MORE than 100 emergency service personnel met in Wodonga yesterday to prepare for a volatile fire period ahead.
Last season saw one of the worst fires in recent years with 37,000 hectares burnt in a fire at Harrietville that claimed the lives of two DSE firefighters.
With significant levels of dry grass expected in the region, firefighters say this season will be similar to last.
“We know there’s a lot of grass growing out there because of the rain,” DSE land and fire regional manager Shaun Lawlor said.
“We know there will be a lot of fuel ... We’re preparing for a busy season.”
Mr Lawlor represented the DSE among 17 agencies — from the CFA to police — who came together at The Cube yesterday to be briefed about who is responsible for what and when in the event of large fires.
“We will work together as one when we come together to deal with incidents such as Harrietville last year,” Mr Lawlor said.
CFA Hume region acting regional commander Stewart Kreltszheim said it was an exercise in relationship building.
“It’s so that when you walk into a room on the day you know what’s expected of you and what you expect of them,” Mr Kreltszheim said.
He said grass poses one of the most significant risks of fire and it’s grass that should dry out come mid-November.
“Those fast-moving grass fires, we need to remember they can pose a significant risk even in cooler conditions. So if it’s 25 degrees and we’ve got a southerly wind, those grass fires can run pretty hard and pretty fast,” Mr Kreltszheim said.
He said residents can help by going to cfa.vic.au or contacting their fire stations about preparing for the fire season.