Planned burn-offs ready to fire

If you see a lot of smoke around Little River early next month, don’t be alarmed.

Wyndham council’s controlled burn program is starting on April 3 and will continue until May 30 within open spaces in the area.

Cobbledicks, Moutong, Malcolm Williams, Gleesons and McPhersons reserves will all be subject to controlled burns.

Little River CFA captain Terry Hedt said planned burns in Little River were often completed for environmental reasons. “It’s generally to get rid of the serrated tussock and weeds, and get the natives going again,” he said.

Mr Hedt said it was important for residents to be aware of the scheduled burn-offs, because the fire brigade often received phone calls from residents and people passing through who were concerned about the fires.

Council’s environment spokesperson Heather Marcus said the reserves earmarked for controlled burns contain nationally threatened Victorian Volcanic Plains vegetation.

“Burning the grassland helps to protect the diversity of the native vegetation,” she said.

“Organisations like the World Wildlife Fund have produced reports showing that controlled burns are a valuable tool in the protection of native grasslands.”

Residents are being urged to avoid the reserves while burns are being undertaken.

Anybody who lives nearby should keep their windows closed and air-conditioners off if there is smoke hanging around their home.

The planned burns are subject to weather conditions.