You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Wet Victoria means fewer planned burns

AAP logoAAP 23/10/2016 Angus Livingston

Heavy rain and floods mean Victoria's planned burns are unlikely to be finished before another bushfire season hits the state.

Victorians have been told to get their properties ready for bushfires but Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley says the "reality" of the wet weather means some work could not be done.

"We normally do a significant amount of work through all of spring (but) we've already seen the first eight weeks of spring restricted to very minimal amount of burns, if any," Mr Lapsley told reporters on Monday.

"The aim is still to do as much as possible, but certainly the window reducing is one of those factors."

Communities along the River Murray expect to deal with flood waters for weeks to come, but they're also one of the areas most at risk of bushfires.

Mr Lapsley said the rain will bring growth, which residents need to control.

"It will get warm again. I think one of the key things this year is to do the practical work, cut the grass, but be prepared to do it again," Mr Lapsley told reporters on Monday.

A flawed risk assessment of a planned fuel reduction burn in Lancefield sparked a bushfire that destroyed four homes and burned more than 3000 hectares in 2015, but Mr Lapsley said fire services had learned a lot since then.

"The agencies have changed the way business is done (for planned burns)," he said.

Another bushfire in Wye River on Christmas Day last year burned more than 100 homes but no lives were lost thanks to innovative planning, which is now being spread to other towns.

Mr Lapsley said the community response to the Wye River fire was unique, but a program had been set up to train other towns how to prepare in similar ways.

Forecasters are predicting another above-average bushfire summer, and Mr Lapsley said Central and Western Victoria were most at risk.

Those zones stretch from the outskirts of Melbourne, through to Bendigo and Echuca, and across to Mildura.

Emergency Services Minister James Merlino says fire readiness week is a chance for Victorians to get their properties and fire plans ready.

"Remember to look out for one another," Mr Merlino said.

"I know it's been raining, I know it's wet, but that means growth."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon