In conjunction with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) Wellington Shire Council will be conducting planned vegetation reduction burns at West Sale Airport.
Weather permitting, an ecological burn covering an area of 6.7 hectares has been scheduled for Sunday 19 March. The West Sale Airport main runway will remain open for the duration of the burn, however both grass runways and the western taxiway will be closed until the fire has been extingushed.
Wellington Shire Council’s Mayor Carolyn Crossley said: “We use this burn to reduce grass thatch and rejuvenate the native grassland. Burning at West Sale Airport is conducted every year in a mosaic pattern to enhance the health of the remnant Central Gippsland Plains Grassland Community. Also, by reducing the native grass fuel the CFA can better protect the infrastructure in and around West Sale Airport in the unlikely event of a fire.”
“During the planned burn residents are reminded that smoke will be clearly visible in and around the area. If you can please stay indoors, turn off any air conditioners, reduce exercise and follow your asthma plan.”
CFA Vegetation Management Officer Chris Lewis stated: “Grassland ecological burns also help when and if a fire does occur.
“It lightens the fuel load and allows the CFA to defend against a slow moving low intensity fire. The Bureau of Meteorology are predicting above average temperatures throughout the Autumn season so the risk of fire is still there.
“We thank the community for their understanding and whilst these burns may cause some inconvenience, they are a fundamental part of vegetation management.”
Children, the elderly and people with asthma or other respiratory conditions can be more susceptible to the effects of smoke. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms seek medical advice or contact Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.
Further information is available from Customer Service on 1300 366 244.