Forest Fire Management Victoria crews are continuing to deal with an early and active fire season, turning out to 91 fires since last Wednesday.

Chief Fire Officer Stephanie Rotarangi said: “It has been a busy start to the fire season, with lightning starting a significant number of fires, particularly in the forests of Gippsland.”

“Our crews have been working hard in steep terrain and tough conditions to tackle these fires alongside Country Fire Authority firefighters,” Dr Rotarangi said.

“The skills and equipment of our firefighters has been a vital factor in most of these fires being contained while they are still small and relatively easy to handle.”

“Our rappel crews have been deployed to fight fires in the high country and our firefighters with special training for arduous conditions have been busy as well.”

“Crews are working in challenging and remote terrain to contain the spread of these fires as quickly as possible.”

“We are using our impressive range of new vehicles including the new heavy tankers, known as Unimogs, and the new light tankers, known as G Wagons. These vehicles not only improve firefighter safety but have increased capacity to carry firefighters, their water and their gear into rugged terrain.”

“The early despatch of firefighting aircraft has helped us detect and extinguish these forest fires, many of which are in difficult to access areas.”

“Importantly there has been no property loss or threat to communities so far this fire season.”

This summer Forest Fire Management Victoria has over 1000 frontline forest firefighters (including 340 permanent Forest Fire Operations Officers and 600 seasonal Project Firefighters), supported by a further 2000 staff from across DELWP, Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water and VicForests who have a fire role in addition to their normal duties.