from as far away as Ballarat.
It comes less than two weeks after multiple houses were damaged or destroyed in a blaze at Bunkers Hill.
Forest Fire Management Victoria District Manager Jasmine Filmer said the date of the Bunkers Hill fire was significant in showing how much longer this fire season had been.
"To put it into perspective, we started our burn off program on March 28 last year, the Bunkers Hill fire was on March 29 this year," she said.
"It's certainly much dryer, there has been some good rains in the Wombat State Forest, so our intention was to start to program there, we've had to wait until we've had a bit more rain around Ballarat."
A major burn will take place in the Woowookarung Regional Park at Canadian today (Friday).
The fire will be located to the north of Kennedy and Clayton Street and will extend to areas to the east and south-west of Pax Hill Scout Camp.
The burn will be confined by the camp access road in the north and Boundary Road in the east.
Regional Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Tony English said the burn contributes to a broader fuel management program for forest areas surrounding Ballarat.
"We are aware of the existence of culturally and historically-sensitive sites within the burn area, which will be deliberately excluded," he said.
"Additionally, wildlife and the environment are also important considerations. Our fire crews follow careful processes before, during and after a burn to make sure the impacts on indigenous flora and fauna are as minimal as possible."
Ms Filmer said fire agencies are in discussions with government agencies about issues surrounding the longer fire season with how overlapping seasons with those overseas were becoming an issue.
"It certainly commenced earlier and that's extended right through," she said.
"Last year, we had a good four weeks of autumnal weather, but this year it's stayed hot and then we've had a little rain, but it's also remained windy.
"We can only schedule burns that match the conditions we've got."
FORMER CHIEFS CALL FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION
A FORMER head of Victoria's CFA has joined more than 20 former fire chiefs from across the country in calling for stronger action from the federal government in fighting climate change.
Neil Bibby, former chief executive officer of the CFA Victoria said worsening fire conditions, and this year's prolonged fire season is one of a host of proofs of a changing climate.
"I've seen scores of bushfires, including Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday," Mr Bibby said.
"Such extreme events are clearly becoming more intense and frequent, and they're devastating communities and exhausting our firefighters.
"Victoria has also sweltered through prolonged and increasingly severe heatwaves, and there was a spike in heat-related deaths in Victoria during heatwaves earlier this year.
"We are deeply concerned about the lack of national action and the unacceptable danger it exposes Australians to, that's why we have felt compelled to come forward."
Mr Bibby said it was up to whichever party was elected to government in the federal election to fund strategic national emergency resources, commit to a parliamentary inquiry into whether Australia's emergency services are adequately resourced and are equipped to cope with increasing natural disasters.
He also called for meetings with leaders to discuss ongoing climate change risks.
"Just as nobody would stand by and allow a fire to destroy their homes if they had the means to put it out, the federal government cannot ignore the urgent need for action," Mr Bibby said.
"Australia must move beyond old approaches to fire management and study new techniques, and it must implement credible climate policy that rapidly and deeply reduces emissions."
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