THE Department of Fire and Emergency Services is asking the community to exercise caution and check the weather conditions before they undertake planned burns in preparation for the southern bushfire season.
The reminder comes as fire authorities warn the window for low-intensity mitigation burns may be shorter this year, with the spring bushfire outlook indicating that an unusually warm, dry spring could see an early onset of bushfire season.
As we move into spring, damp vegetation, light winds and cool weather can provide ideal conditions for people to undertake planned burns on their properties, reducing the amount of fuel available for a bushfire.
This year, however, low winter rainfall means vegetation is drier than normal and these conditions, coupled with the likelihood of a warm and dry spring, will potentially reduce the window of mild conditions that allow for controlled burns.
Through its annual BurnSMART program, DFES is urging landholders to ensure their burns do not escalate into serious fires as they take advantage of the milder weather conditions.