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VFF and CFA warn farmers to prepare for severe bushfire season ahead
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The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and CFA are urging Victorian farmers to prepare now for the severe bushfire season predicted for this summer.
VFF President Simon Ramsay said that with many reports suggesting this bushfire season is set to be one of the worst on record, farmers and landowners are advised to develop and implement an effective property fire management plan.
“If weather predictions are correct, we’re set for an extremely dangerous bushfire season that will significantly affect farmers and rural landowners. Preparing properties now for the likelihood of severe bushfires is vital not only to ensure that rural properties and livestock are protected, but also to safeguard surrounding communities,” Mr Ramsay said.
The VFF has worked in partnership with CFA to develop a booklet titled On the Land: Agricultural Fire Management Guidelines. The booklet provides practical fire management advice for people living and working on cropping, grazing, plantation timber and rural lifestyle properties, particularly those who are undertaking property planning or are new to farming.
“Farmers have a responsibility when it comes to fire management and protecting their land, and surrounding areas, from potential bushfire outbreaks. The booklet covers such topics as personal safety, property layout and design, maintenance and operation of vehicles, machinery and equipment, protection of stock and using fire safely.”
“Protecting and improving the environment as we move into Fire Danger Periods is an important part of sound fire management planning. Care needs to be taken to ensure fire management does not cause unintended consequences such as a loss of vegetation, wildlife and science quality, weed invasion, erosion and water quality problems.”
“We urge all farmers and landowners to thoroughly read the guidelines and to get an understanding of the simple steps they can take to help protect their property, and community, from the horrific consequences of bushfire,” Mr Ramsay said. CFA Farming and Rural Living Project Manager Mr Todd Chaudhry said the easy to use booklet would help rural landholders plan ahead for fire safety on their properties.
“With continuing dry conditions, anyone who lives and works on rural properties knows the fire season is quickly approaching. The right preparation can help keep our community safe,” Mr Chaudhry said.
Practical advice on general farm fire safety and management can be found in On the Land: Agricultural Fire Management Guidelines (CFA 2007) available on the CFA website (www.cfa.vic.gov.au/business/farms) or by calling (03) 9262 8403.
Media Contacts Beth Richens, VFF Public Affairs Advisor, 0400 934 277 Simon Ramsay, VFF President, 0418 344 794 Todd Chaudhry, CFA Farming and Rural Living Project Manager, 03 9262 8697